GRINDTV NEWSWIRE via ESPN-Ryan Sheckler has won his third X Games gold, edging Nyjah Huston by less than one point as the clock ticked down on Saturday's Super Final. Sheckler took the lead in his first of five runs, in what was essentially a warm up -- albeit a warm up that included a kickflip backside boardslide on the rail, backside kickflip down the gap, a hugeswitch kickflip that he barely landed and a backside tailslide down the ledge that earned him a 90.33.
With skaters given 45seconds or two crashes per run, Sheckler appeared to have a solid holdon things until the third run, when Huston popped off a run that included a 360 flip up the gap, a switch heel to manual down the ledge,and a backside 270 boardslide. The run earned him a 91.33.
While both Chaz Ortiz and Ryan Decenzo threw a variety of bangers in their runs, both were plagued by untimely crashes that kept them from fully challenging Sheckler or Huston.
At his next opportunity, Sheckler seized the moment, stringing together a kickflip to boardslide, a big frontside air in the tea cup, a backside flip up the gap, a cab 360 lipslide down the rail into a frontside blunt in the little tea cup transition. The run garnered a 92.00 -- cementing the podium despite Huston and Ortiz each having one last shot at Sheckler's lead.
Sheckler acknowledged that he wanted redemption after last year's XGames, when he sustained an ankle injury that derailed most of the last year. "I chose X Games because I got hurt here last year and wanted to prove to myself I could come back and get a gold," he said, taking time to also acknowledge the rabid fan base that was evident in the crowd.
"They'reyelling the whole time," he continued. "You don't want to let them down, so you skate your heart out and do the best you can do."
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
The elimination round of Skateboard Street at X Games 16 was held today at the Staples Center. Ryan Sheckler qualified first making teenage girls everywhere jump for joy.
There was some controversy too. Brian Anderson and Bastein Salabanzi finished tied for tenth, being the core legends that both are no one wanted to see either eliminated. After a few discussions it was decided they would add up all of their run scores, instead of counting the best one run, with which they were deadlocked at 77.0. In the end Salabanzi's total was higher moving him into the Final.
Here are the full results:
1. Ryan Sheckler - 95.0
2. Chaz Ortiz - 93.0
3. Rodolfo Ramos - 90.0
4. David Gravette - 87.66
5. Ryan Decenzo - 83.33
6. Mark Appleyard - 81.33
7. Nyjah Huston - 80.00
8.Sierra Fellers - 78.00
9. Eli Reed - 77.33
10. Bastien Salabanzi - 77.00
11.Brian Anderson - 77.00
12 Shane O'Neill - 75.66
13. Justin Brock - 75.66
14. Nick Trepasso - 61.33
15. Adam Dyet - 57.66
16. Stefan Janoski - 55.00
17. Alex Olson - 45.33
18. Garrett Hill - 40.00
19. Tony Tave - 26.33
20. Omar Salazar - 12.00
Transition. www.dictionary.com defines the word as; movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another. Pour some cement all over that definition and you have the Skate Park division of X Games 16. It has only been held twice making it a relatively new division to the games, but one of the more popular skate events, especially amongst actual skateboarders.
On this course it's all about choosing a line, going fast, grinding coping, and clearing: hips, gaps and flats. The name of the game is speed, and the ability to keep that speed for as long as possible, and hit as many obstacles as you can along the way is the plan of attack. A cross between pool and street skating this discipline attracts a diverse group of skateboarders. You have your straight up pool guys like Rune Glifberg and Omar Hassan. You have your vert guys like Bucky Lasek and Andy MacDonald. Finally, you have your all-around guys like David Gravette and Jake Duncombe. The later being skaters who film street sections for their sponsors, but have pool and other types of transition skating mixed in.
The first year of Park was held was on an all wood course during X Games 14. Then, last year at X Games 15 it took place on combination wood and concrete course. Now, this year at X Games 16 an all-concrete course has been constructed complete with a glass wall-ride extension. It is like one of those perfect concrete parks they have up in Oregon, maybe just a little mellower. There's a very doable gap in the middle, and it should be interesting to see what types of variations go down over that. During practice Gravette already cleared the gap, and then a hip to transition.
