With all the hype and excitement surrounding the many high-profile events taking place at Winter X, one mellow, low profile one has managed to fly under the radar. We'd like to draw your attention to it for a moment. It's called the Best Method contest, and it's taking place on Friday at 5:15 MST, right before the Snowboard Big Air competition.
For those who don't know, the "method" is one of the most universally cherished tricks in snowboarding. Allow one of the originators of the style by which all other methods are judged -- Mr. Terje Haakonsen, in the photo on the right -- to demonstrate what a proper one looks like.
The beauty of the method lies in its simplicity. It's a straight air jump with a grab and a tweak, but how a rider does it says everything about his or her personal style. It's like art, in that it's easy to have a strong opinion about (and most snowboarders do), but impossible to say whose preference is right. If I declared that Jamie Lynn and Nicolas Mueller have two of the most untouchable methods in snowboarding, guaranteed it would spark a debate with whatever snowboarder I said it to. Old photos and video parts would be trotted out as evidence. Voices might even get raised.
That's why there is no way to really judge a Best Method contest -- which is the reason the winner will, instead, be decided by you. Just like the Best Whip contest at the summer X Games, Best Method will be decided by text voting. You watch the comp, you cast a cyber ballot for your favorite rider via cell phone, and then go argue about why your guy should have won later in the comments section of the results page online.
Our confirmed X competitor lists are still changing for all events, as riders drop in and out of contests for various reasons, but as of now, this is who's in the comptition: Peter Line, Chas Guldemond, Ross Powers, Jack Mitrani, Greg Bretz, Mason Aguirre and Scotty "my broken jaw is wired shut and I'm drinking food through a straw, but I'm still going to try to compete in the X Games anyway" Lago.
Bow of respect to Mr. Lago for his dedication. Kazuhiro Kokubo is on the alternate list as we wait for confirmation from one of the original invited riders. Yes, Terje and Jamie Lynn were both asked to come, but neither could make it.
Peter Line is going to hold it down for the old guard, though. Here's what he had to say about it:
On the contest:
It's cool to get back to the X Games. It's been a while. But I'm pretty rusty on park kickers. They told me it was going to be an old-school contest with Terje, Jamie Lynn, and maybe Nicolas Muller -- and they said they might have a smaller jump for us older guys. After I committed those guys [decided not to come], so I have no idea who I'm competing against. It's probably going to be a bunch of kids.
Regarding the jump setup:
It's the same jump that they are doing double corks off of. It's going to be weird because it's so big, and it's hard to straight air really big jumps -- especially methods. I would be stoked on a hip -- make it double sided for the goofy and regular guys. That would be sick because then you could tweak out your method and make it look really stylish, and it would look good for TV because you can go super big.
On the best method of all time:
As far as I'm concerned, Jamie Lynn won this contest a long time ago. He pretty much reinvented the method. Shaun Palmer had some pretty good ones before Jamie's time, but once Jamie took over it was like, "Okay that's a method."