Feature | Snowboard

Who to watch in Big Air Snowboarding this season

From Chris Corning to Anna Gasser, get to know Big Air's big names.

Big Air Snowboarding was a hit when it made its Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018.

With monster ramps leading to gravity-defying manoeuvres, it's half adrenaline rush, half art.

The 2018-19 FIS Big Air World Cup season is a five-event competition, including legs at Cardrona (September 6-8), Modena (November 3-4), Beijing (November 23-24), Quebec (March 16-17) and Oslo* (March 22-23).

With Modena coming up on Saturday November 3, here are the athletes to keep an eye on this season.

*UPDATE: The fifth and final Oslo leg of the Big Air World Cup has been cancelled and with no replacement competition currently scheduled the World Cup will finish in Quebec.

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Ladies Big Air

Anna Gasser (Austria)

The Austrian is one of the biggest names in the sport, having won the first women's Olympic gold medal at PyeongChang 2018.

But Gasser's Big Air CV doesn't finish there. In addition to the 27-year-old's 2017 world crown, she claimed the Winter X Games title in Aspen the month before securing Olympic glory and has also won two overall Big Air World Cups.

The sky is seemingly the limit for Gasser, who was the first woman to land a backside double cork 1080 in competition - so keep an eye out for that one!

Anna Gasser: My PyeongChang Highlights

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Silje Norendal (Norway)

Siljie Norendal cut her teeth in snowboarding as a Slopestyle rider (winning two Winter X Games golds) before adding Big Air to her repertoire.

And what a decision that was. In 2017, the 25-year-old scooped up Big Air bronze at the 2017 World Championships before taking gold at the Winter X Games Europe.

Jamie Anderson (United States)

Jamie Anderson is used to performing on snowboarding's biggest stages (and highest ramps!), having won two Olympic gold medals in Slopestyle (Sochi and PyeongChang) as well as a Big Air silver in Korea.

In doing so, the California native became the first woman to win snowboard medals at two different Games.

It was something of a breakthrough year in Big Air for Anderson in 2018 - she also took third in the Winter X Games - so she'll be hoping to build upon that this season.

Jamie Anderson: My PyeongChang Highlights

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Miyabi Onitsuka (Japan)

Miyabi Onituska is at the head of a wave of Japanese athletes excelling in freestyle snowboarding.

The 20-year-old finished second to Gasser in the overall 2018-19 Big Air World Cup, securing two second-place finishes.

Could this be Onitsuka's year? A second-place finish at the season opener in Cardrona (behind 16-year-old compatriot Reira Iwabuchi) suggests Onitsuka can continue her fine form.

Men's Big Air

Chris Corning (United States)

FIS Big Air World Cup defending champion Chris Corning is already favourite to defend his title after winning this season's first leg in Cardrona.

It was a timely victory in New Zealand for the American, who was celebrating his 19th birthday.

Corning is also the overall freestyle and overall Slopestyle World Cup winner in 2017-2018, while he finished fourth at Pyeongchang 2018.

Mark McMorris (Canada)

Mark McMorris is Big Air royalty, having won three Winter X Games gold medals, two silver and two bronze in the event.

His career stalled after a near-death experience during a crash in 2017. However, just a year later the 24-year-old won Slopestyle bronze at PyeongChang before making the Big Air final.

With one Big Air win in last year's World Cup and his injuries now behind him, expect McMorris to challenge for top honours again this year.

Mark McMorris: My PyeongChang Highlights

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Max Parrot (Canada)

McMorris' compatriot Max Parrot is another Big Air athlete distinguished by his consistency at the top.

The 24-year-old has four Winter X Games Big Air titles to his name and also made the Olympic final in Korea.

While it was another Canadian in Sebastien Toutant who took the title in PyeongChang, Parrot's two World Cup victories last season makes him a more consistent threat throughout the season.

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Red Gerard (United States)

Representing the class of 2000, 18-year-old Red Gerard is one of the hottest new names on the circuit.

The American took Slopestyle gold at the Olympics while he finished fifth in the Big Air.

In addition he secured two Big Air second-place finishes in last year's World Cup and finished fourth in the Freestyle overall.

Men's Big Air Finals - Snowboard | PyeongChang 2018 Highlights

The Men's Big Air Finals event took place on the 24th February 2018