Boards, bikes, and more boards! This week had them all, but the focus definitely has to be on the babes on the skateboards!
At a demo in Paris, back in 2009, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, now Pastrana, became the first woman to ever land a McTwist.
Not only that, but with 3 X-Game gold medals and a slew of other accomplishments to boot, she has also become one of the most prolific female skateboarders of all time. It is only natural that 12-year-old Alana Smith looked up to Pastrana and aspired to skate like her. But last Saturday, Smith garnered the attention of many followers on her own — including one of her idols, Pastrana. At the Exposure 2012 competition, Smith became the second woman to land the McTwist, and the first one to do it in a competition.
It is incredible to think the progression of women’s skateboarding is in the hands of a 12 year old. Earlier this year, Tom Schaar also made history at the age of 12, becoming the first person to ever land a 1080.
Between Smith and Tom Schaar (who is now 13), it is safe to say that there is no doubt that the future of skateboarding has no limits.
Which then begs the question, why are the big action sports competitions scaling back?
In this day in age, between social media and video sites, there is no question that the talent will be seen somehow. It is so easy for things to go viral these days. This definitely helps the progression of the sport, no question. But it is naive to think that these can compare to the main stage.
In the last couple of years, the X-Games has nixed BMX dirt, women’s vert skateboarding, and numerous others. Winter X-Games made headlines in August this year when they announced that they decided to drop snowboard and skier X, which were 2 of the longest running events at the Winter X-Games. What gives?!?
Of course they cite the same old reasons. They say that fans have lost interest or that there is not enough progression for it to be relevant anymore. I think that’s crap. I love to see the drama of snowboard and ski X at Winter X. BMX dirt has always turned out some of the best riding from the BMX riders competing. And with the exclusion of events like women’s vert and other nixed events, how can they expect to draw the increased interest they are striving for without the events people are looking for? And furthermore, how can they believe that they aren’t driving their current fan base away? Young fans, like then Alana Smith, aspire to compete in these very competitions, and unless they decide to bring back women’s vert ramp skateboarding, she won’t have the chance. When do these competitions stop “scaling back” and let the athletes compete?
Progression will always occur regardless of who is filming it, but the ability of these sports to keep growing makes big events like X-Games and Dew Tour vital. Adding new events to keep revamping the competitions makes sense. But dropping the events that have become the foundation of the sports, like BMX and skateboarding, will do nothing but damage to the progression that these athletes have strived so hard for. LEAVE THEM ALONE!
In other news around the action sports world…
– Nate Wessels should be responsible for building all park courses from now on. This past week played host to the Redbull Skyline competition in Paris, France. The course was EPIC! And with 25 of the world’s top riders and a sick course, Redbull Skyline promised to be one of the best contests this year, and it was.
Can you spot SBOTD’s Anthony Napolitan??
– 2012’s ASP World Title is still up for grabs! This weekend featured the 2012 Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz, CA. With over 1000 fans in attendance, surfers like Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, and others took to the water and put on a show. The drama definitely focused on Slater and his round 2 match-up with Jason Collins, the wildcard. With his hopes of another ASP World Title on the line, Slater just nearly edged out Collins to win the round with a last minute winning wave. Slater and Parkinson both failed to score enough points to secure the title, so it will be on the line at the Pipeline in Hawaii. If you know anything about surfing, you know that North Shore waves are beasts. This setting will undoubtedly make the final showdown for the title unreal! I can’t wait.
(Photo Credit: Screen Cap.)