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X Games Capsules

August 14, 2003|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer



Friday -- Street Best Trick final, 2-3 p.m., Staples Center; Vert final, 7:30-9 p.m., Staples Center. Sunday -- Vert Best Trick final, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Staples Center; Park final, 1-3:30 p.m., Staples Center.

The Competition

The vert event has become a cornerstone of the X Games, featuring competitors in a massive 13-foot half pipe constructed of wood, screws and Skatelite. Competitors have 45 seconds to string together a run that's not only judged on amplitude out of the pipe, but the types of technical tricks the skater can put together above or on the coping "lip" of the pipe.

The vert and street best trick competitions are open jam formats that enable skaters to attempt their most difficult and impressive tricks on three best trick areas.

The vert doubles allows skaters to pick their partners and together attempt to create unique lines. Runs often include shadow tricks (in unison), over-under airs and opposite airs. Partners earn a greater number of points for teamwork.

The park competition features professional skaters attempting to win points by maneuvering over, through and onto obstacles, grinding on ledges and sliding down handrails. The course is drawn up and laid out by a world-class designer, and skaters are judged on creativity, amplitude and their ability to use the entire course.

Competitors are divided into two groups. Each will take two runs and the six judges will award a whole number up to 100 points. Of the six scores given by the judges, the highest and lowest scores are dropped and the four scores left are averaged. The highest score determines the winner.

In the street best trick competition, riders have a 15-minute jam session to perform on the three best trick areas where the judges record their impressions throughout. Once the head judge declares the session is over, skaters select their individual best trick to be considered.

Judges rank skaters in order from 1-10, based on originality of the trick, difficulty, style, height, distance and execution.

In the preliminary round of the vert competition, each skater receives two runs to prove they are worthy to move on to the final round. Each of the six judges scores a competitor on a whole number up to 100 points for two runs. The highest and lowest scores are dropped and the remaining four scores get averaged. Their best score from the first and second run is taken. Only the top 10 competitors move on to the finals. In the finals, each skater gets three runs and competes using the same format as the preliminary round.

In the vert doubles, each of the 10 teams completes two runs with their highest score taken as their best score. The top five teams move on to the final round. In the final round, each of the five teams completes two runs starting from the lowest score. Teams are judged on originality, difficulty, flow, use of ramp, combination tricks, interaction of the partners and amplitude.

In the vert best trick, riders have a 45-minute jam session and judges record their impressions throughout. When the head judge declares the session over, the judges rank skaters in order from 1-5, based on originality, difficulty, style, height and execution.

The equipment: The main platform area of a skateboard, or the deck, is usually made from 7-ply maple laminate. The deck is attached to the trucks, which have wheels on each end. The trucks are essentially the axels of the skateboard. They are made of polymer bushings for steering and maneuverability. Each wheel is a unique blend of Urethane. Wheels come in different sizes, colors and hardness. All skaters are required to wear a helmet.


Moto X


Friday -- Step Up final, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Staples Center. Saturday -- Freestyle final, 8-9 p.m., Coliseum. Sunday -- Big Air final, 7-9 p.m., Staples Center.

The Competition

When Travis Pastrana won the freestyle Moto X during the 1999 X Games, he celebrated by soaring into San Francisco Bay. Afterward, ESPN refused to pay his $10,000 prize, instead using part of it to salvage the motorcycle from the water some five hours later and donating the balance to a charity involved in Bay cleanup.

Pastrana, a three-time gold medalist at the X Games, and current reigning champion Mike "the Godfather" Metzger will meet for the first time Saturday at the Coliseum.

In addition to freestyle, Moto X also includes step-up and big-air competitions.

Big air competitors have three attempts to perform their best trick while jumping over an approximate 80-foot gap. The bigger the air and more difficult the trick, the higher the score.

Step up is similar to the high jump in track and field. Jumpers start from a stationary position between 15 and 20 feet away. The rider takes his bike up a 15-foot plus vertical dirt face and leaps into the air, attempting to clear a horizontal bar placed between two uprights at the top of the jump.

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