I know I said I would do a write up on the X Games Park and Vert yesterday, but life happens. At that, I didn't try that hard to get it done because I didn't think anyone would notice. I'm still at that stage where a lot of my page views are Russian spam bots. However, a real, human reader of mine did notice and called me out on it, so I guess I need to be more careful about promising things in the future. For now, I'm sorry for keeping you guys waiting, and with no further ado, I would like to start jib-jabbing and skatenerding like I always do.
First there was the park final, which I always love watching. It takes place in a concrete bowl, so it doesn't have the same sort of back-and-forth monotony that can sometimes happen when watching Vert or Big Air. For those of you who didn't know, Curren Caples managed to beat defending champ, Pedro Barros on his last run. Curren has apparently been skateboarding since age 4 and it really shows, because although I usually like watching Pedro Barros or Ben Hatchell (who got 2nd and 3rd, respectively) Curren looks more comfortable on a board than just about any other 17 year old that I can think of. His run included lofty frontside flips which were totally on lock and airs over the channel that were absolutely textbook.
Photo Courtesy of Mark Kohlman for ESPN
Congratulations to him and also the runners-up who put on a great show. I'd like to especially mention Ben Hatchell, who put together some particularly impressive runs. Pedro Barros kept it together through an entire run, which is why he won, but the tricks that Hatchell was putting down were nothing short of incredible. Who else would do a 540 stalefish, only to try and pull out a Mctwist a few tricks later (which he missed, but still)? His run was changed up more than anyone else's and he was easily my favorite to watch in this contest. Another honorable mention was Kevin Kowalski, who got 6th place in the finals. Although he didn't change up his run very much, the run that he put together was as creative as it was gnarly.
Now onto the Vert final. In another last minute win, Bucky Lasek got the gold over Pierre Luc Gagnon. There were plenty of great runs in that contest, but holy cow, Bucky really earned it. Not a second was wasted on his runs. On his winning run, he was dropping in switch to do a switch backside 360 nosegrab. Terrifying. Then he did a perfect backside heelflip indy, followed by a Mctwist. Sick. He then did an indy 360 and then a fakie to fakie 540. Those last few aren't all that special until you realize that they were just his setup tricks for his frontside full cab heelflip that he's famous for. Steezy back lip, and then the jaw dropper- his nollie frontside flip madonna. If your brain can't handle that description, that's fine, because my brain could barely accept what I had seen. Then he ended his run with a boneless, 540, 540 boneless, and an invert. I walked through all of those tricks because not a single one wasn't worth mentioning. He received a 90 for his score, and it was extremely well deserved. If you click that last link, you can watch his run by clicking the play button next to his winning score, and I highly recommend that you do, because words don't really do it justice. Or maybe I just can't put the words together because that part of my brain exploded.
In any case, congrats Bucky, congrats Curren. Up next, we have Street League on Sunday, and word around town is that Nyjah Huston is out with a rib injury. This oughtta be good...