First I have to give a shout-out to Skype for giving me two extra tickets. My parents got to enjoy X Games with me and hang out in the Gold Lounge when they needed a break. It was the best deal ever, and it was all because I hopped in the chat.
Second, I wound up not going to Thursday’s Step-Up competition because I thought you had to buy tickets. It turned out that tickets were for the reserved area. I wish the X Games site had made that clearer, but it was probably better because parking was probably a nightmare.
Speaking of parking, if you’re there for the entire weekend, getting a pass on-line is a fantastic deal. It wound up being a little over $10, which was how much people were charging to park in the middle of a field half a mile away. You don’t want to be walking in a field on the side of the road late at night after Big Air; you could step in a ditch or cow poop. Okay, onto the events…
- That green parasol you see in the crowd footage was us. It really helped us endure the heat.
- My dad picked up on what the judges were looking for really quickly: amplitude, flow, style, and difficulty. The only thing he may have missed were the technical tricks that don’t look as big. I was impressed because he called most of top 5.
- My mom might not have understood what was going on, but she was stoked for DMC because he’s 48 and still going strong.
- I had no idea that Chad Kagy was injured until later on. He rode really well.
- 540 flair— I couldn’t even register what had happened because all I could see was spinning. There’s no slow-mo in real life so you have to be quick. Seriously though, Vince Byron killed it. Everything was so solid.
- Simon Tabron was also on fire that day. He had some of the biggest airs.
- Jamie Bestwick put up a good fight but seemed a bit off in terms of height and rhythm. I loved the back-to-back-to-back flairs though. As he is known for being competitive, it was cool to see him pass the mantle over to Vince via personally handing him the gold.
- I thought you had to buy a separate ticket to see the Park events period, but it turns out that a regular pass can get you seats in the stands. Upgrades get you much closer (but unfortunately away from shade). It was cool trying to spot myself in the TV/on-line broadcast (my red bucket hat made me stand out).
- The judges should have explained how tie breakers work better. There was a near riot because Chase Hawk almost didn’t make it into the final on a technicality. He thought he was ahead of Gary Young, who actually won the tie breaker, and didn’t really give it his all in his last run of Round One.
- Anytime someone crashed, Chase would go check on them. I thought that was pretty cool.
- Sergio Layos is the fastest rider I’ve ever seen on a park course.
- Dennis Enarson was on point most of the day. He also looked so happy every time he went out there, which made him even more fun to watch.
- Kevin Peraza blew his tired out on a trick. Pat Casey handed over his bike, and Kevin actually landed a flair whip even though the set-up threw him off. When the interviewer asked him about it, he literally said, “YOLO”. Yay for camaraderie!
- Another unforgettable moment was when Scotty Cranmer lost balance on a fufanu on a ledge but wound up recovering via a tire tap on the coping. Talk about quick thinking! He put up a good fight all the way through.
- Speaking of Scotty, I nearly burst out laughing when the announcer said after the break, “Sorry ladies, Scotty has put his shirt back on.” C’mon now, we like him for his riding too!
- I hope Daniel Dhers took some time off to recover from whatever injury was plaguing him.
- Daniel Sandoval was on a roll in his last run. I’ve never seen so many big tricks crammed together, and he moved too quickly for me to catch it on camera.
- Speaking of which, I found out that I am so much a vert photographer. I get a little lost trying to follow guys in Park.
- Word of advice to you guys out there: If you want to chat up a girl next to you at a BMX comp, just ask her about the riding! Unless it’s my mom who was apparently suspicious of everybody trying to talk to her. Seriously, even though I’m taken, I would have LOVED to talk BMX with someone. Skip the random compliments and talk about why we’re all here (I appreciated the sunscreen though).
Moto X Enduro X Women’s
- I made it a point to try to catch as many women’s events as possible because I gotta support my girls and they rarely get TV time anyway. Unfortunately the scheduling didn’t always work out.
- We made it to the track in time for the final, which was an intense battle between Laia Sanz and Tarah Gieger.
- Tarah could double, which made her faster on the straights, but Laia was better in the rocks and that made the difference in the end.
Skateboard Big Air
- Trying to figure out an ideal spot was a bit of a challenge. First we stood on the hill, but I preferred being next to the ramp so I went up there while my parents hung behind. The Mega Ramp is waaaaaay bigger in person, especially when you’re next to it.
- Shooting Big Air was interesting because you had to commit to either the gap or the quarter pipe. The set-up is too big to get both.
- Bob Burnquist had a broken arm, which meant he couldn’t grab the way he wanted, yet he still won gold! With the trick that he smashed his face on a couple years back!
- Elliot Sloan’s tailgrab 900 was ginormous!
- I was too caught up in seeing everybody land their tricks that I didn’t really think about who would win. However, you could usually tell by the announcers’ response. In any case, I was just stoked to see everybody land something in the final, especially after a lot of bails.
- It seemed that part of Bob’s celebration was retweeting everyone, which was really awesome. I wish I had a better photo though.
Wow, this turned out longer than expected, but I had really good seats so I was able to make note of little things and take plenty of pictures. The great part about coming Friday morning was the thin crowd. I was able to explore the villages without any lines before heading over to the vert ramp. One thing I missed early was picking up an activity schedule, which had info on panels and autographs signings. Once I got it, I made a mad dash to the “Garage” to meet Blake Williams, Bryce Hudson, and Jarryd McNeil. They had a good laugh over how rushed I was and hassled me for missing out on Bryce’s Kickstarter. Bryce gave me a sample of his GripClean though.
Even though he wasn’t on the schedule, Matt Buyten was signing autographs at one of the booths. I happened to catch his name as we were walking by and backtracked. I even got a photo with him. It was then I realized that most of the athletes are cool about photos, which is something I’m so not used to coming from the world of comic cons.
Click here to see all my photos. The album will be updated with every new post I make.