WATCH: Chris Corning wins season-opening World Cup big air with groundbreaking 1800. Red Gerard takes second
Call him Mister 1800 ’cause he did it again.
Halfway across the world in Cardrona, New Zealand, Silverthorne’s Chris Corning won the season-opening International Ski & Snowboard Federation Snowboard World Cup event of the season Friday afternoon. The 19-year-old did so by landing his trademark, ground-breaking quad-cork 1800 for only the second time in competition.
Corning, who now splits his time between Summit and Eagle counties, landed the trick for the first time a year ago on his 19th birthday at a World Cup big air event in Cardrona.
The goofy-footer set up the 1800 after first landing a flat-spin, front-side 1440 with a melon grab — a trick where he rotates toward his board’s front side off the big air jump, rotating for four 360-degree rotations on a flat axis.
After stomping that trick on his first jump, earning a score of 80.75 in the process, Corning set himself up nicely for his final two jumps. Per competition rules, riders use two of their three scores to combine for the final score. And in order for tricks to count, riders must perform one trick rotating to their board’s front side and one trick rotating to their board’s back side.
It all came together for Corning on that second jump, when the two-time defending FIS World Cup Snowboard Park & Pipe season champion got just enough momentum on his inverted rotations to land the back-side quad-cork 1800. Corning is the only snowboarder to land a 1800 of this variety in World Cup competition. The trick requires four inversions on the vertical axis complete with five 360-degree rotations on the horizontal axis.
“All the hard work is paying off,” Corning told reporters in Cardrona. “We all come here, everybody rode so good, and that means everybody worked hard over the summertime. For us to come here again and win again is super good.”
Corning’s victory propels him into a familiar position — first place — as the World Cup season is officially underway. The next competition is set to be big air at Modena Skipass in Italy on Nov. 2.
For Red Gerard, also of Silverthorne, the runner-up finish was a strong one for the 19-year-old 2018 Olympic slopestyle gold medalist. Considering Gerard’s most recent big air competition was in New Zealand a year ago, his ability to stomp a front-side 1440 with a tail grab on his first run was impressive. The trick netted him a score of 87.00.
Gerard then earned a 74.25 on his third run with a stylish backside triple-cork 1440 to backside shifty. Gerard’s combined score of 161.25 put him behind Corning’s 176.25 and ahead of Finnish rider Kalle Jarvilehto at 160.25.