X Games Vert
Top 10 coverage of the vertical finals. Good Skating and Good poking fun.
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
The vert finals were promising to deliver quite a good show and it did. Me and some friends worked our way in via the front entrance where we paid our 5$ entry fee with pleasure. It’s kinda nice being up in the crowd in the nose bleeds with the real fans. We got there a little bit early which meant we got some ok seats
overlooking the ramp on the close side. Warming up were Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Shaun White, and a few others. We only got to see the top 10 qualifiers today since the prelims were over. After a while the lights went down and the music came up and Staples center came roaring to life as they introduced the skaters one by one.
The crowd was taking their cues to ‘fire it up’ from the t.v. producers and they did just fine. Starting the finals was Chris Gentry from Texas. He drops in and does a sick run get’s a meager score as everyone gets who goes first. The place is still alive, and then….. we wait…. and wait….. and wait…. What the Fuck?
Like almost 5 minutes later the next guy gets to go. That’s how it is at the X Gaymes I guess (see I can talk shit since I paid for my ticket~!). Anyway the drama started to unfold and here’s kinda how it went.
10. Buster Halterman : Buster is a ripper who has had better days. He just didn’t manage to stay on during his runs.
9. Chris Gentry : Going first sucks. If he’d of pulled his first run at the end of the contest he probably would have made the top 5. He did manage to make a 540 frontside boneless and a Phillips 66. Being from Texas, he was representing!
8. Bob Burnquist : The usual shenanigan’s his first 2 runs. He was bailing crazy tricks. I thought he was waiting to unleash his final run when the scores go up automatically. Only thing is he bailed there too!?!? Damn crazy things were happening I tell ya. Burnquist ruled it anyway doing one footed backside smith grinds over and around the vert pocket taco.
7. Jake Brown : I love it when someone comes in to the finals and goes for it. Jake knew he probably didn’t have as much techno babble as the vets so he went crazy. Blasting across the ramp back and forth. He threw in a 720 somewhere in there and got a respectable 7th place.
6. Shaun White : The kid looked ready to take over. Practicing those 720 melon grabs got to his head. When the time came he had moments of excellence, unfortunately he mixed in moments of lackluster trick choices (like 3 b.s. 5-0’s and 5 backside airs in his final run). I’d picked him to take it, and he probably will someday soon. He’s rad to watch!
5. Pierre-Luc Gagnon : He skates rad, goes big, does tech tricks. The Canadian PLG didn’t have the fire I’d seen in some of the comps he’d won on t.v. this time. Oh well, he ripped 720’s and nollie heel indy 360.
4 Sandro Dias : Sandro Dias’ placing was the most disappointing thing for me. He was going for it. Did his absolute best he could do. The Gnar-Jar (540 to tail), Christ Air 540’s, 360 varials at nearly 10 feet high. He was pushing it to the limit and the judges didn’t seem to like that.
3 Rune Glifberg : Rune was just doing what Rune does best – Go Big and Stylish with those tail grabs. Nothing too exciting out of him until he blasted a Japan 540 and finished his final trick with a switch kickflip. That was DOPE!
2 Andy Macdonald : Oh boy, your probably all wondering what the hell I’m gonna say here. Andy you are too CONSERVATIVE! Nothing big – nothing stylish – nothing dangerous for you to try. Your tricks are all dialed so you look boring. I don’t care if 95% of the crowd is screaming ‘Andy – Andy!’ They don’t know! Still you do some amazing combos I’d give my left nut to bust once in my life.
1. Bucky Lasek $25,000 for today’s efforts. Bucky was blasting, and flipping, and spinning every wall it seemed like. Going Big, doing it with style, Switch-540’s, f.s. heel flip gay twists, lien rodeo flips, switch f.s. over the hip. He Ruled it, He WON!
All in all I think our crew had a really good time and we got to witness the best of the best go head to head. You can seldom ever go wrong when that happens, unless it’s rollerblading.
P.S. The vert ramp Tim Pain came up with is incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!