Vert Mens Results
Being a Canadian, you can be sure Pierre-Luc Gagnon knows a thing or two about snowboarding. So you can’t blame the seven-time X Games medalist if he did a double-take when he looked across the Skateboard Vert ramp in Friday night’s final at X Games 11 and saw his main competition — Shaun White?
Yes, White ditched the bindings and the flannel and looked quite comfortable in his summer attire on the Vert ramp, but it was Gagnon (Carlsbad, Calif.) that came out on top as he broke a tie with White on his final run by landing a Switch Heel-flip 360 Repeat for a score of 95.00 and his third X Games gold medal.
“Two or three times Bucky (Lasek) has taken gold from me, said Gagnon, referring to the 2000 and 2004 Vert finals where Lasek unseated him on his final run. “Bucky loves drama and I’m always the victim.
But Lasek (Baltimore, Md.), the two-time defending champion, was forced to go big in an all-or-nothing third run that ended with a fall after he went down in the first 10 seconds of his first two runs to finish in last.
White’s remarkably clean first run that was highlighted by a Fakie to Fakie 5 scored 92.25 and held up for the silver medal and he became the first athlete to medal in different disciplines in both the X Games and Winter X Games.
“It’s exciting to go from snowboarding to skateboarding because I get to start as the underdog again, said White, (Carlsbad, Calif.) who will be leaving for New Zealand Monday to train for the Winter Olympics.
At one time the 900 was considered the Holy Grail of skateboarding. On Friday night Sandro Dias (Costa Mesa, Calif.) became the first person to land the trick in a timed event at the X Games, but only brought home bronze — the fifth medal of his career.
“I knew I had another two runs to try other trick and I knew I could do better, but I just fell, Dias said.
X Games Vert Best Trick
The crowd was itching to see skateboarding history at Skateboard Vert Best Trick Saturday night at STAPLES Center. The same way the legendary Tony Hawk did when he nailed the 900 at X Games Five in 1999.
This time it was snowboarding sensation-turned skateboarding star Shaun White that was attempting to make history — by besting Hawk by a half spin for the unheard of 1080.
White came close on numerous occasions, but it was the inventiveness of Bob Burnquist (Rio de Janiero, Brazil) that turned out to be the golden ticket on this night. Burnquist won for his Frontside 540 Nar-Jar but also hit a Blunt to Fakie that could easily have done the trick too. It was his 10th career medal — he’s just the sixth to reach that milestone — and his first gold since winning Vert Doubles in 2003.
“It could have gone either way, said Burnquist of his main competition, Colin McKay. “I know how hard his trick is.
McKay (Vancouver, BC, Canada) earned his third silver medal in four X Games Best Trick competitions with a Switch Big Flip over the channel that could have easily taken gold.
“That kind of session is what we normally do, said McKay. “We care about doing new tricks. I’ve done that trick once before and I went out there to try the hardest trick I could do.
Pierre-Luc Gagnon (Carlsbad, Calif.) picked up his second medal of these X Games as his Nollie Heel Flip 540 across channel helped him grab the bronze medal.
“I did what I was trying to do and I didn’t want to take time from the other guys when I did what I was trying to do, Gagnon said of pulling back and letting the others go for their tricks.
X Games Big Air Results
Since its debut at last year’s X Games, a number of skateboarding’s top stars have embraced the concept. And while Way remains the man to beat, the gap between him and the rest of the field has closed considerably in just a calendar year.
Not enough to wrestle away the gold from Way, however. It was Way (San Diego, Calif.) who stuck a Frontside 360 off the 70-foot jump and followed it up with a Christ Air for a score of 94.75 to earn his second gold in as many years.
Way gained worldwide attention a month ago when he became the first person to jump the Great Wall of China using non-motorized power. During that jump he suffered an avulsion fracture to his right ankle, which hampered his preparation for X Games. But it took just one jump for the Big Air pioneer to snatch the top spot.
“I just wanted to pad up and skate for at least one run, Way said. “And I nailed it.
Pierre-Luc Gagnon (Carlsbad, Calif.) looks as if he’s going to be Way’s biggest threat in the future after sticking tough tricks on two of his five runs for a top score of 94.00. It marked the fourth time he walked away from X Games with two medals (He also won gold in Skateboard Vert).
“I medaled in each of my events so I couldn’t ask for more, said Gagnon, whose top score came on a Half Mute Air. “I was really happy. All I wanted to do was make the 70-footer.
Andy Macdonald (San Diego, Calif.) had three completed runs that were scored above 90.00 with a top score of 92.75 for the bronze position with a Backside 3 to Airwalk on the quarterpipe.
“I know Danny is used to competing in pain, said Macdonald of the competing against the legendary gold medal winner. “Not to mention the dude just jumped the Great Wall of China.
Bucky Lasek (Baltimore, Md.) and Rob Lorifice (Encinitias, Calif.) each landed a trick on their second run for their top scores, while Bon Burnquist (Sao Paulo, Brazil) finished in sixth.
Complete listings of all results, releases and photos from X Games 11 are on www.espneventmedia.com.
X Games Women’s Street
There is a lot to be said for experience.
And Elissa Steamer’s performance in Friday’s Skateboard Street Women’s final at X Games 11 was no exception. The 30-year-old from San Francisco, Calif., who is the oldest competitor in the eight-person field, easily captured the gold medal following a consistent and entertaining performance in the jam session.
“I have been skating as long as some of these girls have been alive, Steamer said after securing back-to-back victories. “I probably could have done a lot better, but if I had to pick one trick it would be my Ollie over the nine-stair rail.
Evelien Bouilliart (Aalter-Oost, Vlaanderen, Belgium) earned a second-place finish with a strong effort in the rail section. “The rail session was my favorite; I really got into that one, said Bouilliart.
Marissa Del Santo (Napperville, Ill.) nailed a Backside Lipslide down the handrail during the third session rail jam to secure the bronze position.
“I have been practicing the past 7-8 years and I skate every day, she said.
Cara-Beth Burnside is a pioneer in women’s skateboarding. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins is one of the most versatile young female skaters out there today. And the two put on quite a show during Saturday’s Skateboard Vert Women’s jam session at STAPLES Center at X Games 11.
Chalk up this one for the veteran Burnside (Encinitas, Calif.), whose rock-solid, clean and consistent run earned her a gold medal and forced Hawkins (Cardiff By The Sea, Calif.) to settle for the silver.
“I tried to skate well and put on a solid show, said Burnside, a 26-year veteran, who was named TransWorld SKATEboarding’s Best Female Skateboarder of the Year in 2004. “The energy of the people was great.
Hawkins tried to land a Kickflip Indie for most of the session and finally nailed the trick in the final 10 minutes. She also put down a 180 Tailgrab Kickflip Fakie.
Mimi Knoop (Encinitas, Calif.) finished third to bring home the bronze.
“The best part of the competition was that I was glad I got to try and land a few tricks and I was working on a Frontside Invert, said Knoop.