X Games Minneapolis got underway Thursday evening with more than 14,000 spectators kicking summer into high gear as the top action sports athletes in the world took their talents to the vert ramp for the Pacifico BMX Vert Finals. Now in its second year in Minnesota, X Games Minneapolis looks to continue the proud tradition of not only progressing the possibilities of today’s most popular action sports, but also providing an accessible platform for fan participation and inclusion. With all competitions held at the state of the art U.S. Bank Stadium, the four day event will welcome spectators to watch BMX, skateboard and Moto X athletes compete for gold. Fans will also be treated to a host of attractions at X Fest, which includes interactive games, giveaways and athlete autograph signings, in
Up next on the program was Vert. It was good to see how many people had signed up for it. In the Open class as well as in the Invitational group. Park riders that gave it a shot. A girl that gave it a very reasonable go airing both ways showing that Vert is not dead, there are just not a lot of Vert comps happening these days. With Nass, Benny Kopp’s Bielefeld jam and the X-Games, this year the U-Pipe riders don’t have a lot of choice.
But when they get together, the action is good. The Final on Sunday also brought a decent crowd to the big ramp that is normally based at Southsea Skatepark. A vert contest actually fits well over at a British comp. It takes some balls to send it above coping and Ash Finlay as well as Kaine Mitchell sent their flairs to the moon. Oakley Way got a good flow going on the ramp and finished 7th. Jon Kearns has such a good flow going both directions where you don’t even know what his regular side or getting air is. Add a few feet to his aerials and he’s up there with the best of them. A pleasure to watch indeed.
Paul Meacher, Alex Landeros, Zach Newman and Vince Byron were the true vert dawgs at Nass this year with Paul going the highest of them all. Alex Landeros brought no-handed flairs for the Brits to enjoy and wall all over the ramp as was crowd favourite Zach Newman with his original riding style. Australian Vince Byron had to dig into his bag of tricks to get the top spot and the combination of height, riding both ways and his tricks got him first place after almost missing out on qualifying.
Jamie Bestwick, Douglas Leite de Oliveira,Vince Byron, and Jorge Jovel were kind enough to throw a vert demo here at the Cloud Nine Vert Ramp. These guys are no joke when talking about catching some air. Check out the session with the heavy hitters of Woodward as they put on a vert demo for the PA Camp.