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Skateboarding News

Thursday, July 28, 2011

X Games program

The Superpark at the X Games. Pedro Barros, Shaun White, Mitchie Brusco: the 3 tranny riders everybody is
talking about this year. Photo Unknown
Does the X Games remain the epicenter of skateboard innovation? Well kindof. It is especially a place where pro skaters can make very big gains in one single venue…

The 17th edition of the X_Games that opened today in downtown Los Angeles promises the same uniqueness that has defined this annual exhibition for years, with superstars like Shaun White competing against upstarts (Pedro Barros? Mitchie Brusco?) coming from all around the world of skateboarding, all seeking the same thing: an X Games gold medal. This is challenging: winning an X-Games gold medal gives you more aura than consistently winning 10 contests throughout the year and somebody like Shaun White has
Mitchie Brusco at Pantech in Ocean City. Photo Lee Leal Embassy
understood that message a long time ago…

It would take an entire website to talk about the X-Games and to describe the personality and athletic performance of each skater. There’s actually a website already dedicated to that… So let’s not duplicate the hard work done elsewhere and let’s just go to the point. This is what we are interested in:

Skateboarding Air and Big Air (7:30-9am AEST).
You might remember the historic night in 1999 when Tony Hawk landed skateboarding's first 900 on the X Games vert ramp. The fabled trick still has been landed by only six skaters, two of whom, 35-year-old Bob Burnquist and 14-year-old Mitchie Brusco, landed 900s recently on mega quarterpipes, a feature that follows the MegaRamp gap jump in Big Air.

Brusco likely earned his first X Games invite because of his 900, and there's a chance we'll see a
Shaun White almost made it at Ocean City. The X-Games is THE opportunity. Photo Lee Leal Embassy Skateboards
900 attempted on the quarterpipe in the Big Air final -- perhaps from Burnquist, who won gold in 2007 and 2008 but has been unable to defeat Jake Brown since then. Of course, lost in the hubbub over the Holy Grail trick is the fact that Brown has won gold the last two years without it. Actually, Mitchie Brusco already landed a clean 900 yesterday on the quarterpipe on his 7th attempt in practice on the X Games 17 Big Air ramp, where he also landed a 360 ollie over the 50-foot gap and a 720 over the 70-foot gap. "I'd love to do a 7 to a 9 in finals in the Big Air finals on Friday," says Brusco.

Landing that combo could very well send the youngest competitor at this year's X Games away with a gold medal. "It feels amazing to be part of the
Pedro Barros at the Red Bull Contest in his hometown of Florianopolis in Brazil.
Photo red Bull
900 Club and to be here skating with these guys I've looked up to my whole life." Mitchie Brusco is definitively the one to watch for in Air.

Skateboard Big Air
Athlete Name Country
Jake Brown AUS
Mitchie Brusco USA
Bob Burnquist BRA
Rony Gomes BRA
Rob Lorifice USA
Edgard 'Vovo' Pereira BRA
Elliot Sloan USA
Adam Taylor USA

Skateboard Park Thursday, July 28 (8:00 – 9:15 PM)
Last year, of the 5 riders to make the final in Skateboard Park (the X Games name for an oversized all-concrete discipline similar to the WCS pool and bowl contests)four were teenagers. One of them, Pedro Barros, born in Florianopolis, Brazil, was competing in his first X Games. He won with huge, powerful tricks and also took fourth in Big Air, a discipline few kids his age have ever even tried. In the year since, he has won every contest he's entered except two and finished 2010 as the #1-ranked pool skater in the World Cup Skateboarding standings. He also is by far the firts bowlrider of the first 6 month for 2011. Last weekend in Ocean City, he easely won the Bowl event at the first stop of the Dew Tour and took fourth in Vert. It is an understatement to say he is the favorite to win Thursday's Skateboard Park contest. Pedro Barros is hard to categorize: He's built like an athlete, skates faster and bigger than his competitors and has the serious demeanor of a competitor, yet the ambivalent attitude of a laid-back Brazilian totally indifferent to the scene. "It's not about winning contests," he says to ESPN, "It's not even about skating in contests. It's just about being here and skating." ESPN reports that, last year after winning the X Games, Barros gave his gold medal to his friend, Hawaiian surfer Kalani David, for a simple reason. "He wanted it" Barros just said.

