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X Games

August 05, 2004|Dan Arritt, Pete Thomas and Peter Yoon


* When/where: Today, Best Trick, 7-8:30 p.m. at Staples Center; Friday, Step Up, 6-7 p.m. at Staples Center; Saturday, Freestyle prelims, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Home Depot Center; Sunday, SuperMoto, 1-2 p.m. at Home Depot Center, Freestyle finals, 4:30-6 p.m. at Home Depot Center.

* The competition: Moto X sports, events on motorcycles, draw the biggest crowds at the X Games and have evolved rapidly over the last two years as riders have begun practicing new tricks into foam pits, where they can crash without risking injury.

In best trick, competitors are judged on the difficulty and execution of two jumps. The highest of the scores counts.

Step up is the motorcycle version of the pole vault, with riders attempting to jump over a bar.

SuperMoto is a new event, a race that combines street racing, dirt racing and freestyle.

In Freestyle, riders are judged on tricks, execution, use of the course and landings in a 90-second "program" in a dirt park. It is considered the signature event of the X Games.

Brian Deegan and Mike Metzger are competing in all four disciplines. Deegan won best trick last year. Travis Pastrana is back to defend his freestyle gold, and supercross king Jeremy McGrath will make his X Games debut in the SuperMoto.



* When/where: Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Staples Center.

* The competition: Commonly known as rollerblading, inline skating evolved from roller skating and has been a part of the X Games since the inaugural event in 1995. Competitors are judged on style, difficulty and consistency.

Brothers Eito and Takeshi Yasutoko of Japan have dominated, finishing first and second in the last three X Games. Fabiola da Silva has won eight X Games inline skating medals, making her the most decorated female in X Games history.



* When/where: Today, Men's Street finals, 2-4 p.m. at Staples Center; Men's Vert, 5-7:30 p.m. at Staples Center; Friday, Women's Street finals, 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Staples Center; Saturday, Women's Vert finals, 3-4 p.m. at Staples Center, Vert Best Trick finals, 6-7 p.m. at Staples Center; Sunday, Big Air finals, 1-3 p.m. at Staples Center.

* The competition: New this year is the Big Air event on the mega ramp, which has roll-in ramps as high as 70 feet, leading to jumps that send skaters over either a 50- or 70-foot gap to a downhill ramp leading to a quarterpipe. It's the creation of Danny Way, and he's one of six competitors.

The others are Bob Burnquist, Jason Ellis, Jake Brown, Pierre-Luc Gagnon and Andy Macdonald. Each will get four jumps and will be judged on style, creativity and big air.

Street competition is performed on a course with rails, ramps, sliding boxes and other obstacles. It's perhaps the most difficult event, often involving kickflips, nose and tail slides on the obstacles.

Vert competition involves a 100-foot-wide ramp with 11 transitions. Men (10 competitors) will take three 45-second runs and be judged on the best of the three. Women (five) will take turns in a 30-minute jam session and be judged on originality, amplitude, variety and difficulty of maneuvers. Skateboarders to watch: Ryan Sheckler (street) and Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins (street and vert). Both are 14.

Best Vert Trick also involves a 30-minute jam session with the same criteria.



* When/where: Friday, Bike Stunt Vert finals, 7-8:30 p.m. at Staples Center; Saturday, Bike Stunt Park finals, 1-3 p.m. at Staples Center; Sunday, Bike Stunt Dirt finals, 3-5:30 p.m. at Home Depot Center.

* The competition: Vert is a crowd favorite because of the big air obtained on the halfpipe and the twisting maneuvers performed in the air. Riders work from wall to wall and are allowed three runs between 45-60 seconds. In park, there are varying obstacles -- rails, boxes and ramps -- on which riders perform tricks. Dirt is a freestyle version of BMX racing with the emphasis on individual creativity. Jumps and flips are the highlights.

Ryan Nyquist won two golds -- in park and dirt -- at the last X Games. He's the only BMX athlete to win two titles in the same year. Dave Mirra will compete in the park and vert. Like Nyquist, he hails from Greenville, N.C. Mirra is tied with skateboarder Tony Hawk for the most medals in X Games history. He has 16, including 11 gold, in nine years.



* When/where: Saturday, women's final, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., men's final, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Long Beach Marine Stadium.

* The competition: Evolved from a combination of surfing and water-skiing, this event features riders spinning, flipping and twisting in a boat's wake and performing maneuvers with the aid of water obstacles.

Danny Harf, 19, of Orlando will try to become the first to win four consecutive X Games gold medals in a summer event. The defending women's champion is Dallas Friday of Orlando. Friday, 16, has won 12 of 14 tour events in the last two years.



* When/where: Saturday, 11 a.m. Huntington Beach Pier.

* The competition: Teams of East and West Coast surfers will compete in four quarters, each broken into two 15-20 minute heats depending on wave conditions. Each team will also include two international surfers, called wild cards.

Each team has eight surfers, and each heat is surfed as a team.

Among those scheduled to compete for the East Coast team is former six-time world champion Kelly Slater of Florida. The West is expected to be led by Rob Machado of Cardiff.

-- Dan Arritt, Pete Thomas and Peter Yoon

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