The iconic Winter X Games just celebrated its 21st anniversary in style, where we saw a handful of firsts get stomped at Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain.
There were the first-ever quadruple corks thrown in competition by Canada’s Max Parrot and Norway’s Marcus Kleveland, who took home gold and silver, respectively, in the Big Air.
Then there was 16-year-old Hailey Langland putting down the first double cork in women’s snowboarding history as time expired in the same event.
But somewhat lost in the shuffle of this arms race to land the next big trick is the root of what makes snowboarding great. Pros like Danny Davis are doing something about it.
Davis is one of the sport’s most creative and diverse riders. Though he’s won back-to-back X Games gold in superpipe, Davis is just as happy slashing pow turns in Japan with his buddies from the Frends Crew.
Perhaps nobody loves snowboarding more than Davis, who spends hours building natural features around his Truckee, Calif., home when he’s not on the road.
He severely cut his right hand while chopping wood a few weeks before this year’s X Games, but didn’t let that deter him from throwing down a pair of fluid runs in the superpipe — grabbing his board with only his left hand.
Davis is also the face of Burton and Mountain Dew’s collaborative brainchild known as Peace Park, where riders from all walks of the profession come together every spring for the most unique event in the industry.
Throughout the year, Davis works closely with Snow Park Technologies, the global leader in special park builds that continue to redefine what’s possible. From its inception, the event has brought together snowboarding’s most talented riders — all with diverse backgrounds and specialties.
Peace Park isn’t a competition like X Games or the U.S. Open. Instead, it’s one big jam session where the pros take laps all day long, inspiring each other to try new lines or even invent new tricks.
When the competition side of the sport is so focused on progression in terms of squeezing as many rotations and flips into one takeoff, it’s refreshing to see Davis and a big group of his fellow pros push back.
It’s inspiring to see your favorite snowboarders tweak a boosted method over a huge hip because amateur riders know that trick is also attainable for them. When you watch someone throw a triple, or most recently, quad cork, it of course causes you to drop your jaw. But only a select few across the world can conjure those types of aerials up in their mind and execute, run after run.
It’s awesome to see Davis and guys like Christian Haller and Ben Ferguson dominating the creative side of riding.
Carving is cool again. There are whole productions set aside to highlight the most unique turn shapes you’ll ever see. Ferguson even pioneered his own new trick at Peace Park — the “gator roll” — where he carves up a left wall and butters into a backside 360.
Davis is simultaneously pushing the sport further while also bringing it back to its 1980s and 90s roots, where style was king and cranked methods ended video parts.