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The Inertia

Neither Natural Selection Tour winners are unfamiliar with the podium. Sage Kotsenburg and Elena Hight just won the Jackson Hole stop in fine fashion with a bit of a refresher on the course in terms of snow and beautiful weather in the Tetons. Hight, an X Games gold medalist, took out last year’s NST champ, Robin Van Gyn on the way to the win. Olympic champion Kotsenburg walked away with a podium following a run where he looked uber-comfortable against  Jared Elston.

Kotsenburg found his footing after laying down a beautiful run in the opening rounds and continued that momentum today. The cab nines we saw seemed so effortless and as announcer Selema Masekela noted, “(Sage) immediately has this ability to go into what Tony Hawk calls, ‘the power of the squat,'” making several tough landings look fairly simple. Mostly, it’s just power, and Kotsenburg showed it off in spades.

Sage Kotsenburg, Elena Hight Win Natural Selection Tour's First Stop in Jackson Hole

Elena Hight with another podium. Photo: Natural Selection Tour

Elena Hight started off her final run with a back three and a gorgeous method into nice snow (sometimes a rarity this week after the course saw run after run), before bogging on her next two hits. Still, the opening half of her line gave her the title. Van Gyn missed on a stylish backflip to start her run, over-rotating the landing, which sealed her fate as she couldn’t pull the rest of the line together.

The conditions were more challenging than last year’s Jackson Hole debut of the NST. But the weather was clear during showtime and the production team had another year under its belt making for a slicker show. The X Games hosted the 2022 version of JH NST on its YouTube channel, surely expanding viewership. Not a bad way to start the tour.


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