Los Angeles The X Games IX Skateboard Street and Skateboard
Street Best Trick competitions at STAPLES Center were dominated
by two hometown heroes that had the power of the crowd to bring
home gold. In a field of the world’s best 10 street skaters, on
a true street course, Eric Koston (San Bernadino, Calif.) took
home gold in Skateboard Street, while Chad Muska (Los Angeles,
Calif.) did the same in Skateboard Street Best Trick.
With a larger than life mural of Koston jumping the 405 Freeway
on the Hotel Figueroa looming over the Street course, the
real-life Koston skated for the crowd of 1,500. The course was
filled with concrete barriers, picnic tables, stair rails and
other natural street elements. Flying into Los Angeles right
before the competition started, Koston had no time to practice,
but he didn’t miss a beat. His second run was his best of the
day and included a backside lip slide down the stair rail, a
kickflip nose manual on the bench, and a switch toe-side fakie
over the stairs. Koston’s final score was 93.33, followed by
Rodil de Araujo, Jr. (Curibita, Brazil) with a total of 91.00
and Paul Rodriguez (North Hills, Calif.) with a total of 89.67.
The Best Trick competition followed, which allowed for the same
field of athletes to skate in a 15-minute jam session on three
different elements: picnic table, cement ledge and barrier and
stair rails. Once the jam session was over, skaters selected
their individual best trick to be considered by the judges.
Muska’s trick of a frontside tail slide on the concrete ledge
landed him the gold. He was followed by silver medallist
Rodil de Araujo, Jr. (Curitiba, Brazil) -- who completed a
backside blunt slide, frontside lipslide and a backside lipslide
on the stair rail element -- and bronze medallist Wagner Ramos
"It was a different energy than I usually experience in street
skating," said Muska. "I just to wanted to represent Los Angeles
and have fun skateboarding. But seeing the kids and hearing the
crowds cheer, it felt really good."