On the Road: Summer X Games Skate Preview

All things being equal hopping on the road can be seen one of two ways: with joyful anticipation or a sense of glorious dread. Today we fall on the joyful side. This will take some explaining. On one hand I miss leaving the comforts of home, friends and most of all family. That is a given. But, once I park my car a catch my flight West the joy creeps in to a degree I can’t quite explain. Not because of the X Games, granted I’ll be rolling in. Instead to quote a great U2 album it’s like a sort of homecoming. A different set of friends and people you get to see only twice a year. That will be good. Like skating itself, it becomes a balancing act. Sometimes up. Sometimes down. always balancing.

On the X Games side of things things look pretty interesting this year. Vert is in, Super Park is in for all us aging and decrepit old men who skate roundwall. Skate Street has moved out of the velodrome back into the great wide open. If the skate street course is the same one that all the BMX websites are showing off (see below) we might see another solid display of skating like we did at the Maloof Cup. Now, I’m sure that will be some wood set up with bricks painted on. A big difference but getting it back outside was a step in the right direction for X Games. Glad to see they are working to improve their event even after 14 years running.

On the super park side you can see they’ve taken a good hard look at this decades concrete park explosion and cobbled together a respectable park. While the name “super park” is pretty cheesy X games stands a good chance at exposing the public to a broader spectrum of skating. I wonder how jam packed my local park will be with groms imitating Rune, Benji and Omar after this event? At any rate it should be interesting.

As for vert and Mega Ramp. One is vert and the other is a big air jump I think we know what we’re getting there. I think it’s worth noting that there was a year where X Games bowled in one side of the vert ramp and another where they Incorporated street elements. Overall, they seem to have the most success when they add in build outs inside the ramp as we’ve seen in the DC video and in notable online clips from Bucky, Tony and a host of other innovators. On the Mega Ramp side everybody is already looking at Jake after last years fall. Lets hope lightning doesn’t strike twice.

A busy few days lie ahead and it’s coupled with a few obligations that can’t be avoided but overall this looks to be a solid trip. Now if only my rental car didn’t cost $200. That goes back to the downside of life on the road. But, at least I’ll get to duck out and skate Culver City when rolling by that part of town. You see it all balances out. Sometimes up and sometimes down but always balance.

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