Posts Tagged ‘Matt Buyten’

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…
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BMX Vert

  • 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.
    XG2015 BMX Vert15
  • 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.

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Nearly a full day of watching the X Games has resulted in three pages of notes, and I thought I was being conservative with my note-taking.   It was cool that ABC is broadcasting the X Games again, but of course, a different event was being aired on on-line.  Really disliking this simulcast deal.

BMX thoughts

  • Guys came out swinging in BMX Freestyle Park with huge tricks and crazy transitions. Ex. Gary Young’s feeble to 270 attempt (he came so close to making it).
  • Using the full time of the run is important. Dennis Enarson was ahead because he had the speed and energy to keep going.
  • Kevin Robinson noted that the jam format is kind of tricky because when you have guys pulling out, like with vert the other night, there’s less time for you to recover and plan.
  • Everybody wondered why Daniel Dhers would skip a run when Dennis was ahead, but the conservation of energy worked in his favor.
  • This was the first time I think I’ve seen them go to a tie breaker in which the judges had to look at 3rd run scores.


Moto-X thoughts

  • Ramp jump is an interesting addition to the race track, seems like a freestyle touch. I wonder what the racers think.
  • Crashes put an end to the Ashley Fiolek-Jessica Patterson showdown.
  • Dear announcers, Sayaka Kaneshiro’s name is pronounced “Kah-nay-she-ro”, not “Kyan-na-shee-ro”.
  • The ladies were pulling some nice whips at the end.
  • The whoops were a big challenge for in both Women’s Moto-X and Speed and Style.
  • Speed and Style was like a trip down memory lanes. The competitors were the big guns from back in the day (when I really kept up with FMX). To put things into perspective, Todd Potter is the youngest rider at 26.
  • Todd also wins the Iron Man award for competing in 5 different X Games events (that’s more than the “Pastranathon”).
  • Carey Hart gets the Best Sportsmanship award. When Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg went down, he quit racing to check up on him. Granted, he was already qualified at that point, but he was helping out the medics.
  • Twitch broke his left tibia and right heel on that nasty fall.
  • I feel like I jinxed by Ashley and Twitch.
  • A lot of calculation has to go into Speed and Style: on one hand, you have to slow down to hit the jumps to flip, but on the other hand, you’re in a race.
  • The finals was Nate Adams vs. Mike Mason: 4-stroke vs. 2-stroke, underflip vs. 360 flip, style vs. speed. In the end, style won out since Nate was upside down more. However, Mace had a beautiful rock solid, which in my eyes, is an equally scary trick.
  • This year’s Speed and Style was less ridiculous but just as fun to watch. Nate is one happy FMX this weekend.

Rally thoughts

  • Travis Pastrana plans on racing on Sunday?! WTF, he can barely walk and get in the car! They’ve even had to tape his foot down.
  • Rally Car Racing is auto racing for people with A.D.D. It’s only two laps and you’ve got different terrain and tight corners so the viewers never get bored.
  • Brian Deegan’s car has jaws, LOL.  So typical Mulisha style.
  • “[Racing through downtown L.A.] legally is pretty incredible.” It sounds like Tanner Foust has taken Fast and the Furious off the movie set.
  • Lessons in not giving up: David Higgins winning his heat with a flat tire and Dave Mirra pushing all the way through until the end.
  • When you take the Joker lap is important because it will give you an extra edge.
  • The Tanner Foust-Liam Doran rivalry reminds me of the Travis Pastrana-Brian Deegan good vs. evil FMX battle.
  • Liam posted the fastest times in the quarterfinals and semis.
  • In stead of a good vs. evil battle, we had experience (Marcus Gronholm) vs. youth (Liam). One is very calculating and precise; the other is fast and wild.  Maybe I should take a cue from Liam and drive more aggressively (I’m an annoyingly slow driver).

