A little peer pressure from fellow rider Kolby Ward was all it took; Gus Kenworthy dropped in to an up-rail at Camp of Champions and launched a double rodeo 990 from its crest. Or maybe it's a double misty? It's too crazy to be sure. Fact of the matter is: it's pretty darn entertaining to watch.
[Editor's Note] After posting this video, many people responded negatively, exclaiming things like, "this is bad for the sport." So to give Gus a chance to respond, we conducted a small interview, which has been added below.
Filmed by Robin Douglas Macdonald (www.rdmstudio.com)
FS: So tell me about this trick, had you been thinking about it for a while?
GK: I had definitely been thinking about doing something like this for a while, but I had never really had the right rail to try it. I was doing some misty 450s off the COC rail last week and Kolby Ward told me to try and do a double off of it. The way that the rail was originally set up I
didn't think it was going to be possible, but it definitely got me thinking about whether or not I could do it.
I emailed Ken Achenbach from COC and asked if they could move the rail to make it bigger. The camp was super accommodating and donated a bunch of their time to help move the
rail back about 20 feet so that I could try and give 'er.
What gave you the motivation to drop in and send it?
Once the camp had agreed to let us change around their set up and we started moving the rail back there was really no turning back.
Did you stomp the trick on your first attempt?
No, I definitely didn't stomp the trick first try. It actually ended up being a pretty hard trick for me to figure out. I took a few gnarly crashes in the process but for the most part all the attempts were really close, just not quite stomped. I landed one before the one in the video
but it was a little sketchy so I hiked up again and got the one that I wanted.
Anytime someone pushes the bar like this, tons of people come out in protest saying things like, "this is aerials, it's ruining the sport." What do you have to say to those people?
Yeah, there are always going to be people that hate on what you're doing. I don't mind too much though, I guess. If people weren't talking about the video than it wouldn't even be relevant, so I guess I'm glad that people have opinions about the trick either way.
One kid said that I was single-handedly ruining skiing, I thought that was pretty brutal but I don't think that's true at all. I'm just trying to do what I think is cool and exciting and trying to push the envelope on what is possible for myself and for the sport. If people think that a shifty 450 is cooler to do off a rail than a double that's fine – they'd probably have a lot easier of a time trying to learn that anyway.
Is double flipping off rails the new black? Can we expect to see people pulling stunts like this in this year's slopestyle events?
I definitely don't think that I am the only person capable of doing a double off of a rail and I feel certain that other people will start doing them soon too. However, I still don't think they're going to be the new "it" trick in the contests very soon.
Just because of how big and precise the rail set up needs to be, and because a lot of slopestyle riders often opt to scale down on their rail tricks in order to step up their jump difficulty, I think there will only be a handful of events where people try to mix up their runs with doubles off of rails.