Winter X Games: Aspen

With ski season getting in to full effect I can’t help but get excited for my all time favorite weekend: Winter X Games Aspen. This season during the weekend of January 28-31 Aspen will fill up with winter sports enthusiasts. The sponsor houses will be crawling with athletes and musical guests and every night there will be a new party to attend. It is a complete whirlwind and extremely exhausting, but worth every minute. Since we’re only a month out I decided it was time I wrote down just a few brief tips for a newcomer to X Games Aspen.

  1. Get there early…or get a pass!
    • Aspen is absolutely insane during X Games. There are people everywhere and they’re all trying to see the exact same thing as you! We get it, you love Bobby Brown with all your heart. Well, so does every other girl packed in like sardines in the freezing cold. If you really want to get a good view I suggest you get to the big events plenty early. You’re going to be out in the elements for quite a while so make sure you bundle up and bring plenty of hand warmers! Another way to ensure you get a great view of all the action is to acquire a guest or media pass. This will get you right up to the front of the competition, but can be a little tricky to come by.

      Winter X Guest Pass
      Photo: Mary Genova
  2. Plan ahead!
    • The Official X Games website offers a great in-person schedule that details all of the events(including musical acts) going on each day! This is a wonderful tool to help you plan out each day so that you see everything and everyone on your list! Make sure you’re also following your favorite athletes and brands on social media to keep up to date on their signings and events throughout the weekend.

      Winter X Halfpipe 2012
      Photo: Mary Genova
  3. Take advantage of the deals!
    • Aspen is not cheap my friends. BUT, during X Games there are many ways to make it affordable. First off, the event itself is free! That means you get free access to not only the competition but to the X Games festival villages and music performances as well. On top of that, many local spots offer deals during the weekend and the mountain itself offers special lift ticket pricing. Be on the lookout for a full guide on how to tackle Winter X on a college budget.

      Hannah's BDAY Bash Invite
      Photo: Mary Genova
  4. Have fun!
    • The most important tip I could ever give you. There is a reason the Winter X Games hold such a special place in my heart. I cannot think of a time where I have had more fun in just one weekend. This weekend in Aspen could be one of the greatest of your life if you let it!

      Ellen, Bobby, and Mary at Winter X 2012
      Photo: Mary Genova

AFP World Ranking Update

One of the biggest events in the world of freeskiing, the Dew Tour took place this weekend. This, along with the first stop of the USASA Revolution Tour and it’s halfpipe qualifiers mean that there have been a few changes to the AFP World Ranking. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my previous post explaining the rankings. If you’re all up to speed you can see a breakdown of how the disciplines and overall rankings have changed.

Men’s Slopestyle:
After a second consecutive win at Dew Tour, Gus Kenworthy moved up one position from 5th to 4th. Jossi Wells took home the silver medal after a great weekend of competition and made a 9 spot jump from 16th to 7th. In third place, Fabian Bosch made a significantly large leap of 42 spots, taking him from 63rd to 21st. Robby Franco finds himself in the Top 2o after rising from 21st to 19th and Teal Harle has moved into the Top 10. The top 3 spots in the rankings still remain with Joss Christensen, Bobby Brown, and James “Woodsy” Woods after their Dew Tour finishes of fourth, sixth, and fifth respectively.

Women’s Slopestyle:
Kelly Sildaru’s big victory at the Dew Tour this weekend has moved from 8th to 5th. After placing second Tiril Christiansen has moved from 3rd to 2nd. Emma Dahlstrom retains her 1st place position after taking home the bronze medal. A fourth place finish takes Johanne Killi from 15th to 8th in the rankings. Other notable movements in the Top 20 include Silvia Bertagna who finished 12th at Dew Tour and moved from 9th to 7th and Coline Ballet-Baz  who moved from 16th to 12th after finishing eleventh. Lisa Zimmermann has made her way into the Top 20 jumping 24 spots from 42nd to 18th, after finishing ninth at the Dew Tour.