The skaters to look for in this competition are of course two-time winner, Rune Glifberg, and transition legend, Omar Hassan. There are also guys like Tony Trujillo, Chad Bartie, John Rattray, Sammy Baca , Gravette, Duncombe and Alex Olson who excel in cement parks.
As far as contestants go, there are three interesting little side notes. First, the youngsters, as in 14 year-old, Curren Caples, and 15 year-old, Pedro Barros. They're both young, but they both can skate a line. Barros already qualified for the Big Air main event, and Curren's been flying all over the place in practice. Second, how is two time Pro Tec Pool winner, Lasek, going to do. This is the first year he has entered this event, and he has been proving latey he may just be the best pool skater in the world, along with being one of the best vert skaters. Third, Ryan Sheckler? Yup, The Sheck is slated to skate this division, he may be a Street guy, but he's another one who's no slouch when it comes holding a line in the cement. His brother Shane is a very good tranny skater, and may have given him some pointers in a training session or two.
The Park Final will be Sunday August 1 from 7 PM to 11PM on ESPN2.
Rune Glifberg at last year's event. Photo: Harry How via Getty Images.
Below is some footage of Glifberg warming up on last year's course:
The ESPN X Games 16 are upon us. The courses have been built, the rider list has been released and practice has already started. This is one of the most complicated skate contests out there because of all the different divisions, 11 to be exact. Not to mention all the skateboarders that are invited, and all the different little side stories that are guaranteed to ensue each year.
We'll be breaking down each division, and help you with what to look for all week. To get it started, here's 5 Q's of X...Skateboarding.
1. Will the flakes show? It's no secret that skateboarders tend to be unpredictable, and rich and famous skateboarders, with management, are even are even more prone to be MIA when the contest starts. Now, Shaun White is no flake when it comes to snowboarding, but in skateboarding he has been known to play hooky. Just recently emails were sent out that stated White was confirmed to be skating the vert ramp at the Dew Tour Boston. When the tour rolled into Beantown White was there, but claimed he wasn't going to skate due to injury. It has been over a month since then, has healed enough to skate? We'll see. How about Ryan Sheckler? How about a confirmation he's going to skate Maloof NYC followed by a no show at Maloof NYC. Then there's guys like: Brian Anderson, Mark Appleyard, Leo Romero, Nick Trepasso, Johnny Layton, Sean Malto and Alex Olson. These are not your typical contest guys, and are the most likely to not show. Take the last two on the list Malto and Olson. Malto was invited and didn't show up last year, he opted to film with his sponsors for an upcoming video. Then there's Olson. He has to be the biggest liability on the whole list. Anybody who knows the guy knows he does what he wants, and the X Games are not a big deal in his life. He drives his sponsors nuts by not using their products, and contest directors are even lower on the list of his cares. He would much prefer to be at a photography show in Williamsburg Brooklyn rubbing shoulders with the more artsy A list celebrities of the world, than at an X Games event getting his shoulders covered in D list dust by one of the girls from The Hills.
2. How will the young guys do? As in X Games first timers, Curren Caples and Pedro Barros. Caples who at 14 years-old is the youngest competitor in the games, and will be skating in the Skate Park division. This being a relatively new event to the X Games and has only one winner, Rune Glifberg, who has won both years it has existed. The Park may just be the most popular event in the skateboarding portion of the games amongst actual skateboarders. It is a course built for creating a line, maintaining your speed and just killing transition. And if there's one thing Caples can do it's skate tranny. Pedro Barros is Bob Burnquist's little creation. He also kills transition, but what makes this kid not your typical young skateboarder is he will be competing on the Mega Ramp in Skate Big Air. When it comes to anything Mega, there aren't that many guys in the world who can compete at an X Games level. There will be only 10 participants in the Big Air contest, and at 15 years-old Barros is almost half of all their ages. He will also be competing in Skate Park, and is an alternate in Men's Vert. Will this be the year he becomes the household name that he is destined to be?
