At the Pyeongchang Olympics, snowboarder Chloe Kim knew she'd clinched the gold medal after her first run. But she wasn't done. "I knew if I went home with a gold medal knowing I could do better, I wouldn't be satisfied," Kim says. So on her third-run victory lap, she dropped into the halfpipe and made history by becoming the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s in Olympic halfpipe competition. In the months following the Games, she achieved even greater heights. While training in Saas Fee, Switzerland, in October, Kim became the first woman to land a frontside double cork 1080, a trick she plans to use in competition this season. Back home in California this November, she took a spin at dissecting those golden 10s.
1. The takeoff
After landing her first trick, Kim approaches the next wall "goofy," with her natural (right) foot forward. "I always learn frontside tricks first because I get to take off goofy and it feels more comfortable," she says. "Once I get an idea of what it's like, I learn the Cab [switch] version. I've been doing frontside 1080s for so long that when I take off, the only thing going through my head is to land it."
2. The execution
Kim begins to wind up for the front-side 1080-three full rotations-as she reaches the top of the transition, the area of the halfpipe wall before it turns vertical. "In the air, the grab helps me to spin," Kim says of the tail grab she performs on the second of the three spins.
3. The landing
Kim spots her landing throughout the third rotation, aiming to set her board down flat and high on the transition. The frontside 10 also requires Kim to land switch, with her unnatural (left) foot forward. "If you don't land perfectly, you won't have enough speed for the next trick," she says.
4. Reverse, reverse!
For the Cab 1080, Kim approaches the wall in a switch stance. "It's the same trick but backward, so it's harder," she says. "I tend to get front-foot-heavy on the takeoff, so I concentrate on keeping my weight balanced." In the air, Kim's main concern is executing the melon grab: Her front hand grabs the heel edge of her board between the bindings. "I miss the grab a lot on that trick," she says.
5. Wait, there's more
Kim lands the Cab 1080 with her natural foot forward. "Of the two of them, I prefer the Cab 1080 because it's more comfortable," she says. Not until she lands that trick does she allow herself to think about the rest of her run, which at the Olympics consisted of a frontside 900, a McTwist and a Crippler 720. "I take it one hit at a time," she says.