What is Shaun White’s signature skill? The Double McTwist 1260 (and others) explained

He first landed the move at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games during his victory lap.

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

In a snowboarding career that has spanned five Olympic Games, Shaun White has helped revolutionise the sport.

But one move has become synonymous with the American superstar: the Double McTwist 1260.

The move combines three-and-a-half twists and two flips in one piece of air all with a snowboard strapped to his feet, and he first competed it at the Olympic Winter Games during his victory lap at Vancouver 2010.

"I wanted a victory lap that would be remembered," White said at the time, according to the Associated Press. "I achieved that."

Though the skill is still most commonly referred to as a Double McTwist 1260, White told reporters in Vancouver that he wanted the element to be named the ‘Tomahawk', after a 30-ounce steak he had eaten at the 2010 Winter X Games.

Two other skills have come to be associated with White: the double cork 1440, where he flips twice on a diagonal while spinning four times, and the triple cork that consists of three diagonal flips.

White used two consecutive double cork 1440s to clinch his third Olympic gold medal at PyeongChang 2018.

He’s never successfully completed the triple cork. White had been working on the trick back in 2013, but stopped trying it after two crashes ended badly, according to NBC Olympic Talk.

Eight years later, at a training camp in late 2021, the move resurfaced. 2018 halfpipe silver medallist Hirano Ayumu was landing them at Saas-Fee, a resort in the Swiss alps. Three other Japanese men soon joined him in performing the element.

White resumed working the trick soon after, but says he hasn’t mastered it yet.

“I haven’t actually nailed it yet, but I have the road map in my mind,” he said

If White is to find his way to the top of the Olympic podium a fourth time when the halfpipe competition begins Wednesday (9 February) at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, he’ll need every trick in his arsenal, and maybe even some that aren’t.

But that doesn't mean counting White out.

“I haven’t really felt like an underdog in a while,” said White. “I’m maybe a little bit behind the curve. But I wouldn’t go as far as, like, underdog.”

Shaun White schedule, 9 February

Men's Snowboard Halfpipe Qualification Run 1

12:30 - 13:19 (Beijing time)

Men's Snowboard Halfpipe Qualification Run 2

13:21 - 14:10 (Beijing time)

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