Posts Tagged ‘Garrett Reynolds’

I’m back! Just in time to begin a new season of winter action sports (I’m all signed up for Fantasy Freeride League, are you?). Before we begin with that, I have to share the post that never made it up prior to my hiatus. It’s a comprehensive recap of all four summer events.

The “global” (I put that in quotes because what happened to Asia?) X Games initiative was ambitious and a great way to reach out to the international community, but I think we can all agree that it was exhausting. Not to mention unfair to certain sports and parts of the world. Having just one summer and one winter event makes the X Games more special and easier to manage although I would like to see smaller events like the Asian X Games were previously. I could write essay on my thoughts, but instead, let’s focus on the sick action we saw in Foz do Iguaçu, Barcelona, Munich, and Los Angeles with my eXponential Awards.

Best Female Athlete – Vicki Golden (Moto X)
Vicki Golden is no stranger to breaking barriers. The first woman to qualify for an Arenacross race became the first female rider to compete in a FMX event, something I had hoped to see in my lifetime since I got into action sports. She snagged the bronze in Best Whip and then went on to grab her third gold in Women’s Moto-X Racing.
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From Trevor Brown, Jr. / ESPN

Best Male Athlete – Bob Burnquist (Skateboard)
At Foz, Bob Burnquist became the X Games athlete with the most medals, and he followed it up with two more Big Air golds for a record of 27 total. Although he didn’t get the grand slam, he still continued to compete with a broken nose.

Newcomer to Watch – Scott Speed (Rally)

How many people can say they won the first big race they entered? Scott Speed did just that at the RallyCross event in Foz. While he still has a learning curve, his Formula One and NASCAR experience make him a force to be reckoned with.

Most Dramatic Finals – BMX Freestyle Street in L.A.

There had been only one BMX Street champion in the X Games, and that was Garrett Reynolds. Everything changed in L.A. though when Chad Kerley got the day’s top score. It was close—Garrett actually match Chad’s 45—but it was time for a new king of street.

Best Trick – Zack Warden’s Iron Lotus to late tailwhip plus triple tailwhip (BMX)
Although I’ve already awarded the backflip bike flip, a.k.a. the Iron Lotus, best trick last year, Zach Warden deserves recognition for giving us a prime example of progression in the Big Air contest at Barcelona.  Just how many tricks can a guy cram into one jump and still have enough momentum to do a triple whip on the quarterpipe.

Picture Perfect Moment – Colton Satterfield and Jake Brown share the MegaRamp at Foz do Iguaçu (BMX and Skateboard)
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From Brett Wilhelm / ESPN
Skaters and BMXers have a reputation of not getting along, but this photo, in addition to being a stunning sunset shot, highlights the camaraderie that transcends sports and nationalities at the X Games.

Best Moment Outside of Competition – Tony Hawk’s kids clean the vert ramp.
The heavy rains in Barcelona were a big downer, but at least Tony Hawk’s kids managed to have some fun sliding on the vert ramp to mop it up. I bet Tony wishes they showed the same enthusiasm for household chores.

Most Educational Moment – Mike Schultz’s prosthetic leg (Moto X)
This is not exactly part of the X Games, but we got to see science benefit action sports. Mike Schultz was recognized this summer by Popular Science for engineering his own prosthetic to fit the dynamic action sports lifestyle. In addition to helping him win the Invention Award this year, his Versa Foot played a key role in his Adaptive Moto X gold.

Greatest Comeback – Bucky Lasek (Skateboard)
To use his words, Bucky Lasek hasn’t really gone anywhere, but he’s been missing the top of the podium for nine years. That changed with Foz, then Barcelona, Munich, and finally L.A.—a grand slam in Skateboard Vert.

Most Inspirational – Nyjah Huston (Skateboard)
Most people know Nyjah Huston as the street phenom. X Games aired a feature that showed the behind-the-scenes struggles with his family and how he was able to overcome it. I definitely see him in a new light.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Kevin Robinson (BMX)
The BMX Freestyle Big Air finals in L.A. felt like the end of an era. Longtime advocate and champion of the event, Kevin Robinson, was retiring from competition. I remember the first time I saw him ride on TV fourteen years ago and then meeting him three years later. Since then, I’ve followed his career with my brother and even my mom. It’s been an amazing run, and I’m glad he is happy with the choice that he’s made. Kevin, you’ll always been my family’s favorite rider.
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From Christian Pondella / Red Bull Content Pool

It’s been a great eleven years in L.A. So much history was made in the Staple Center, and so much heart was on display. However, I’m super stoked for Austin even if I happen to be out of state when the X Games are rolling out.

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I missed about half of Day 2 due to a late family dinner and then getting stuck in traffic. My dad’s iPad let me keep up-to-date with the results, but no ESPN app means no watching. Luckily some of the events got delayed/lasted longer than usual so I made it home in time for the end of Step-Up and Best Trick.

