Words: Mark Catsburg
As a snowboarder who long ago stopped lacing up snowboard boots to perform and push myself in place of lacing them up simply to cruise around, watching the world of snowboarding progress from the sidelines has been a bewildering undertaking. Its no great revelation that the instant availability of social media and straight to insta clips play a huge part in pushing the sport forward, while the demise of the hard copy and the rare full length seem a thing of nostalgia more than anything.
Street rails seem to have thankfully stopped the spins at 360, and the push seems to be in a more technical direction as far as trick and spot selection, the rails themselves have gotten longer and kinkier, the redirect phase has been done to absolute death and transfers and gap to’s are now mind bending. Creativity and style seems to be the the current name of the game, with the odd pole jam backflip boardslide thrown in for good measure, which is bonkers.
One aspect that needs discussion is the amount of corks one can fit into a single aerial manoeuvre. Lets dissect the cork over the years.
The first recorded double cork, By JP Walker in Shakedown was in 2003, and the first one done in competition shortly after that by David Benedik, at the time this was actually confounding to witness. The rewind and slow mo buttons got an absolute workout as people struggled to get their heads around it. Incredibly, 2 years later it was a staple in most pros trick bags, in the park, the backcountry and the pipe.
It then took another 7 years for us to witness the Triple, by Torstein in 2010.
Five years after, in 2015, Billy Morgan brought us the Quad Cork. Mental.
I’m no maths expert but it seems we are overdue for the quintuple cork? The question is do we want it? Does it need another few years for everyone else to catch up? To put it into perspective the highest scoring dive from a ten metre diving board is maxed out at 4.5 rotations.
Do kids these days start out learning to snowboard with the quad as their main goal? Is that now the benchmark as far as big air is concerned? How are more people not in hospital from attempting this ludicrous amount of spin wizardry? When does it end, and is it even physically possible. Perhaps the focus will once again become more about style and execution of the tricks, rather than just the spin count. Part of me is excited to see what happens, but the other part, and, this may be a controversial, and potentially borderline “ok Boomer” opinion, but FIVE IS TOO MANY.
Also: if someone does land one and it goes straight to TicTok i promise to quit forever.