“I’m already against the next cork” said the text on the bumper stickers placed on numerous snowboards when double corks were officially on the scene and it appears that statement could not have been truer today.
Billy Morgan for the second time in his career became the first person to land a previous unseen trick last night as he threw down his quad 18 on a specially constructed kicker in Livigno. His first groundbreaker was the triple back rodeo which came in December 2011. Back then the trick was met with the same reaction, almost a perfect 50/50 split between negative and positive, with some going as far to say that he ruined snowboarding forever, but what, if any difference will it actually make?
It was inevitable that the moment Torstein Horgmo landed the first triple in 2010 that others would follow suit. Riders were forced to include the triple into their bag of tricks if they wanted to stay with the pack within competitive snowboarding. Almost all the top riders achieved it and it added to a certain excitement on which riders would be the first to throw one into their runs. Whilst some like to hate on the triple, it’s fair to say that it’s immediate arrival added to the excitement levels of competition. Some would argue that contests became stagnant in recent years with every rider pulling one out of the bag; we don’t believe that anyone could not have enjoyed the spectacle of Yuki Kudono throwing his back-to-back 1620 triple corks.
Today competitive snowboarding is a sub genre of riding. We have street rails, backcountry freestyle, backcountry lines, pipe, slopestyle and big air. The quad cork is one progression in one genre of snowboarding, will it affect street rails, backcountry freestyle, backcountry lines or pipe? The answer is no. Just because progression is shown in one genre it doesn’t have any influence on the others. Was there any talk of Shaun White ruining snowboarding when he first did his double mctwist? It didn’t get that same negative reaction because the majority of every day riders don’t spend their times riding pipe.
If it wasn’t Billy Morgan doing the world’s first quad then you can be certain that someone else would be doing it soon. In fact there are rumours that Max Parrot was also attempting the same trick in Whistler on the same day, hence why Red Bull released shakey footage of Billy’s landing instead of their usual hi definition and polished edits. Progression is inevitable and what we are seeing now is what many people were calling for, a fresh trick that will enhance a sport that had become predictable. The real question is, who will be next to do one and which riders will be left behind?