BMX thoughts

  • A Tumblr user challenged my prediction of Garrett Reynolds getting the five-peat in BMX Street. I was curious to see if Chad Kerley could beat Garrett.
  • The finals was really just Chad versus Garrett. Their highest scored were eight points greater than the rest.
  • However, the “battle for bronze” was pretty exciting too: lots of solid riding from everyone, notably Dakota Roche.
  • It’s hard to believe that Chad is a Summer X rookie.  He rode so smoothly.
    chadkerley, Photo by Christian Van Hanja / ESPN Images Photo by Christian Van Hanja/ESPN Images (X Games livestream)
  • Harder to believe is the fact that Garrett can get an equivalent score even with a fall (though his fall was at the last second so I wonder if the judges really counted that). His barspin 540 wallride was one of the sickest tricks of the day!

Motocross thoughts

  • Apparently Snoop Dogg Tweeted for people to vote for Twitch in Best Whip and called him “my nephew”.
  • Matt Buyten and Ronnie Renner made a joke out of the current record of 37 feet.
  • It was a duel between Step-Up styles: Ronnie’s whipped form versus Matt’s straight-on method.
  • The hard landings were making me cringe. Jeremy McGrath sounded pained when he talked about it, and Travis Pastrana apparently walked out of the announcers’ booth. Landing is a hazard.
  • Ronnie was obviously in pain, but he really wanted the gold. Sometimes it’s not about having fun.
  • The new record is 47 feet!
  • After the dramatic showdown in Step-Up, my heart continued to race for Best Trick. Sometimes I think that FMX will be the end of me.
  • Thomas Pages did a weird sideways body varial.  Travis’ mind was blown.
  • Taka Higashino was defying both physics and death with the rock solid backflip. He had to fight the centripetal force of a flip and the danger of missing a grab or hitting the front brake.
  • Double backflip is old and not technical, but its risk factor led to Cam Sinclair’s high score.
  • Kyle Loza’s BMX-inspired bike flip is apparently 8-9 years in the making. People were saying that he’s too small.
  • Jackson Strong did a shirtless backflip body varial double grab… a.k.a. the Jack.
    jacksonstrong, Photo from X Games Tumblr Photo from X Games Tumblr
  • Thomas repeated his varial on the larger gap but got a lower score.   I’m confused about that result.
  • To do a 720, you have to pull hard on the bars like you’re doing a double backflip, according to Travis. However, you can’t pull too hard.
  • Poor Clinton Moore crashed on the 720 and then got hit by a bike. Maybe X Games officials shouldn’t try to move riders’ bikes.
  • Taking your left hand off on the landing was apparently worth 0.33 points.
  • Kyle wanted to show that the bike flip is possible and prove the critics wrong, which makes his decision to not take a second run so much more difficult to watch. I’m really disappointed in the so-called fans who boo’ed him and called him names on-line. At the end of the day, we should be wanting our guys to be safe and sound.
  • I want to send my best wishes to Myles Richmond and Kyle, both of whom left the Staples Center in a stretcher.

Skateboard thoughts

  • Mad props to Alexis Sablone for juggling education with skating. I had such a hard time just keeping up as a spectator while in college, and she excels at both (being an archi is hard and she’s going to do grad work at MIT).
  • Rachel Reinhard had one of the sickest tricks: a double kickflip over the chain.
  • Alexis took a lot of risks to endure her lead, going over large gaps and trying a grind over the handrail.
  • Lacey Baker also tried to go big by attempt to jump two of the chains diagonally.
  • If anybody doubts the skills of women’s skateboarders, this final definitely would prove them wrong.

Congratulations to Alexis Sablone (Women’s Skateboard Street), Garrett Reynolds (BMX Street), Bob Burnquist (Skateboard Big Air), Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg (Moto-X Best Whip), Ronnie Renner (Moto-X Step-Up), and Jackson Strong (Moto-X Best Trick) on their victories!

Prediction Status: 2/6
Quote of the Day: “[Clinton Moore] is a lot smarter than me.” – Travis Pastrana
Trick of the Day:  Taka Higashino’s rock solid backflip to one-handed lander
Inspiration of the Day: All the FMX riders – so much courage and strength.
Question of the Day: What did you think of the judging in Moto-X Best Trick?

It is with much sadness that I approach the final day of the X Games. However, my eyes and rear end will be happy to not be sitting in my computer chair and staring at my laptop screen for hours (I had to miss most of the Game of SK8 because I was getting a headache). The X Games always make me itch to get out of the house (me get out? ha!) and do stuff. It doesn’t have to be action sports-related, but I want to be outside doing something that gets my heart rate up. First though, I have to get through my final set of notes.

