Commentary

Frisby planning first SMB frontflip

Updated: January 29, 2012, 4:48 PM ET
By Colin Bane | ESPN.com

ASPEN, Colo. -- Heath Frisby is calling his shot as he heads into the Snowmobile Best Trick competition on Sunday at Winter X 2012: He says he's bringing the first-ever snowmobile frontflip to the Winter X Games.

"I was playing it extremely safe last night," Frisby announced to his fans on Facebook on Friday after finishing in fourth place in the Snowmobile Freestyle finals Thursday. "Sunday night is my night to shine and be the first person in the world to do a frontflip on a snowmobile."

Just one year ago, frontflips in any freestyle motorsport competition were unheard of, but Australian freestyle motocross rider Jackson "Jacko" Strong frontflipped his way to gold in the Moto X Best Trick competition at X Games 17 in 2011, giving Frisby the idea that he might be able to bring one around on his snowmobile.

He managed to keep that notion mostly under wraps until this week, but after rumors of his plans started circulating in Aspen and talk invariably turned to whether or not Frisby might be crazy, he posted a seven-second teaser on YouTube on Friday as evidence that he has the rotation down and is confident in his ability to land the trick.

If he lands it on Sunday, it will pretty much guarantee him a gold medal, especially with heavy hitters like Levi LaVallee and Daniel Bodin out with injuries. LaVallee had hoped to bring a double backflip variation to the competition, reprising the trick he nearly landed in the Best Trick contest in 2009; Bodin won Best Trick in 2011 with a double grab backflip and was expected to bring his new Shaolin backflip to this year's event.

Frisby won Snowmobile Best Trick in 2010 and has a total of six Winter X Games medals. Other riders to watch for on Sunday include all three podium finishers from Thursday night's Snowmobile Freestyle finals: Colten Moore won gold with huge backflip variations like a cordova backflip and a superflip Indian air, with Joe Parsons and Caleb Moore close behind. Last but certainly not least, Justin Hoyer says he's claiming the double backflip once and for all. Hoyer finished just off the Best Trick podium in fourth place in 2011; he has three Winter X Games medals in his collection, including Freestyle gold in 2010.