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Friday, March 19, 2010
Updated: June 11, 6:39 PM ET
Into the great White Open


Nope, not much down-time for Shaun since the Olympics. Here? With a little someone named Buzz Aldrin at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.

It's easy to say Shaun White is synonymous with progression in snowboarding at the moment. And even if he's not at a contest, his tricks are certainly getting people like I-Pod hyped. White will be shredding the pipe with everyone else at the U.S. Open on Saturday, but it sounds like he'll be taking a snowboarding hiatus coming up soon, as the dude is understandably burnt out. ESPN.com caught up with White in Stratton to see where he sees things going in the future -- with or without him in the mix.

ESPN.com: Now that iPod has dropped the double McTwist 12, what are you thinking?
Shaun White: I'm thinking, let's hang out and party. It's a beast of a trick, and I was impressed. I just figured it would be a while before anyone went for it. I was surprised because I just didn't think there were airbags anywhere. From doing the trick, I know that it's a trick that's unapproachable, that's why I did it. I haven't seen it on the Internet, or in person, so I'm curious to see. I threw one today, just at the bottom.

Does that spark the fire for 2014?
I haven't ridden since the Olympics -- I wouldn't call it a break, though. There's so much to do, but I just don't have the motivation right now to do a new move. I try to learn at least two or three tricks a season, whether its just halfpipe or jumps or rails. But I'm going to do a whole thing of skating and surfing so that by when I get back to snow, I'm like, 'Oh yeah, this is what I want to do again now.'

I-Pod won his first Winter X gold in France earlier this month. What did it? A double McTwist 12.

What's a trick that other people do that you are a fan of?
Luke Mitrani's double front flip, or is a double switch backflip? Whatever it is, it's awesome. It's so bizarre; you know it's coming because he gets all worked up. He's an impressive guy because you never know what he's going to do. He's not intimidated for going for sketchy tricks; he's got no real sense of caution.

Speaking of chucking, what do you think about Michalchuck's moves?
Him and Luke are doing a similar trick, but I think that JP Walker is the one that pioneered the double cork, and I remembered that at the time my eyes were opened to it, and Travis Rice took it to a whole other level, and that inspired me to do it in the halfpipe. But there's no powder in the halfpipe, and I took a look at that and said 'Oh look at that,' -- they had a safety try the first go, and if you think about moto and having airbags, it makes sense, because why would you want to end your season on the first attempt. That wouldn't be fun.

And the double McTwist, is that fun itself?
No it's not fun, it's intimidating. You have to go up there and be in the right mindset and give it the respect it deserves. At the X Games, I half-assed it and caught my face on the wall. But it's fulfilling, and you get up and break yourself again and again. To finally nail it, you feel like you've accomplished something. It's a fulfilling feeling.

What do you expect to see, if you were to take a long time off?
I would expect to see the double cork become something that's just standard, but I think the double McTwist 12 would be still be a pretty heavy move. And I think you're going to see some really random tricks done by somebody you've never heard of, because kids are going to grow up with a foam pit at their halfpipe. It's just how things went with vert skating -- Woodward has foam pits everywhere. You know, to have a guy like I-Pod just pop home to his local mountain and there's an airbag, it's unbelievable. So you're definitely going to see some new tricks. Have you ever been to an event where people are so excited to watch halfpipe? People are amped. I've been around the world after the Olympics, and I've never heard somebody pronounce the trick correctly until today. I'm expecting to see people get loose, and it's hard to say, but I don't see it slowing down too much.