X Games Skateboarding Recap Story
by Mike Sinclair
Skateboard Street at City Hall/Center city Philadelphia
One day before this contest took place at City Hall, cops were handing out tickets left and right to any skateboarder that was unlucky enough to be caught skating on the grounds, however the next day at city Hall was a completely different scene. The course consisted of the natural terrain that was already skated for many years not only by the locals, but from the top pros everywhere that passed through Philadelphia. A few extra flat bars, wedge ramps and pieces of plywood were the only outside obstacles brought in to City Hall. Everyone that was invited to this event were all 1st place contenders, but as usual someone has to be in last so I will start my highlights there. 9th place went to Kevin Taylor who had one of the best styles of the contest. Kevin did extra smooth backside smith grinds down the rail. A few step offs kept Kevin from placing higher. 8th place was Kareem who stepped off quite a bit as well but a huge backside 180 ollie over the Evil Kneivel jump put him ahead of Kevin. 7th place was given to Josh Kalis. Josh did nollie krooks down the rail and a solid nose slide down the Jersey Barrier. 6th place was awarded to Rick McCrank who blazed through City Hall fast and tried to pack in as much amazing stuff as any skater wished they could. Ricks' inconsistent runs were a surprise to everyone, but he did manage to pull off tricks like kickflip to frontside boardslide on the rail, 5.0 grinds around the curved ledges. 5th place goes to Kyle Berard. Kyle had a perfect run which included a kickflip over the Evil Kneivel jump, tail slide to fakie on the curved ledge, backside lipslide down the rail. A perfect run only gets you 5th place? Well the skating only gets better. In 4th was Ricky Oyola. Ricky did more than a complete lap around City Hall hitting everything in his way with power and style. An amazing run. His highlights ere 50-50 down the rail and as soon as he landed the ollied quickly up 5 stairs, finishing his run off with an ollie over the police barricade and a smooth backside tail slide to fakie on a slick City Hall bench. The top three were all amazing but the judges came up with Chris Senn in 3rd who hit different lines as usual, his highlights were, olliing up a wedge to acid dropping to 50-50 on a natural rail. 2nd place was Eric Koston. Eric started his line off with a nose bonk over the Evil Kneivel jump. Backside tail slide on the Jersey Barrier, 180 switch krooks down the rail. Koston made it look too easy, Eric stepped off a few times but the difficulty of his tricks that were made put him in a well deserved 2nd place. Only one guy remaining and it is Philadelphians own. Kerry Getz. Kerry did more tricks than anyone in one run. Kerry did a complete lap around City Hall just the same as Ricky did, except Kerry had a few more flip tricks and never stepped off. His highlights were frontside kickflip over the rail, backside lipslide down the rail, kickflip over the Evil Kneivel jump. 180 over the police barricade and finished his run with a smooth 360 flip on the flat ground. Kerry won hands down! This contest was amazing. I only wonder why it took so long for one like this to happen!
1. Kerry Getz
2. Eric Koston
3. Chris Senn
4. Ricky Oyola
5. Kyle Berard
6. Rick McCrank
7. Kareem Campbell
8. Josh Kalis
9. Kevin Taylor
Street Best Trick. Jam.
The Best Trick contest took place on 3 different obstacles. Curved ledges, Jersey Barrier and Evil Kneivel Jump. The contest was judged on overall combination of the obstacles, not just one trick, one obstacle. This confused a few people but after it was over, it was no question why Rick McCrank was in 1st. Rick started off the curved ledges with noseblunt slide around the whole bench to fakie, nollie 180 switch krooks around the entire bench and tail slides to kickflip out. Rick then moved on to the Jersey Barrier to put down tailslide to fakie, nosegrinds, nose slide shove it and a perfect switch krooks. The last obstacle was the Evil Kneivel jump over a wall. Rick did 360 flips, nollie hard flips, switch flip - first try. Rick kept skating, it was more like watching a demo since the others in Best Trick sat down and looked over at the judges and said, just shut it down. Rick won!
Other highlights in Best Trick Jam were Josh Kalis who noseblunt slid over the Jersey Barrier and almost pulled Switch flip to switch backside tail slide on the curved ledges. A twisted ankle took Kalis out of the Best Trick early on a switch tail slide attempt on the Jersey Barrier. Kerry Getz was a contender with a kickflip to nose manual to nollie heel flip out first try on the curved ledges. Kerry also did a frontside noseslide on the Jersey Barrier and a perfect kickflip over the Evil Kneivel jump. Eric Koston landed a backside nose blunt slide on the Jersey Barrier which would of usually won a Best Trick contest. The judging was based on an all around session. So Eric walked away with 3rd. The backside nose blunt was the trick of the day!
The top three spots in vert were the three most amazing runs I have seen in a vert competition. I will save those for later and fill you in on the others that skated great to make top 10 finals. Renton Millar was injured so he automatically took 10th place without skating. Danny Way had trouble staying during his runs and limped away with 9th. Danny is a soldier! Paul Zitzer also had trouble staying on during his runs. Paul did smooth kickflip Indy's and a nice melon 540 to earn himself 8th place. 7th place was Buster Halterman, who always looks solid and smooth. Buster did perfect stand up backside nosegrinds, kickflip Indys and huge 540's. 6th place was Rune Glifberg who is always smooth and solid with tricks like frontside heel flip airs, tweaked out nollie lean airs, over extended madonnas 540, kickflip indy and skated the ramp from edge to edge with power and great style. 5th place went to a perfect run from Chris Gentry. Chris banged out every trick there he has been working on all year. A few 540's, frontside gay twist, heelflip, Indy, Frontside blunt and after time it looked like a nollie heel flip to disaster attempt. Chris killed it and took 5th place behind Andy Macdonald who also had a perfect run. Andy started out with a frontside grind and then went in to a few disasters and air combos. Andy did a 540 varial and regular 540's. A nice mix of flip tricks, lack of switch moves may have kept Andy out of the top 3 in this contest.
3rd Place was awarded to Tas Pappas. Tas pulled some of the hardest combos at the contest. Kick flip varial Indy, 360 in to a 720. Tas did 540s front side and regular. A switch cab heel flip was also thrown in there. Tas has the skill and tricks to win any vert contest but on this day he walked away with a well deserved 3rd Place. Bucky Lasek turned up the heat with his flawless run which included front side cab heel flip 540s - front side and regular, switch front side invert on the extension, heel flip indy to fakie on the extension. Bucky almost landed a switch 540 at the end of his run putting him in 2nd Place. Bob Burnquist was the last skater in the finals, all he could do is try his hardest to bump his score up and that he did. Bob did switch ollies, backside and frontside, switch roll out, switch flip indy, switch flip indy to fakie, switch backside lipslide, 540, fakie to fakie 540, kickflip indy, kickflip indy to fakie, half cab to frontside blunt and walked away with not only 1st Place but with a huge smile on his face and his family who was there to watch.
The top three were all 1st Place finishing runs, but if you had to rank them I feel as though they all got what they deserved since we can't have three first place finishes. Thanks goes out to Bob, Bucky and Tas for sharing the greatest top three runs I have ever witnessed!
1st Place Andy Macdonald/Tony Hawk aka YMCA Encinitas because this is where we train
2nd Place Chris Gentry/Mike Crum aka Don't Mess with Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Dallas And Houston)
3rd Place Mike Frazier/Neal Hendrix aka The East Coasters NC/Florida
Rodil de Araujo Jr.
Carlos de Andrade
Vert Best Trick
1. Matt Dove
2. Tony Hawk
3. Bob Burnquist