Saturday was jam-packed with events.  We wound up taking a break in the middle.  Unfortunately that led to missing a good portion of the BMX Dirt finals because there weren’t a lot of restaurants open on the side of town close to the stadium.

MOTO X STEP UP

  • Bad luck for Bryce Hudson, getting eliminated first and dislocating his shoulder.  Then he proposed to his girlfriend and she said “yes” so he still won in the end.
  • Colby Raha showed that you also need to remember to go forward, as well as up, to clear the bar.
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  • Jarryd McNeil could’ve gone a few feet higher, but he did what was necessary to get the gold.  Later I learned that he didn’t immediately go to the interview/waiting area because he threw up from nerves.  Hopefully next year will be more relaxing (as much as that is possible for Step Up).

WOMEN’S SKATEBOARD STREET

  • Mariah Duran was on fire!  She’s really upped her game.
  • Leticia Bufoni and Alexis Sablone were the most consistent in landing their runs.
  • My parents opted to not watch the finals due to all the misses/falls in the qualifier.  They missed out on a great competition, and everyone was landing their tricks.
  • I came with a mission to get Lacey Baker to sign her “Push with Pride” print.  At first, she didn’t notice me, but the guy next to me called out to her.  Thank you fellow fan!  She looked tired so we didn’t talk, but I appreciated that she did take the time to sign autographs.
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BMX DIRT

  • My dad and I arrived just in time to catch a replay of Brandon Loupos’ gnarly triple tailwhip.  I’m super bummed we missed his winning run though.
  • Logan Martin went HUGE, and we thought maybe he was gonna take the lead.
  • Kyle Baldock has a sick run too, but competition was stiff.
  • The top 5 was separated by less than 4 points by the end of the second run so at the end, everyone went all out.  For a few, the risks were worth it.

MOTO X BEST WHIP

  • This year was the first time the winner was selected by judges instead of Twitter vote.  That should have removed the controversy, but it’s still subjective.
  • Nate Adams rode an electric bike and it was SO weird to not hear the revving.
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  • Genki Watanabe had some sick turndown-style whips.
  • Jarryd McNeil got so flat though, and that played a huge role in his victory.

MOTO X BEST TRICK

  • It still blows my mind that riders are now doing double backflip variations.
  • Not only that, Harry Bink was doing double flips despite having dislocated his shoulder the previous night!
  • I’m kinda impartial to non-flip tricks so I may be biased, but I still thought some of the guys got underscored. For example, Libor Podmol’s surfer takeoff throws off his center of gravity so it has to make a flip trick way harder.
    day3_4326
  • I’ve noticed some the riders, namely Jackson Strong and Rob Adelberg, becoming more strategic in how they take their runs.  Rather than do a safety run, they gave it their all in the Freestyle final first run so that they didn’t have to do a second run.
  • Jacko looked so relieved to not have to take a second run for Best Trick too.  That no-handed frontflip was out of this world!

SKATEBOARD BIG AIR

  • Lots of guys trying very technical tricks.  It’s leading to more slams but makes the contest more interesting.
  • I really wanna know what the difference between a 0 and a 0.3 is, as both are scores given when you don’t land the first trick.
  • 14-year-old Toby Ryan is adorable.  The crowd loved him!
  • Clay Kreiner really put up a fight.  He had his lead taken away by Mitchie Brusco, and then he answered back with a really sick run.  Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, but it was awesome!
  • Elliot Sloan got so close to making his indy 900.  It was such a bummer for him to not land a run.
  • Mitchies 1080 though!  Everyone was losing their minds and/or getting emotional over him landing it.  He’s done it before, but it’s such a difficult trick that doing it again is almost like the first time.

My flight was on Sunday so I didn’t get to do much on the last day.  I popped in for the final race of Flattrack Racing and then watched Women’s Skateboard Park.  There was so much light from the glass ceiling and the sun being directly above that I had to take a break to not be blinded.  After the contest, I wound up getting selfies with Tom Schaar and Mariah Duran, plus autographs from Brian Fox and Jake Levin (we were kinda in a hurry by then), and it was time to head out.

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WOMEN’S SKATEBOARD PARK

    • Sabre Norris is so adorable and a damn good skater, going switch on most of her run.
    • Nicole Hause and Jordyn Barratt had their own cheering sections, complete with signs.  Nicole makes sense being a hometown girl, but Jordyn had lots of friends/family/fans coming from Cali.
    • Where was Kisa Nakamura (last year’s winner)?  I checked her social media later on, and she was skating other contests, but no mention of her X Games absence.
    • Japan did have a rep in Sakura Yosozumi repping Japan, and she got bronze!
    • I still can’t believe Brighton Zeuner isn’t in high school yet.  She is so composed on and off the board (and she’s growing up fast).
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As a little cherry on top of my X Games Minneapolis experience, I wound up sitting in front of Kelvin Hoefler on the plane back home.  This was only the first leg of his trip back to Brazil.  I hoped he got some sleep since we arrived in Dallas later than expected.

Overall Minneapolis was fun!  I liked the convenience of the city and the fact that most of the competitions was indoors (minus the blinding sunlight in the afternoon).  Floor access was totally worth it even though I don’t understand why it was only for part of the day.  It had less of a festival feel so there wasn’t as many things to do to kill time in between contests, but the crowds weren’t so bad.  I definitely wanna go back if I can.

If you wanna see more photos, please check out my Flickr.  And if you missed any videos, click here for my Youtube playlist.

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  1. […] X Games Minneapolis 2018 Saturday and Sunday recap […]

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