A new medal event for X Games 16, Real Street was the first contest of its kind. Twelve of the top individual pros in street skating each filmed 60-second video parts on street terrain for X Games, and on Aug. 1, all 12 video parts aired on the final day of the X16 telecast. A panel of pros -- Pat Duffy, Ed Templeton, Jamie Thomas and Geoff Rowley -- chose the winning part and awarded $50,000 and an X Games gold medal to Nick Trapasso. You, the fans, picked Zered Bassett as the fan favorite. Read below for interviews with each of the skateboarders who competed, and be sure to check back next summer for the next edition of Real Street.
At 26, this 2005 TransWorld Rookie Pro of the Year is a veritable living legend on the East Coast. Born and raised in Cape Cod, Mass., and now living in New York, Zered Bassett's hard-charging, ultra-smooth style, mellow demeanor and deep bag of tricks have gained him five magazine covers to date. Although most of his success has come from video parts and mags, he also has made a name for himself in the occasional contest. Bassett has recently taken up photography and begun showcasing his work.
At any given time, Tony Tave's house in sunny, suburban San Clemente, Calif., is home to a rotating group of prominent skaters, and the party never stops. Born in Long Beach, Tave still has close ties to home and enjoys spending time with his ethnically diverse family (Tave's background includes Caucasian, Hawaiian, African American and Japanese). He has been riding a skateboard for 10 years, has one of the best nollie inward heels in the game and just landed in his second pro model shoe from C1RCA, the TT2.
"Benny Fairfax first caught our eye in Kingpin Magazine in 2003. With big pop and smooth style, we knew he was right for the team, even after seeing just one or two photos and a YouTube video. We met the unassuming and amicable character in person through WeSC in Stockholm, and he instantly became our first amateur for the newly reformed Stereo Skateboards. Benny embodies style, and he's one of those skaters that people love to watch and can't wait to see more of. Last year he went from being virtually unknown to a favorite of kids all over the world." -- Chris Pastras, Stereo Skateboards
Be it rails, transition, ditches or a manual pad, J-Lay is your man. Raised in the high desert of Murrietta, Calif., Layton has been bred to skate, eschewing speciality in favor of the all-things-at-all-times skate approach. After being introduced to the skateboard world with an explosion of coverage (including winning The Skateboard Mag's Year's Best Am in 2005), Layton has kept his all-terrain assault cranked. One of the elite in skating's new guard, Layton will be on the radar for years to come.
Garrett Hill first grabbed our attention when he got on Zero Skateboards a few years back and started pulling tricks like 360 flips to 50-50s down rails and hubba ledges (in two-tone pants, no less). Always marching to the beat of a different drum, Hill had a standout part in "Strange World" and was hand-picked by the infallible Andrew Reynolds to ride for Altamont clothing. Apart from skating, Hill's penchant for fashion, all things Harry Potter and regular trips to Disneyland keep him occupied off the board.
Sierra Fellers is 23 years young and has been riding his skateboard for 14 years. Originally from rustic land of Whitefish, Mont., Fellers grew up an accomplished hockey player but currently lives in the more skate-friendly town of Long Beach, Calif. Fellers had full-length video parts in C1RCA footwear's 2006 "It's Time" video and in Foundation's "Cataclysmic Abyss" video, and he won the Tampa Am in 2004 and placed second in 2007.
Ripper, rouser and all around masochist, Leo Romero has an unmistakable desire to upset the established order. Always provocative, be it grinding up rails or making fun of your shirt, Romero brings it hard and often. Coming from the cuts of Fontana, Calif., Romero sharpened his skill set in the vast spot-jungle of SoCal's Inland Empire. Bursting onto the scene as an am in Emerica's "This is Skateboarding" in 2003, he hasn't slowed since. Never doing it for the money, fame or sponsorship, Romero has managed constant progression with nothing for fuel but the love of the lifestyle. Rebel to the end, Romero keeps the underground fires raging.
Flip Skateboards' newest pro, Luan Oliveira is from Porto Alegre, Brazil. He currently lives in Long Beach, Calif., and can be seen destroying the Cherry Park ledges on a daily basis. Over the past few years, Oliveira has been annihilating every am contest in his path (he's the only skateboarder to have won the Tampa Am twice in a row, in 2008 and 2009), and after a groundbreaking part in Flip's "Extremely Sorry," he is showing skateboarders worldwide where the future of progressive street skating is headed.
While still repping his Bootleg Skateboards roots with a forearm tattoo of the original logo, Trapasso is one of Toy Machine's most visible pros, and he is on a serious roll right now. After wrapping up a well-deserved part in this year's "Prevent This Tragedy" video, Trapasso is already rolling right along, filming for the next Toy Machine project. At just 21 years old, Trapasso -- also one of Cons' top dogs -- has already had four standout video parts.
Jake Duncombe comes from Brisbane, Australia. Much like young American phenom Ryan Sheckler, Duncombe's talents got noticed at an early age, but the similarities pretty much stop there. Duncombe's part in the 2009 release of "The Blind Video" is a standout performance, and his all-terrain annihilation recently was rewarded with his first pro shoe from Globe, a leather-laced boat shoe called The Bender. He's currently holding a contest through Globe for one lucky fan to design his next tattoo.
A prodigy from his days as a grom phenom, Duffel found sponsors and coverage at an early age. In the years that followed, he took his lumps on and off the board but has used every experience to emerge a true individual and one of skateboarding's gnarliest. Today, Duffel is on top of his game with unique style, massive pop and undeniable skill. The only thing that slows him down seems to be his own body, which he keeps pushing to the limits. A broken leg delayed Duffel from finishing his last video part, but he still pulled through in time to get a banger for the TransWorld SKATEboarding video "Right Foot Forward."
Blasting onto the scene in 2004 by landing the cover shot of Thrasher's "Thirteen" photo annual, Tommy Sandoval has been gunning for glory ever since. He released a standout part in the 2008 Fallen footwear video, "Ride The Sky," and has yet to slow down, even after the birth of his daughter, Dalle Grace, in June 2009. Sandoval's penchant for huge gaps, massive rails and hairball tricks was showcased most recently in the 2009 video "Strange World." He's keen on living up to the words so eloquently tattooed across his chest: "Die Trying."