After heading into the final ranked third, James put down a blistering score of 96.75 in his third and final run of the day to secure the victory ahead of America’s Toby Miller (94.00) and Chase Josey (90.25) in second and third.
The Copper Mountain World Cup was the first event for the 24-year-old VIS athlete since he won Olympic bronze in February. James said he feels like there is less pressure on him this season, and he's feeling really positive.
“It was an amazing feeling today, there are so many good riders, everyone really showed up and I really had to come out swinging on the last run,” he said.
“Last year I came into this event and qualified first so there was a lot of pressure, but I feel really good this year.
“I don’t really mind where I qualify at all, on the day I just want to show up. I’m feeling better than ever, so it’s a really nice place to kick off the season.”
While the World Cup points are important, James’ big goal for this season is a third World title at the 2019 World Championships in Park City, Utah in early February.
“I’m looking forward to the World Champs. It is my title to hold onto and it would be number three for me, so that would be really exciting, I just hope I can get it done.”
James’ Aussie teammate and dual Winter Olympian Kent Callister also qualified for the final, placing 9th. PyeongChang Olympian Emily Arthur finished 13th in the women’s event, that was unsurprisingly won by PyeongChang gold medallist and three-time Copper Mountain World Cup victor, 18-year-old Chloe Kim.