BMX thoughts

  • BMX Freestyle Street is a little different in that the runs of 45 seconds, instead of 30, and that the riders are allowed 2 falls.
  • Brian Kachinsky built a street course inside an abandoned bakery. How cool is that?
  • Apparently the normal way to do a truckdriver (360 barspin) is to spin the handlebars in the opposite direction you’re rotating.
  • Dakota Roche is one tough dude, coming back with great runs after his chest slammed into the ledge.
  • The announcers got their facts mixed up. Both Jamie Bestwick and Garrett Reynolds scored a 47 (highest given in a BMX event this X Games) in their respective events.
  • They also kept referring to Garrett as a machine. Then again, one does question his mortality since he has won every BMX Street event in the X Games.
  • LOL moment: Dennis McCoy was trying to talk baseball, and Jimmy Coleman got him back on track.
  • Poor Dennis Enarson is going to be called the “bridesmaid” since he came so close to getting the gold again.
  • Garrett’s key to success: have fun. I’m sure unique, precise combos help too.

Moto-X thoughts

  • Endurocross, or as they call it “Enduro-X”, is pure chaos! It’s like bringing the great outdoors into a Supercross track: there’s rocks, logs, water, and blocks of wood.
  • I’m so used to smooth riding that it’s weird seeing riders stumble, put their foot down, and fly off their bikes.
  • Jeremy McGrath said that when he tried enduro, he barely finished.
  • There are several familiar names: Kenny Bartram (FMXer), Ryan Hughes (MX racer-turned-trainer), Destry Abbott (desert racer), Mike Brown (MX racer), Geoff Aaron (trials rider), and Tara Geigher (MX racer).
  • Everybody kept going on about the Pastranathon, but Destry and Maria Forsberg have their own crazy schedules. Destry had to drive back to Arizona and then fly out to Finland the next day for another enduro event. Maria didn’t have time to celebrate her gold, as she had work on Monday at 6 A.M.
  • Elizabeth Bash is one tough racer. She crashed and slid off the hill, and it looked like she hurt her arm. However, she got back on her bike and finished in 4th.
  • A trials background gives you more balance and control while motocross experience gives you speed and the ability to jump over obstacles like the water.
  • Even if you miss the water, you still have to deal with water other riders tracked over the rocks.
  • Ironically, a log rolled out in the beginning of the men’s final yet it was the first time the wasn’t a first turn pile-up.
  • Geoff and Mike gave up the lead with just one error, which shows how unpredictable trials can be.
  • Nevertheless, in a sport that doesn’t really have favorites, Taddy Blazuskiak shows why he was the man to watch. He came from behind to lead the second half and win.

Rally thoughts

  • There seem to be more wreckage with RallyCross due to more cars next to each other.
  • Rally drivers have varied daytime/former/side occupations: Robbie Maddison, Brian Deegan, and Travis Pastrana – FMXers; Joseph Burke and Dylan Van Way – college students; Rhys Millen and Tanner Foust – stunt drivers (The Dukes of Hazzard and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift); Dave Mirra – BMXer; Stephan Verdier – skicross racer; and Ken Block – co-founder/CBO of DC Shoes.
  • Travis is unbelievable. Even with an injured leg and hand, he still led one of his heats. Did I mention that he can’t take painkillers?
  • Joseph and Dylan’s college rivalry played out in the last chance qualifier. Joseph goes to Auburn, and Dylan attends LSU.
  • Ken’s weekend was described as “grotty”. That’s Britspeak for “wretchedly shabby” or “of poor quality”, according to Merriam-Webster.
  • Again, Liam Doran posted the fastest time in qualifiers.
  • Dave Higgins is good at coming from behind.
  • 8 cars in the final = insanity. Did any car escape unscathed?
  • This race was total Mulisha domination.  (Photo from Racer, by Richard S. James) Brian had about a 6.3 second lead. I’ve never seen him more stoked at a victory before; he was practically dancing on his car.Photobucket
  • The race was also a Ford podium sweep.
  • Travis came so close to medaling. He was 30 seconds behind Marcus Gronholm before he hit the wall.
  • I loved the co-driver cam because it showed each driver’s reactions to crashes and victories.

Congratulations to our final group of winners: Julian Christianson (Hometown Heroes Amateur Skateboard Street), Brian Deegan (RallyCross), Garrett Reynolds (BMX Freestyle Street), Ryan Decenzo (Game of SK8), Maria Forsberg (Enduro X Women’s), and Taddy Blazuskiak (Enduro X Men’s). Special recognition goes to Garrett for his 4-peat and for being the undefeated BMX Street champ. It’s been a great X Games!

Prediction Status: 5/14 (I got 3/4 for BMX.)
Quote of the Day: “Pastranathon to Pastrana-gone to Pastrana racing.” – Rally announcer on Travis’ X Games weekend
Trick of the Day: Garrett’s bar-catch-bar 450 (Now there’s a number you don’t see every day; I had to replay that a couple times to make sure I heard right.)
Inspiration of the Day: Travis’ Subaru team – Overnight they installed hand controls so that Travis didn’t have to miss out on all the Pastranathon events after Best Trick, which would’ve bummed him out. They helped him into his car, taped his leg in there, and fixed up the bumps from test drivers. Talk about a great team.