It's the third day of wandering around the X Games, saying hello to people who I kind of know and snapping photos with the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010. It started off with the park eliminations, which were awesome. As usual, Tony Trujillo made it ever more enjoyable with unscripted runs. But, the top ten to advance boiled down to this: 1. Pedro Barros 2. Andy MacDonald 3. Kevin Kowalski 4. Bucky Lasek 5. Curren Caples 6. Nolan Monroe 7. Omar Hassan 8. Taylor Bingaman 9. Chad Bartie 10. Rune Glifberg. Standouts include Duncombe, Ben Hatchell and John Rattray and Keegan Sauder for just showing up and getting a cool grand for rolling around. Now, that's making the most of a situation. Down below are some pics of vert. Thanks to Mike Sinclair for pics, too.—Josh Brooks
Norwester, Kevin Kowalski is not to be slept on. Backside boneless on the "nun's headdress." Real insane. He surprised everyone. Mic-E Reyes is even live twitting it, too.
Nieratko and Eli Reed ham it up.
The Trujillo Method, a self-help book coming soon to Walmart.
"Baby Hassan, meet Baby Nieratko."
Ben Hatchell stalefish transfer from the little tranny with the Xs on it to the wedge on the left.
The bowl version of "Excuse meh… I'd like to get by, now." Taylor methods past Langi.
Anti-Gravity Gravette getting crazy as usual. Ollie from the deck bump over the chasm.
Elissa and John Rattray enjoyed.
Gravette walks The Nun.
You know it, bro.
"Baca, I think you're up."
Huh? Curren Caples tries to figure it all out.
"How do you think it went? Be honest."
Keegan properly outfits John Rattray for Extremity!
Bucky Lasek was itching to go.
Langi was there… ladies.
Curren all like "weeee." Lipslide. Kid's really, really good.
Raybourn's untucked nosegrab backside 540, if I remember correctly.
Then, Hatchell's tucked slob 540. Bingaman looks on for tips, it seems.
Bucky Lasek got street up in the park course.. Here he is midway through a tre flip. I wish he would invent a flip trick that's some sort of vert variation of a laser flip so that we could all call it a "Lasek" flip. Getting the eyes involved in some way would make it even more awesome.
Rune had a few step offs, but he had the course dialed. If you're finding lines, he's the one to watch. Tailslide through the corner.
Kevin Kowalski cut his hair and now he's looking kind of like a transition-oriented Jake Donnelly. Maybe it's just me.
David Loy gives Curren the high five.
I like to call this one The Omar. Heelflip frontside air.
This year's gold medal winner at Big Air, Jake Brown came down to cheer on his mates, especially Jake Duncombe, who was putting some radical moves together.
Andy Mac with a killer Japan air. Say what you want, but he does rip.
Course ist goot.
Again, here's Rune with a lofter.
I said it before, but I'll say it again: Live every week like it's your last Shark Week.
Lil’ Curren Caples finished in 5th for the prelims. Short little guy was flying around the course like he’s had twenty years of experience – “Weeeee!” this and “Whooo!” that all over the place. Like playing with toys or something.
Pedro came in first and hooty hooooooo! This kid's nuts. 540 in the middle of his run. No setup or nuttin'. Indy.
Best buddies Elissa Steamer and Brian Anderson were there cheering their friends on.
Vert started a mere five hours later. This one’s for you “Yoh,” just click on page two below for vert.
The venue for the vert comp was inside a theater that seemed like it could be the setting for the final competition of some skateboard film made in the 80s.
See? Pretty sick.
A little pre-gamin with Colin McKay, Bob Burnquist, Colin's lady and Jake Brown.
Le Tomato was there. This was some astronomical amount of spinning. I can’t even remember how much right now. Maybe a 720.
Being on the same team as Geoff Rowley seems to have influenced Bob Burnquist to take on the two different colored shoe trend. Work it!
The Tomato came down and sat next to me while the competition was going on. They were filming his every move. Only moments later, my friends were texting me I was on their TV next to the Tomato. My 15 minutes, I guess.
In the end, PLG took the vert. Bucky Lasek congratulates Pierre Luc Gagnon on a win.
They had Pierre Luc's wife (in the middle with blonde hair) all mic'd up and filmed throughout the competition. It was as if they knew he was going to win.
The whole "So how's it feel to win?" celebratory interview.
It's not easy shooting vert from bleachers down below, so this looks kind of awkward. But, this frontside cab kickflip got Colin McKay second in best trick.
Lasek with the frontside heelflip Gay twist. Telling you, he needs to figure out some trick that we can call the Lasek flip (like Lasik) based on a variation of a Laser flip.
But, PLG went for the sweep with a nollie bigger spin heelflip Indy grab, a trick that's such a mouthful that I think it should just be called the "Oui" flip.
This banana was sitting next to us the entire time. We were joking about a cartoon situation, where someone would slip on the thing. Then PLG came round looking through the stands. Turns out it was his. Winning banana.
To see more Olympus X Games Coverage, click here.