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Carothers Airs Out His Winning Roll

Motocross jumper wins the Best Trick category at the X Games with his unprecedented move.

August 06, 2004|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

California roll, anyone?

That might be the newest entry on the growing menu of tricks that freestyle motocross jumpers will try to perfect in the coming months. They can thank Chuck Carothers for adding it to the bill of fare.

Carothers brought most of the 23,720 fans who packed Staples Center to their feet Thursday night when he became the first person to successfully complete the daring jump. The maneuver not only gave him the victory in the Best Trick competition at the X Games, but should elevate him to legendary status among fans.

Now, he just has to name the trick.

Like the back flip, which was initiated by Carey Hart at the Gravity Games four years ago and, known as the Hart Breaker, is now a regular part of most competitors' repertoire, Carothers used a never-been-seen revolution to earn a winning score of 93.20 out of 100. He finished ahead of last year's runner-up, Nate Adams of Glendale, Ariz., and the sport's most familiar name, Travis Pastrana of Annapolis, Md.

But unlike the back flip, Carothers purposely detached himself from his Honda in midair, completed a body roll and then repositioned himself before landing.

Carothers, 26, who recently moved back to his native Kingwood, Texas, after living in Canyon Lake near Lake Elsinore, said he has been trying to successfully land the jump for two years. Though he had broken his foot and collarbone and dislocated his shoulder in the process, he felt confident about his chances heading into the contest.

"I dreamed I was going to do it," he said. "This is the best feeling of my life."

Starting sixth in the 10-man field, Carothers didn't waste any time trying his best trick.

He chose the steeper of the two ramps to launch into the air, then quickly slid off the back of his seat in midair. With one hand still gripping the seat, he let go and completed a free roll about 40 feet in the air. He then re-gripped the seat with two hands and pulled himself back aboard, taking hold of the handlebars just before hitting the landing ramp.

Carothers said he spent the last month practicing the move on Pastrana's massive foam pit at his home in Annapolis.

"I never could have done this without Travis Pastrana," Carothers said.

With the highest score from the competitors' two jumps determining the order of finish, Carothers simply pumped his fist in the air on his second attempt, confident that his first score would hold up.

Once it did, the only thing left was for Carothers to name the trick, which technically is known as a body varial.

When Brian Deegan of Temecula won the Best Trick competition last year at the X Games, he named his mounted helicopter-like spin the "Mulisha Twist."

"I didn't want to name the jump until I pulled it off," Carothers said. "My mind is going so crazy right now, I don't know what to call it."

California roll, anyone?


X Games Schedule


At Staples Center

* 1-3 p.m.: Skateboard Big Air practice.

* 1-2:30 p.m.: Skateboard Street women's practice.

* 1-5 p.m.: Bike Stunt Park practice.

* 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Skateboard Street women's finals.

* 4-5:45 p.m.: Bike Stunt Vert practice.

* 6-7 p.m.: Moto X Step Up finals.

* 7-8:30 p.m.: Bike Stunt Vert finals.



At Staples Center

* 10-10:45 a.m.: Aggressive Inline Skate Vert practice.

* 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Bike Stunt Park practice.

* 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Aggressive Inline Skate Vert finals.

* Noon-4 p.m.: Skateboard Big Air practice.

* 1-3 p.m.: Bike Stunt Park finals.

* 1-3 p.m.: Skateboard Vert women's practice.

* 3-4 p.m.: Skateboard Vert women's finals.

* 4-5:45 p.m.: Skateboard Vert Best Trick practice.

* 6-7 p.m.: Skateboard Vert Best Trick finals.

At Home Depot Center

* 4-5 p.m.: Bike Stunt Dirt practice.

* 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Moto X Freestyle practice.

* 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Moto X Freestyle preliminaries.

At Huntington Beach, near the pier

* 9-11 a.m.: Surfing The GameTM practice.

* 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Surfing The GameTM finals.

At Long Beach Marine Stadium

* 9-10:30 a.m.: Wakeboard men's and women's practice.

* 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Wakeboard women's finals.

* 12:30-2:30 p.m.: Wakeboard men's finals.



At Staples Center

* 10 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Skateboard Big Air practice.

* 1-3 p.m.: Skateboard Big Air finals.

At Home Depot Center

* 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Bike Stunt Dirt practice.

* 11 a.m.-noon: Moto X SuperMoto practice.

* 1-2 p.m.: Moto X SuperMoto finals.

* 2-2:45 p.m.: Bike Stunt Dirt practice.

* 3-5:30 p.m.: Bike Stunt Dirt finals.

* 4:30-6 p.m.: Moto X Freestyle finals.

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