Saturday, April 5, 2008

ESPN will debut three new disciplines at X Games 14 this summer in Los Angeles--Skateboard and BMX SuperPark and BMX Street. SuperPark will be a 100 percent transition-focused design blending a variety of terrain and obstacles into one seamless course. The SuperPark disciplines will highlight the all-around abilities of the world's best transition skaters and BMX riders. This will mark the first time ever that X Games will not have a stand-alone vert ramp.
For X Games 14 at The Home Depot Center and STAPLES Center, these new disciplines will join the other Skateboard and BMX competitions of Skateboard Street and Skateboard and BMX Big Air. Fourteen hours of live X Games programming on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, all showcased in high definition, will be aired July 31--August 3, as well as on ESPN International,, ESPN Classic,, SportsCenter and ESPN2's X Center.
"We are constantly striving to present new sports and disciplines at the X Games that accurately reflect the state of action sports and participants," said Chris Stiepock, X Games General Manager. "Skateboarders and BMX riders still enjoy vert features, but most are doing so at skateparks rather than on stand-alone vert halfpipes. The proliferation of public skateparks has fostered new athletes who excel on large park features, leading us to develop the SuperPark discipline."
In addition to the currently-named discipline of SuperPark, X Games 14, the premier action sports event in the world, will feature athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in the following sports: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, Surfing and Rally Car Racing.
Details on sports schedules, venues and athletes will be forthcoming and available on
Tickets for X Games 14 will be available for purchase June 6 at all Ticketmaster locations and the box offices at STAPLES Center and The Home Depot Center.
Personally, I think this is a bad decision on the part of the X-Games. No matter how you look at it, vert skating is a part of skateboarding history and skateboarding itself. To take the initiative to eliminate the event from their "Games" altogether shows their lack of respect for the so-called "sport" which has brought them ratings, notoriety, dollars and a substantial amount of "legitimacy" in the realm of skateboarding. Remember Tony Hawk and his ultra-telivised 900? Yeah, everyone does, cause everyone was watching. And just because vert skaters are capable of riding vert ramps, it doesn't necessarily mean they are willing or capable of riding the yet to be described "SuperPark" which looks to be a glorified cement park. Brent Atchley can skate parks and transition like a champ, but he doesn't skate vert competetivly. That's because he's not a vert skater. You see? This clear distinction seems to not have occured to those in charge of calling the shots.
But when all is said and done, does it really even matter at all? The X-Games is one measely contest in skateboarding, which is ridiculously rich in other contests, history, solidarity, creativity, spots to skate and yes, much more vert. But enough of what I have to say. Here's what EXPN has to say about it. And here's what legendary vert skater, Sean Mortimer says. Oooh, it's juicy.