Since we had to get home by Sunday night, I was incredibly grateful that my parents let me check out Big Air Doubles before heading out. Initially I was envisioning something like Skate Doubles from a few years back, but that didn’t seem like a safe idea. The event wound up being basically Big Air with alternating BMX and skateboarding. It was still a lot of fun to watch (Big Air always is), and the teamwork aspect did make the athletes think about their runs a little differently.
Big Air Doubles
- I loved the idea of bringing in two different disciplines. Not only did the athletes become motivated in a new way, it also helped dispel the idea that some sort of rivalry inherently existed between skaters and BMXers.
- What would the teams have been like had the athletes been allowed to choose. Also who knew whom before this event?
- The best spot to be was righty under the gap because I could see tricks over it and on the quarterpipe (the crowd was thinner). Plus it was the high-five zone.
- Can I just say props to all the athletes for coming by to give high fives instead of taking the golf carts? They didn’t have to spend the energy to do so, and that made all of us even more stoked.
- Bob Burnquist and Elliot Sloan were so on point. I was so stoked to have captured Bob taking his foot off during his switch ollie.
- The skaters had a lot of early successes, but then the BMXers started busting out huge tricks.
- My mom said that my dad and I appeared on TV, but I didn’t see us during the replay.
- Steve McCann has a very frightening crash—the worst I saw over the weekend. He wound up in the hospital but later posted on Instagram that he was okay and pretty stoked on getting silver thanks to a previous run.
- Jake Brown wasn’t having much luck over the weekend in terms of landing tricks. He gave it his all though.
- Bob and Morgan Wade, a.k.a. “Team X-Ray”, chose to sit out their last runs. Despite what we learned from previous contests, it was probably the best. Morgan hit his knee hard, and even if he didn’t look it all weekend, Bob did break his arm. They both were in good spirits though and even traded equipment.
After the competition, my dad and I went to see if the Moto Pits were open. Unfortunately the riders were getting ready for Best Whip and Quarter Pipe so they closed off the area. We passed by the MegaRamp on our way out and saw several of the athletes still hanging around for autographs and photos. I thought that was really rad. I was able to get photos with Bob, Morgan, and Colton Satterfield (flash was off so I couldn’t tell when my dad pressed the shutter, hence me looking awkward). Since I was one of the last people, I didn’t get to chat very much, but Morgan said his knee would be okay. I just missed Tom Schaar, as he dashed away on his skateboard, leaving his mom behind to carry the luggage. Teens will be teens.
My first X Games experience was a dream come true. Even if I didn’t get to do all the things I planned, the unexpected moments—namely the athlete interactions— made up for that. I’ve covered most of my complaints/things to note if you go, but I’ll add that the food situation sucked for vegetarians. Maybe the Clubhouse Café had more options, but the stalls and trucks did not. Another annoyance was that the people who sold drinks often shouted over the announcers and standing in the way of the ramp. I appreciated the water refill stations though. They were always full so you didn’t have to buy water if you brought your own bottle.
Six out of my thirteen predictions were right, which isn’t that great but we had some surprises. I’m going to wrap things up with my tradition of the “eXponential Awards”, and with those, I’ll include the events I wasn’t able to catch. It’s been really fun recapping this amazing experience. I’m already planning for next year and would love to have travel buddies (I think my parents are done despite the fun they had).