They were introduced as the “young guns” of the X Games: six skateboarders who are not old enough to drive a car but are highly capable skating at breakneck speeds and soaring to great heights on a daunting contraption called the Mega Ramp. Remarkably, four of the six kids, including the youngest-ever X Games competitor, 11-year-old Jagger Eaton, qualified Thursday night for Friday’s final, competing against veterans two and even three times their age.
As if to state, emphatically, that the next generation of Mega Ramp riders has, in fact, arrived, the oldest of the six, 15-year-old Mitchie Brusco, landed the first-ever 900-degree rotation during the X Games’ Skateboarding Big-Air competition (see video).
After Brusco performed the difficult spin from about 15 feet above the quarterpipe wall, on his third elimination run after he had already qualified, 12-year-old Tom Schaar landed 900s on two of his qualifying runs.
Alex Sorgente, 14, also made the final and will be among the small-fry skateboarders trying to topple Mega Ramp superstars such as Bob Burnquist and Jake Brown. Of the young guns, only Jono Schwan, 15, and Trey Wood, 11, failed to qualify for the 10-skateboarder final.
Burnquist, 35, and Brown, 37, are multiple Big-Air medalists and the sport’s elder skatesmen.
As for Eaton, who lives in Mesa, Arizona, dropping into the Mega Ramp for the first time on so large a stage, was somewhat overwhelming.
“When I dropped in the first thing I said was, ‘Don’t die and just keep committing, and try your hardest the whole time you’re here,” said Eaton, who landed a backflip over the gap (before the quarterpipe) on the first run of the night, and qualified in 10th place.
Of being the youngest ever to be invited to the elite action sports festival, Eaton stated: “It’s amazing because all the skateboarders are amazing skateboarders and told me I could skateboard and to do what I wanted to … and to say that I made it into the X Games is just amazing.”
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