Skateboarding thoughts

  • I was going to put Njyah Houston down as my prediction for the winner of Skateboard Street, but I was basing a lot of that from hype from previous years. I was also going to make Shaun White my prediction, but then I changed it.
  • Bob Burnquist is extremely beat up from past injuries and Big Air, yet he still put together an awesome run during qualifiers. He said sleeping in helped.
  • I loved the clip of Tony Hawk and Andy MacDonald doing doubles for fun. They’re the only six-peaters in X Games history (I think everybody just gave up on doubles because they kept winning).
  • The judges seem to like giving a score of 82.66.
  • “Someone had to get old” – Tony Hawk on why he doesn’t have 5 X Games gold medals like Pierre-Luc Gagnon
  • Shaun White set the bar in the finals by being the first to have a clean run.
  • Shaun’s airs are higher than most skaters. A snowboarding influence?
  • Tony is calling out guys for their sloppiness.
  • PLG got a 91.66 even with a fall at the end.
  • The veterans of vert skated more consistently… probably because they could keep their cool under pressure.
  • Today, we saw a lot of elated gold medalists. (The reactions were bigger than what I usually see.)

Congratulations to Day 3’s victors: Daniel Dhers (BMX Freestyle Park), Liam Doran (Rally Car Racing), Nyjah Houston (Skateboard Street Men’s), Vicki Golden (Moto-X Racing Women’s), Shaun White (Skateboard Vert), and Nate Adams (Moto-X Speed and Style).  A big get well soon to Twitch, and good luck to Travis.

Prediction Status: 3/12
Quote of the Day: “It’s kind of cool feeling the bones move in my food.” – Travis Pastrana
Trick of the Day: Shaun White’s heelflip body varial frontside 540… actually his entire final run was amazing.

Inspiration of the Day: Women’s Moto-X Competitors – They’re strong, tough, and daring. Ashley Fiolek overcame deafness to become a 2-time X Games champ while Jessica Patterson has dealt with her share of nasty injuries in winning multiple national titles. Then there’s this year’s gold medalist, Vicki Golden, who became the first woman to qualify for a pro AMA Arenacross main event.
Question of the Day: Skateboard Street or Rally Car Racing – which did you watch (or would you watch)?

Alright, here are the tidbits and observations I gleaned from watching Thursday. As with my Winter X notes, this is less a detailed recap and more a supplement to what you can find on EXPN.com. So much went down on Day 1 that I have a little more than 2 pages of notes. There were some unbelievable moments, as well as some nerve-wracking ones. At the end of the night, I had thought I was a jinx since I originally picked Travis Pastrana and Chad Kagy as gold medalists for Moto-X Best Trick and BMX Big Air and both got carted off on a stretcher. Then I remembered that I changed my Big Air prediction at the last minute. It’s still upsetting to see an athlete go down hard.

BMX thoughts

  • Jed Mildon is officially nuts— not just because he did the triple backflip but because he pedaled down the Mega Ramp roll in. It boggled Kevin Robinson and Dennis McCoy’s minds.
  • I like having pro commentary. You get an insider’s perspective, plus some “back in my day” stories.
  • K-Rob shared this picture by Scott Roegner to show you how high the Mega Ramp is. Photobucket
  • According to K-Rob, a 360 tailwhip is more difficult than a flip. I can see that since you’re multi-tasking.
  • Chad Kagy is riding with a plate and 6 screws in his hand, and he still stomps his tricks (even with a pedal slip).
  • Vince Byron stomped his no-handed 540 so hard that his bike broke. Chad offered him parts for Vince decided to wait it out since the geometry would be off. See, math is important, kids.
  • According to DMC, the old school approach to tricks was “I wonder if this is going to work, let’s find out.” No wonder he’s still nuts (44 and still competing).
  • We learned the importance of doing 2 solid tricks. A double frontflip over the first jump is awesome and all, but you better follow up with something on the quarterpipe (and Anthony Napolitan did at the end).
  • At the last minute, Steve McCann edged out Vince with a double frontflip and a double tailwhip.
  • Chad looked like he injured his right leg pretty badly. Later it was reported that he broke his femur.

