Breaking Out The Big Guns: Justin Dorey and Russ Henshaw talk groundbreaking tricks

December 11th, 2012 by

Russ Henshaw and Justin Dorey are two world-class competitors in their respective disciplines. We had each of them break down a big trick in their aresenal. Don’t try these at home.

Justin Dorey — Switch double flip 1080 in the pipe

How long were you contemplating the switch dub 10 before you gave it a shot? I started thinking about trying it during the 2009-10 season, then Jossi [Wells] beat me to the punch and was the first one to do it that spring. A couple months later I went to New Zealand and did my first one at Cardrona, so I’d say it was on my mind for almost a year.

Did you take some punishing hits before you landed it? I actually got the first couple around to my feet but just landed really low so it was one of the least painful tricks I’ve learned.

How do you feel the trick compares on a technical level to other tricks being thrown down these days? Switch dubs are definitely a lot harder than any other dub that I’ve done. The hardest part is going big enough to get two flips around while also being able to handle the G-forces of hauling-ass into that tranny switch and not collapsing into the wall.

What’s going through your head when you’re doing it? The main thing I focus on for that trick is just being patient… If you’re impatient and pop too early (like I did at X-Games last year) you end up getting broken in half with your feet in the pipe and your back/head on the deck which is definitely not a good look.

Landing it for the first time in competition got you on the podium in Tignes, 2011. How did that feel? Funny story actually. I had absolutely no intention of doing a switch dub in that run until I was halfway up the wall on that last hit. I tried a couple a week before Euro X with Simon [Dumont] and we both got broke off so I kinda wrote it off as a trick that wouldn’t be in my bag. That first run was supposed to be my safe run but last hit I blacked out and my body just did it without me thinking about it. I actually black out during my comp runs quite a bit and can’t remember what I just did.

Any new tricks in store for us this year? Yes. I landed a new one this summer at Momentum in Whistler, so I’m hoping to have it dialed before the first contest in December. I’m not saying what it is.

Photo by Joseph Purdam @ Thredbo, Australia.

Russ Henshaw — Triple cork 1440

When did you first start thinking about throwing the triple cork 1440? It all happened really fast at an MSP park shoot. I was doing some double cork 10s on a really big jump and I thought to myself, “I probably have enough time to do another flip.” That’s about as much thought as I gave it before attempting it. I had no idea if it would go to 14 or 16.

After the first attempt I hit my head so I didn’t get another chance to try it on that jump. I basically waited until I had found a jump and had the conditions I thought were necessary to try the trick again. Turns out Bobby [Brown] landed it a few days before I landed mine.

After hitting your head on the first attempt, was it tough to keep that out of your mind when you tried it again? It was definitely on my mind. But you can hurt yourself doing pretty much any trick. I just blocked it out of my head and focused on what I wanted and needed to do to land the trick.

It’s a pretty insane trick to watch. What’s going through your head when you do it? Lean back and hold on. [laughs] Nah, but seriously I am really focused at the top of the in run. I know what needs to be done and when I finally get in the air, it feels like I stop thinking and everything just happens. It’s hard to explain but it’s like that with all my tricks. Time seems to slow down once I’m in the air doing the trick.

Are there any technical aspects that make it more difficult than a double or is it mostly about going bigger and throwing it harder? Yeah it’s definitely more technical. I have found that if you miss your grab in the first rotation, you’re pretty much screwed. Another thing is knowing how to position your shoulders throughout the trick. If your shoulders make any slight movements then you end up spinning more than is required and you crash.

Now that you’ve got the triple in the bag, what’s next? I honestly don’t have a clue. I guess try and get them more on lock and try some different variations.

*This article appeared in the V15 December issue of FREESKIER and is part of our 2012/13 Competition PreviewSubscribe to the magazine, or get it on the iTunes Newsstand.

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About the author:
Damian Quigley is an Irish-born immigrant who traveled to the US with hopes of one day becoming an editor for Freeskier. Having accomplished his dream, he spends his days testing gear and sipping champagne.