Men’s Halfpipe:
With the Dew Tour,the ASAPA Revolution Halfpipe Qualifiers, and the first official stop of the U.S. Revolution Tour all taking place this weekend there has been quite a bit of movement in the halfpipe rankings. David Wise’s victory at the Dew Tour keeps him in 2nd position, while Beau-James Wells’ huge second place finish bumped him from 21st to 14th. Alex Ferreira rounded out the podium and rose 3 spots from 6th to 3rd. Finishing just shy of the podium in fourth was Kevin Rolland. He remains in 1st. Byron Wells 5th place finish earned him a one spot bump from 8th to 7th. Both Kris Atkinson and Jacob Beebe have entered the Top 20 in the 18th and 19th spots, respectively. At the USASA Revolution Tour Halfpipe Qualifiers Sammy Schuiling’s win took him from 70th to 68th. In second and third were Jasper Donley (now 74th) and Sam Ward (now 78th). And finally at the first official stop of the U.S. Revolution Tour, Kwang-Jin Kim picked up the win and a six spot jump, taking him from 36th to 30th. Gisler Joel makes no move from 128th after placing second and Alexander Yeadon rounded off the podium in third bumping him up 15 spots from 51st to 36th.

Women’s Halfpipe:
There is a new leader in the Women’s Halfpipe Rankings! Ayana Onozuka’s Dew Tour win allowed her to move into the top spot. Cassie Sharpe is up 3 spots, from 7th to 4th, after taking home second place. Brita Sigourney earned a one spot bump into 5th with her third place performance. Janina Kuzma just missed the podium placing fourth but has moved up into 2nd place in the rankings. Other notable movements as a result of the Dew Tour were Sabrina Cakmakli moving into the 8th spot and both Marie Martinod and Isabelle Hanssen moving into the Top 20. Marie jumping an impressive 14 spots from 23rd to 9th and Isabelle rising from 22nd to 18th. Abigale Hansens victory at the U.S. Revolution Tour along with her eleventh place finish at the Dew Tour keep her in 40th. A win at the USASA Revolution Tour Halfpipe Qualifiers has Svea Irving in 65th.

In the Men’s Overall Rankings, Gus Kenworthy and Jossi Wells hold on to first and second, Beau-James Wells moves into the Top 3 from 7th, and a one spot bump has moved Taylor Wilson up into 4th. In the Women’s Overall Rankings, Devin Logan remains in the top spot, Kelly Sildaru is just out of the Top 3 at 4th after her one spot rise, Ayana Onozuka is up from 11th to 8th, and Isabell Hanssen moved up five spots into 9th.

Men's Overall Rankings leaders Jossi Wells (2nd) and Gus Kenworthy (1st) during the Dew Tour Men's Slopestyle Final. / Photo: Dave Bergthold
Men’s Overall Rankings leaders Jossi Wells (2nd) and Gus Kenworthy (1st) during the Dew Tour Men’s Slopestyle Final. Photo: Dave Bergthold

AFP World Rankings: An Explanation

In the world of freeskiing there is only one definitive ranking system, the AFP World Rankings. Now you might be asking yourself: What is the AFP and why should I care about their ranking system? If that’s the case, don’t worry I’ve got you covered.

The AFP, or The Association of Freeskiing Professionals, is the association formed by athletes and ski industry professionals to represent freeskiing on a global level. They act as THE single, unified voice of competitive freeskiing athletes. Their goal is to improve and boost the sport of freeskiing into mainstream consumption. The commitment to consistent, credible judging and competition has been key to the success of the AFP. Due to this credibility, the AFP was key in helping halfpipe and slopestyle skiing gain acceptance into the Olympics. Each year an extensive, worldwide schedule of AFP sanctioned events is organized and presented as the AFP World Tour.

The extensive network of events that is the AFP World Tour makes the AFP World Rankings possible. Because the AFP World Tour consists of many different AFP sanctioned events and is not tied to a singular series, tour, or event a truly unbiased world ranking is achieved. There are different event levels making it possible for skiers at every level to participate in competition. These rankings range from small bronze-level regional competitions to the extremely large-scale platinum-level events like the X Games and the Dew Tour. The results from these AFP sanctioned competitions are used to calculate the AFP World Rankings. The ranking is calculated as a points system with each event result being assigned AFP points based on its sanctioning level. So doing well at a higher-level competition will earn you more AFP points than at a low level event.

The AFP Rankings are calculated over a 52-week season and result in the naming of a World Champion at the end of each season. A World Champion is named for both men and women, in the disciplines halfpipe, slopestyle, big air and overall. The rankings are a rolling system and calculated for each discipline as follows:

Overall Rankings:

MEN: Top 2 HP Results + Top 2 SS Results + Top 1 BA Result + next highest result
WOMEN: Top 3 Halfpipe Results + Top 3 Slopestyle Results

Halfpipe, Slopestyle, and Big Air Rankings:

Top 4 results in each discipline for both Men’s and Women’s