FMX thoughts

  • Most exciting Step-Up comp in years! That’s mainly due to the fact that Tommy Clowers’ 11-year-old record of 35 feet was finally broken.
  • It’s interesting to see everyone on 4-strokes. I remember when riders insisted that 2-strokes were better. I also remember when the step-up bar was held up by two flimsy poles. The guys in the booth also mentioned differences with the ramp and starting position.
  • Matt Buyten wins and breaks the X Games record at 37 feet, and he’s still recovering from a broken wrist!
  • Seeing Ronnie Renner and Buyten’s Twitter exchange just shows how good sportsmen the two “rivals” are.
  • Best Whip showed me that there were many different types of whips. My favorite was Jarryd McNeil with the look back (he appeared a bit inverted).
  • My boyfriend compared Best Whip to Best Method from snowboarding. I’m so proud that he’s learning.
  • When I learned about the “Pastranathon”, my immediate thought was “Why can’t I multitask like Travis?”
  • ESPN Sport Science did a feature on the 360 frontflip, a.k.a. the “carry on”. It revealed that doing a 360 actually makes the flip easier because the multiple axes of rotation reduces your moment of inertia, which means you’re not fighting physics as much. Makes sense to me.
  • I didn’t realize Blake Williams was out with a knee injury.
  • Jackson Strong set the bar early on with a FIRST EVER FRONTFLIP! Then Josh Sheehan pulls a double backflip. Those Aussies are crazy (and they swept the contest)!
  • I’m still a sucker for double grabs, especially when a rider extends the air time. I definitely had a WTF moment with Taka Higashino. He took one hand off, then goes into a double grab, and then takes both hands off to get back to the handbars all while upside down!
  • These guys were pushing each other so hard in the beginning that the crashes got really scary. Thankfully Mark Monea got up, but Travis Pastrana thinks he’s broken his fibula and tibula. It wound up being a bunch of small fractures along his leg and ankle.
  • Jacko’s glory run was a simple tsunami, but I still loved it because great extension is just as awesome when you’re upright.

Skateboarding thoughts

  • I really wonder how these guys manage to get up and still continue when they take hard slams.
  • On the flipside, Andy MacDonald still wears pads and a helmet, and he appears to have not aged a single day since I first saw him. Perhaps safety gear is the key to longevity.
  • Pedro Barros’ surf background really comes through; it’s like he’s gliding on concrete.
  • Omar Hasan’s lipslide around the bowl was nuts. Too bad he fell on the transition.
  • Practice makes perfect— or, according to Andy, it keeps you from getting lost on the park course. Rookie Raven Tershy’s key to winning seems to be both practice and determination. He never stopped pushing himself even when he was already set to win (though Pedro was behind him by a point).

Congratulations to the many gold medalists of Day One: Matt Buyten (Moto-X Step-Up), Jeremy Stenberg (Moto-X Best Whip), Raven Tershy (Skateboard Park), Jackson Strong (Moto-X Big Air), and Steve McCann (BMX Big Air). Also I would like to wish the very best to Chad Kagy and Travis Pastrana, as well as everyone else who competed injured or took hard slams. Get well soon!

Prediction Status: 1/4
Quote of the Day: “Beat up from the street up. Tore up from the floor up.” – one of the Skateboard Park announcer on Dave Gurvette
Trick of the Day: Jacko’s front flip in Moto-X Best Trick
Inspiration of the Day:
Travis Pastrana proves that he is still mortal. Even though this is a sad premature end to the Pastranathon, I admire the fact that he still thinks about his sponsors, teammates, and fans and about how this is going to set back the progression of FMX. Always sacrificing himself for his sport.
Question of the Day: Do you think Travis was doing to much with the Pastranathon?