Curren Caples is the poster child of the X-Games. Last year the X-Games website was all about him but he eventually finished fourth. The X-Games bloggers, deceived by his ranking said that he had so much energy to waste that he was skating between contest runs, wore himself out and fell when it mattered. "I won't do that this year," he said to an ESPN Blogger. Curren Caples also belong to that new generation of pool rider that thinks it’s cooler to skate without pads. A trend that’s growing big time in Bowl riding, so much that at the Dew last week, skaters were awarded more point for not wearing pads… Now, when someone does a 540, they say it was a 'padless 540' instead of just a 540." That padless mentality means something on a course as big as this year's X Games course.

Then there was Kevin Kowalski, a skinny 19-year-old from Seal Rock, Oregon. Kevin Kowalski floats around the course, took the bronze medal last year just a few months after graduating from high school and is one of only two skaters to beat Barros head-to-head in the past year. Other skaters to watch for in the Skateboard Park are Taylor Bingaman and Ben Hatchell.

Skateboard Park Athlete Name Country
Pedro Barros BRA
Chad Bartie AUS
Taylor Bingaman USA
Bob Burnquist BRA
Dennis Busenitz USA
Curren Caples USA
Rune Glifberg DEN
David Gonzalez COL
David Gravette USA
Omar Hassan USA
Ben Hatchell USA
Aaron "Jaws" Homoki USA
Kevin Kowalski USA
Bucky Lasek USA
Andy Macdonald USA
Al Partanen TBD
Alex Perelson USA
Collin Provost USA
Ben Raybourn USA
Raven Tershy USA

Men's Skateboard Street (4:30-6 pm, AEST).
Since claiming his second straight silver medal in Street last summer, 16-year-old Nyjah Huston has entered a new echelon. The youngest X Games competitor in history (Huston was 11 years old when he debuted in eighth place) has dominated Street League, relegating Ryan Sheckler to second place. Ah, but Sheckler still has the edge at X, where he's won three gold medals, including last year's nail-biter over Huston. Can Huston finally win on the sport's biggest stage? To do so, he'll have to contend with the deepest field of the year, a result of Street League skaters (who sign exclusive contracts that prohibit them from competing in most other major contests) facing big-name street skaters who compete in events like the Maloof Money Cup.
Skateboard Street - Men
Athlete Name Country
Dennis Busenitz USA
Chris Cole USA
Ryan Decenzo CAN
Sierra Fellers USA
Austyn Gillette USA
David Gonzalez COL
David Gravette USA
Nyjah Huston USA
Greg Lutzka USA
Sean Malto USA
Milton Martinez ARG
Shane O'Neill AUS
Luan Oliveira BRA
Chaz Ortiz USA
Collin Provost USA
Torey Pudwill USA
Paul Rodriguez USA
Tommy Sandoval USA
Ryan Sheckler USA
Brandon Westgate USA

Other events to watch during the X-Games:
Skateboard Street - Women
Athlete Name Country
Leticia Bufoni BRA
Amy Caron USA
Marisa Dal Santo USA
Jessica Florencio BRA
Candy Jacobs USA
Rachael Reinhard USA
Alexis Sablone USA
Eliana Sosco TBD
Elissa Steamer USA
Vanessa Torres USA

Skateboard Vert
Athlete Name Country
Pedro Barros AUS
Josh Stafford TBD
Sam Beckett GBR
Bob Burnquist BRA
Sandro Dias BRA
Pierre-Luc Gagnon CAN
Rune Glifberg DEN
Ronaldo Gomes BRA
Juergen Horrwarth GER
Bucky Lasek USA
Rob Lorifice USA
Andy Macdonald USA
Danny Mayer USA
Renton Millar AUS
Edgard Pereira BRA
Alex Perelson USA
Paul-Luc Ronchetti GBR
Elliot Sloan USA
Adam Taylor USA
Shaun White USA

Skateboard Real Street
Athlete Name Country
Tom Asta USA
Louie Barletta USA
Zered Bassett USA
Silas Baxter-Neal USA
Joey Brezinski USA
Ryan Decenzo CAN
Guru Khalsa USA
Billy Marks USA
Eli Reed USA
Dylan Rieder USA
Tommy Sandoval USA
Anthony Schultz USA
Daewon Song USA
Darrell Stanton USA
Tony Tave USA
Brandon Westgate

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I skate therefore I am: skateboard pools, pipes, parks, bowls and vert, daily skateboarding news...
posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, July 28, 2011 


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