Just how far has skateboard trickery progressed?
Tony Hawk made history two years ago when he successfully completed 2 1/2 revolutions to win gold in the skateboard vert best trick competition at the X Games, becoming the first person to successfully complete the maneuver during the event's allotted time.
Sandro Dias pulled off a similar rotation Saturday in the best trick final at Staples Center, with the added difficulty of performing it over an eight-foot gap. But that result only netted him a fourth-place finish in the eight-man field.
The gold medal went to Bob Burnquist of Vista, Calif., who successfully landed a 540-degree front-side spin, hitting the underside of his board's tail on the lip of the half pipe just before dropping back down the face of the ramp. Burnquist, 28, said the idea was born after watching Dias perform the trick with a backside rotation.
"I'm very excited because it was an original trick," he said. "The 900[-degree spin] we've seen before. I can't do it, but it's an awesome trick and it's hard. I'm just glad they recognized the originality."
Shaun White of Carlsbad, the crowd favorite, spent the 45-minute session trying to complete the first triple revolution on a skateboard. White, 19, has conquered the maneuver in snowboard competitions but couldn't keep the skateboard under his feet Saturday.
"This is so much harder because it's flat spin and you're not strapped in," White said.
Colin McKay of Vancouver won the silver medal after pulling off a switch kick flip over the eight-foot gap. The trick was especially difficult because McKay flipped the skateboard with his feet while switching his lead foot, without ever using his hand to steady the board.
Pierre-Luc Gagnon of Carlsbad, who won the vert freestyle competition, finished third.
-- Dan Arritt