The unpredictability of Winter X Games is part of the event’s appeal. New tricks, new names, upsets, surprises and general stimuli overload. The crowds, the tricks, the crashes, the variables, it all adds to the excitement. Those elements, along with the constant commitment to innovation at almost every level. In the weeks and months leading up to Winter X in Aspen, Colo., Henrik Harlaut had stayed away from anything resembling a traditional training program. Instead, the 21-year-old Swede had been touring the East Coast, skiing icy slopes as part of the Inspired Demo Tour. Small mountains with the occasional rail and maybe a small jump or two. Nothing close to what’d he encounter in Big Air and Slopestyle with the eyes of the world watching.
Imagine you’re some young skier who frequents a smallish mountain resort, one with just one or two rails and a couple small jumps. Nothing that’s going to garner attention or headlines in any of the big magazines or be a potential venue for X Games. Then, one day, a handful of top twin-tip freeskiers show up and hang and shred with you and all your friends for the day – riding up the lifts together, hitting the rails together, having lunch and getting autographs. That exact scenario is coming to fruition at 50 resorts throughout North America as part of the Inspired Demo Tour. Henrik Harlaut, Phil Casabon and Paul Bergeron are among the crew of pros helping to spread the twin-tip vibe, and grow and strengthen the presence of the sport along the East Coast, in the Midwest and in Canada.