XG Aspen 2015 Men's Snowboard SuperPipe
Gold: Danny Davis
Danny Davis trained for the X Games by taking a powder shred trip to Japan with Mark McMorris and Terje Haakonsen. The fact that he claims he "hasn't ridden pipe much" this season didn't seem to be a factor as the 2014 X Games Aspen SuperPipe gold medalist handily won his second gold on the last run of the night on Thursday, effectively bumping Shaun White off the podium in the process.
Silver: Taku Hiraoka
Japan's Taku Hiraoka already had X Games Tignes 2013 and 2014 Olympic bronze medals to his credit. Now the 19-year-old, who has been competing since he was 7, has another medal to add to his collection: Snowboard SuperPipe silver. Fun fact: When not snowboarding, Hiraoka is a university student who studies sports science.
Bronze: Iouri Podladtchikov
Despite having surgery on his ankle in late November, Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov showed up to the X Games and was able to throw down gold-medal-caliber runs in the SuperPipe. Competition was fierce, however, and the Olympian finished the evening in bronze-medal position. Podladtchikov has yet to win an X Games gold.
Fourth: Shaun White
This was Shaun White's first contest since the Sochi Olympics, where finished in an uncharacteristic fourth place. He easily made the finals with a trademark run that included his signature backside air, but never gained his regular lead once the finals started and finished the evening just one spot off the podium, once again.
Though he'd thrown the Cab 1440 double -- otherwise known as the YOLO flip -- multiple times in practice, Ayumu Hirano didn't actually land it for the first time until competition started. Despite landing a near flawless run in the finals, the lack of a sixth hit in the pipe may have contributed to his ending up in fifth place instead of on the podium.
Ben Ferguson may not have made the SuperPipe Final on Thursday night, but his high-consequence full-speed backside 180 entry into the pipe -- executed perfectly -- deserves a call-out. Expect great things in the future from this 20-year-old phenom.
Arthur Longo was a backcountry film star well before he rose to prominence in the pipe. The Frenchman didn't make the finals on Thursday, but if the new debate over style versus spins has any weight, tricks like his massive, beautiful air-to-fakie should have gotten him there.
The snowboarding Twitterverse blew up when the score on Danny Davis' final run was announced, and the reality that the ambassador for snowboard style -- who'd never won an X Games gold until last year -- had just done it again. Why is Davis such a lightning rod in the style versus spin debate currently going down in the world of snowboarding? Because tricks like his chicken wing McTwist and switch method are both difficult and beautiful to watch, and have the tyranny of back-to-back-to-back double corks that once held halfpipe snowboarding hostage. And for this, the people rejoice.