Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Skate [Print without images]

Saturday, August 4, 2007
Updated: August 5, 11:33 PM ET
Practice Prose Men's Skate Vert

By Jon Hanks
EXPN.com

When you get a group of the most talented vert skateboarders on the planet together for any session, it's bound to sizzle. Factor in X Games fever and the blazing Southern California sun and things really get cooking. We caught up with some of the top contenders in this year's event and heard what they had to say about the comp. Muy caliente!

Andy Macdonald is a paragon of virtue, clean living, and really inverted 540s.

Flair


"Vert skating nowadays is more competition based, than image based. I can think of maybe two vert skaters—Danny Way and Colin McKay—that make a living as vert skaters and don't skate competitions. They're more like street skaters: they film for videos, do ads and promo stuff, and that's enough for their sponsors. And good for them. They're lucky in that regard, because the majority of us are out here working hard on the World Cup Tour, the Dew Tour, or in competition because that's a lot of what our sponsors expect from us, and that's why we get paid."—Andy MacDonald

Everyone talks about Bob Burnquist's switch skating, but Bucky Lasek is no slouch at switch, either.

Predictions


"My favorite right now is Alex Perelson. I think he's probably looking the best. And I always gotta stand behind Rune—he's my favorite to watch. Everyone's dialing in their lines pretty good, and I can't keep my eyes off of what they're doing, so I know it's gonna be a good contest. I'm working on a couple things towards the end of my run. It's like the hardest part of my line and I get kinda tired, with all this skating I've been doing, so I'm gonna work on the end of the run and try not to skate too much today."—Bucky Lasek

Rune's been riding a lot of pools lately. Clearly it's messing with his tailgrabs.


Terrain


"I haven't really been skating a lot of vert lately. I've mainly been concentrating on skating concrete and pools, and some of the more raw, urban terrain. I like these angled sections of this ramp. It's kinda weird that it's a bank, and not like a big quarterpipe. It makes it a little bit slower than it should be. I like the roll-ins being on an angle, too. That makes it really good. Overall it's a fun ramp. We've made a couple of ramps with Volcom and came up with some designs that have been copied a lot lately— actually Dew Tour just copied my design in Cleveland. The X Games copied it in 2005. Some of the X Games ramps have definitely been some of the best I've skated. I just can't remember which years and which ones."—Rune Glifberg

Shaun White lipslide: impressive. Shaun White managaging to squeeze all that hair into a helmet? Really impressive.

Trickery


"I'm just glad to be pulling out a 7 'cause there's only two other guys, Pierre and Alex, that are doing them. So that's gonna help me. Both tricks and consistency are important here. You've gotta be able to land the hard tricks and get the whole run. Definitely in the first couple rounds it's about getting your run done. Everybody feels the pressure at the end and they can't do anything. I just like to do frontside 540's. It just feels good to me. It reminds me of snowboarding."—Shaun White

Burnquist, switch headshot.


Bob on Bob


"I'm feeling good. Even with Jake's slam the Big Air went really good because Jake walked away. My body's really sore. I had some work done on it yesterday, so I'm really taking it mellow today. I'm just skating because the contest is tomorrow and I wanna have my legs. I just set up a new board, but I'm not really in full skate mode. My body can't really take the slams right now. After the X Games I'll be in a hammock—at least a week of not skateboarding, just trying to stretch, and relaxing at home with Lotus for a bit."—Bob Burnquist