X Games Day 3 notebook: Father of knuckle huck set to soar at X Games
Knuck king Kleveland ready for huck
It’s time for the man who, in many ways, inspired the knuckle huck competition to actually compete in it.
Last January, X Games Aspen debuted a new competition: snowboard knuckle huck. X Games brought the fun-loving contest into its fold after Norweigan star Marcus Kleveland’s videos of himself hucking tricks off knuckles went viral.
The knuckle huck competition has riders drop into the big air ramp before snowboarding around the actual big air jump. They do this to launch off of the roll-over, or “knuckle,” of the big air course before landing in the normal big air landing zone.
But a broken knee cap suffered at Dew Tour in December 2018 forced him out of last January’s X Games, so Kleveland didn’t get a chance to take on the contest he helped inspire. He wrote on his Instagram account Thursday, though, that he’ll compete in this year’s knuckle huck, scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
“Been having a lot of fun riding the slopestyle practice,” Kleveland said. “But I’ve decided to skip out due to not having enough time on big jumps. Just wanna feel 100% when the time is right. Still gonna do the Knuckle Huck though.”
In essence, what the knuckle huck competition provides is an outlet for snowboarders to showcase atypical creativity, style and skill off the knuckle. That’s because launching off the knuckle provides for different moves than the normal big air jump. In essence, knuckle huck moves are not as massive or powerful as the big air moves, which require snowboarders to launch high into the night sky. Rather, tricks off the knuckle are lower in amplitude yet, in a lot of ways, more aesthetically-pleasing to both the casual viewer and an avid snowboarder, alike. And in a sign that the competition has been a success, this year X Games added a ski knuckle huck competition, which rookie Colby Stevenson of Utah won Thursday.
– Antonio Olivero, Summit Daily
Rounding out this year’s run at new events to keep things fresh is the men’s snowboard rail jam Sunday at the top of the slopestyle course. A field of eight will be going off the three features at the top of the course in a 20-minute session.
Other new events seemed to gain crowd support, including Friday night’s superpipe session event where Steamboat Springs rider Taylor Gold finally got to the top of the X Games podium. The ski knuckle huck, which came after the snowboard knuckle debut in 2019, got the Thursday crowd riled up with 20-year-old X Games rookie Colby Stevenson beating out fan favorite Henrik Harlaut.
“For the skiers it’s a niche little category that’s cool,” Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace said of the knuckle huck.
Anyone miss the Harley-Davidson snow hill climb up the superpipe this year?
— David Krause, The Aspen Times
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