3. Will Ryan Sheckler get revenge on the X Games Street course. It was at last year's X Games that he broke his foot, which sidelined him for months. He was forced to pull out of a handful of contests that he has been a regular contender in, and only recently has gotten back to his competitive form with a 2nd place finish at the Dew Tour Boston. He was a no show at Maloof NYC (see Question 1), and hasn't won a major contests in over a year. That said, you can never count this guy out, he has everything in his bag of tricks, and we all know he can go huge. Plus, the reality television star will have his usual cheering section of teenage girls when Sheckler Mania rolls into LA.
4. What will go down on the infamous Mega Ramp? This section of the X Games is almost cartoonish to most skateboarders. It is something, that when you pick up a skateboard for the first time, you can pretty much be guaranteed you will never do. More so than really anything in the X Games; Freestyle Motorcross is crazy and everything, but people who start dirt biking always have that option to floor it and start attempting flips and what not. Mega Ramps on the other hand, are so rare that you really have to go out of your way to find one. That said, when Danny Way, Bob Bournquist, Jake Brown and the rest of the mega field start hucking themselves off of that creation of epic proportions, headlines are bound to happen. We've had huge falls like the legendary spills of Brown and Way, that have brought silence to the Staples Center. To epic performances, like that of you've guessed it, Brown and Way, who put those falls behind them and gave us two amazing performances at last year's event. What will be the skateboarding mega story be this year?
5. Will Bastein Salabanzi shock the world? He made his first real debut to the skateboarding world as that amazing teenage sensation in Flip's Extemly Sorry, where he opened his part by kickflipping a set of stairs and landing cross-footed, then proceeded to technically dismantled rails, ledges and stair sets around the world. Since then he just about disappeared. The Parisian was on a bit of a self-induced sabbatical in his home country of France. Recently though, he showed up out of the blue, and decided to skate the Maloof NYC. He had more of the actual skateboarders in the contest pulling for him than anyone, because as we all know "real recognizes real," and he managed to place forth. Then, he really freaked skateboarding out when he showed up at this year's Dew Tour Boston. He skated through the trials and into the main event, and once again finished forth. According to the list of skaters who are going to compete in Skate Street, Salabanzi's event, there is no name of Cole, Rodriguez, Lutzka or Pudwill listed. Translation; there are only the two skateboarders who have finished ahead of Salabanzi in the past two major contests (Maloof NYC and Dew Tour Boston), Ryan Sheckler and Chaz Ortiz. Will the X Games Street celebration consist of banquettes and wine?
Photo: CHRISTIAN PONDELLA/Shazamm ESPN Media
Greg Lutzka brought home the ISF Skateboarding World Championship Park title in Boson, MA Saturday when he edged out Ryan Sheckler and Chaz Ortiz. He made me eat my words because I predicted him to finish 3rd, but The Lutzka was on fire on the street course that was set up in the TD Garden.
"I've won a Dew Tour stop before but I've never won the overall Dew Cup, so my goal will be to stay consistent up until the Championships in Vegas,"said Lutzka. "There were some new faces out there tonight that raised the level of competition and kept it fresh, so this will be an interesting season."
Sheckler seemed back to form in his first major contest back since breaking his foot last year at the X Games. Ortiz, who was recently made pro by his board sponsor, Zoo York, was rocking some long hair and skating great. Lutzka was just too much on this day though; just rifling through trick after trick for the Beantown crowd. If you know Lutzka, you know he did the f/s kickflip nose bluntslide.
In a bit of a surprise Bastein Salabanzi showed up, skated his way out of the prelims and into the final. Until recently the Parisian had been on a bit of sabbatical, earlier this month he showed up at the Maloof Money Cup in NYC and finished in the same 4th slot. In a bit of a surprise my pick to win Paul Rodriguez, aka P-Rod failed to place.
Next stop for Dew Tour skateboarding is Portland, OR for the Wendy's Invitational. There will be several questions answered after that one; Can Lutzka keep it going? Will P-Rod get back to form? Is Sheckler really back? And will Salabanzi be there?
Here are the results:
1. Greg Lutzka, 88.05
2. Ryan Sheckler, 86.30
3. Chaz Ortiz, 83.35
4. Bastien Salabanzi, 81.18
5. Eli Reed, 78.38
6. Sierra Fellers, 76.15
Check Out the video highlights below: