Mark McMorris in happier times. Photo: Garth Milan / Red Bull

Brutal footage has emerged of snowboarder Mark McMorris breaking his leg at the Air & Style, a massive skiing and snowboarding event in LA, on Sunday.

The talented Canadian is no stranger to big kickers, or to big events - his numerous gold medals in both big air and slopestyle at the X Games having made him the man to beat in recent years - which is why this nasty break came as a complete surprise, something of a freak accident.

"It was something of a freak accident"

McMorris initially seems to land his trick - a frontside 1440 triple cork - pretty cleanly, but then sat back.

McMorris in action at the X Games big air last year, Earlier this month he won silver in Aspen. Photo: Red Bull

As he slid down the landing, the toe edge of his board dug in, catapulting him forward and apparently snapping his right femur. It's hard not to wince watching the footage.

McMorris was immediately stretchered off and is currently preparing to undergo surgery to insert pins into his broken bone in a California hospital.

It's estimated he won't be able to ride for the next six months, a massive shame given that his season had started so well. Everyone at Mpora is wishing McMorris a speedy recovery.