Going into Snowmobile Best Trick nobody, not even the sport organizers, knew what the riders had in mind. Thanks to a change in format, competitors did not have divulge their tricks beforehand, so no one could have foreseen the new tricks, crazy extensions, or the ... hitchhiking?
Daniel Bodin scored high enough for gold in both of his runs, doubling up the gold he won Thursday in Freestyle after years of fourth-place finishes that made him a sentimental favorite coming into Winter X 15. But by the end of the competition, the fans -- if they had a say -- would have likely voted for Caleb and Colten Moore to win something after they earned themselves a permanent place on the Winter X all-time highlight reel.
The brothers, who all week long talked in terms of how "they" and "we" would be bringing the mayhem, finally revealed what they meant: a two-person Indian Air backflip with Caleb driving and Colten hanging on to his brother while extending his body, mid-flip. Since it was Caleb driving on what was Colten's run, the successfully landed trick was scored a zero. "We pretty much knew the judges wouldn't let it count" Caleb said. "We knew that but we wanted the exposure and you know what? We got it. ESPN highlights, here we come."
Bodin earned gold with another first in snowmobile freestyle, albeit one within the rules of the competition. He led after his first trick, a fully extended Seat Grab Indy flip, a trick he's performed many times over the weekend. He was still in the lead going into his second run, but was the second to last rider as Heath Frisby, the 2010 gold medalist, still had one more run. So Bodin went for the trick he claimed he hadn't even discussed with his own mother: a Double Grab backflip. While upside down, he let go and grabbed the seat holds with both legs fully extended off the back of the sled. It had never been done on a snowmobile and is performed by only a few on a motorcycle. "I worked so hard for that trick," Bodin said. "So many long days that went late into the night in cold weather and all."
The silver medal went to Caleb Moore, who used his two runs to pull another first in snowmobiling -- the Carolla, which is a body varial where the rider barrels rolls his body above the machine. In run two he did the Carolla again but with a no handed landing. The latter put him in silver medal territory. It was impressive but it wasn't enough to climb out of second place. His brother Colten also impressed with the first ever Lazy Boy Flip but it didn't score high enough for a medal.
When Colten rode out to the turf run-in for his second attempt he did a few donuts and ramped up the crowd while Caleb rode out from behind the ramp. Colten dismounted and then jumped onto the back of his brother's sled to do a 75-ft. two-person back flip. "We went out there to do something that had never been done before," Colten said. As for why Caleb piloted the sled on Colten's turn and not Caleb, he said, "He's a lot bigger than I am and we just figured he could hold onto it better while I'm hanging off the back. Whether I medaled or not I'm happy because did you not hear the crowd? Obviously they loved it."
As for Bodin, he just ended the best month of his career. Before he'd arrived at Winter X 15, Bodin was known as a good snowmobile freestyle rider. He had four consecutive fourth-place finishes in freestyle and a silver from last year's Best Trick. By becoming just the second snowmobiler to win two golds in one Winter X, he may have a claim to being the best.
Bodin said the his two gold medals couldn't have been achieved without the help of Levi LaVallee, whose own Winter X 15 ambitions were ended with injury. LaVallee brought Bodin onto Team LaVallee to ride his sleds and use his foam pit. Bodin had never had access to a foam pit before three weeks ago. "Isn't that obvious now?" he said. "You definitely need a foam pit."
Last year's gold medalist, Heath Frisby used his first run to pull a Tsunami Flip, which he debuted last year. His second run was also a Tsunami Flip. He tried to end it in his signature Frisby Air, where he lands facing backward on the seat but he didn't get deep enough into twisting his body in time and he brought it back around. He finished with a bronze medal, the sixth medal of his Winter X career.