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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Updated: August 1, 9:18 PM ET
Live X Games Skate Blog - Wednesday

By Josh Brooks
ESPN Action Sports

8:20 p.m. PST: WRAP IT UP...WRAP IT UP! Remember that Dave Chapelle sketch? There was that little Oscar night box with the light that said, "wrap it up." it's flashing through my mind right now. Today was another epic day. The girls came to skate in the broad daylight. Elissa accidentally got some boxers. I wondered where Marisa Dal Santo was. Nugget murdered the street course without a hesitation, even impressing P-Rod, Terry Kennedy, Chaz Ortiz and Ryan Sheckler with his skills. Hosoi finally put the 5-0 over the capsule in the park section in his back pocket. Meanwhile, Alex Perelson hassled PLG with some prank texts to his friends/competitors. Perelson then pulled out of Big Air with the same dude he gave hell—PLG—Because of all these changes, Adam Taylor is now in the rail jam, the discipline that Danny Way is currently murdering right now.

Tomorrow holds the Hometown Heroes Eliminations and the Women's finals in Vert and Street. Plus Big Air is going down tomorrow evening. There's guaranteed to be more hijinx and behind-the-scenes moments that we'll be bringing to you live all day long. So check back early and often.


8:15 p.m. PST: Chris Nieratko weighs in with his picks for X Games 15 contenders. Click Here To Read.


8:00 p.m. PST: Danny Way fell practicing for the rail jam. He seemed in pain and winced while sliding down the landing roll-in. He walked off the flat bottom clutching his knee. A medic attended him and he explained it to her. But, after looking upset for a while and pacing back and forth to shake off the pain, he put his knee-pad back on. He seems determined to get back out there and keeps walking alongside the ramp.


7:45 p.m. PST: We just watched Burnquist do a switch backside 180 melon across the Big Air gap with his arms flailing. And then he attempted a rodeo on the quarter but bailed. Alex Perelson's reaction was: "That was insane he just landed that back 180! It looked like there was no way he could have landed it."
Adam Taylor's response: "It just looked like that because he was trying a double pits to chesty."


7:35 p.m. PST: I talked to Alex Perelson about pulling out of Big Air and Big Air Rail Jam and he said, "I heard there were less guys in it this year, so I wanted to do it originally. But then I decided vert was enough. I want to do well in vert." When I asked Perelson if he skated the Big Air ramp a lot, he said, "I've skated Bob's ramp a few times. I can do 360s and all that, but I'm not as advanced as most of these guys. I'm hoping to try it next year, but I'm just doing vert this year."


Another gnarly view from the top.
7:10 p.m. PST: I just hit up Adam Taylor between runs and asked him about getting into the Rail Jam portion of the Big Air event. He said, "I really wanted to, but I was an alternate. I guess Alex Perelson dropped out. So, I'm stoked." No sight of Alex Perelson over here at Staples Center.


6:50 p.m. PST: Dimitry Elyashkevich and Jeff Tremaine of Big Brother magazine and "Jackass" TV show fame are here with BMX legend, Matt Hoffman filming for "Nitro Circus."


6:45 p.m. PST: Athlete Update: Alex Perelson and Pierre Luc Gagnon are both out of the Big Air comp. Alex is also out of the Big Air Rail Jam. Adam Taylor will replace Alex Perelson in the Big Air Rail Jam.


The view from the take-off point on the Big Air ramp.
6:30 p.m. PST: I was just reminded about the Bob Burnquist magnet myth by something Chris Nieratko said and it cracks me up. I can faithfully confirm that there are no magnets—Bob just did a proper tré flip to fakie on the Big Air quarterpipe. He just did a kickflip fingerflip on the quarter, too. Somehow Bob pulls things back under his feet that anyone else would bail without a second thought. To continue this butt-kissing contest, his wife is really hot, too.


5:58 p.m. PST: The ams have invaded the street course and are skating with the passion and abandon that only the ones who are really trying to come up have. Almost's latest addition, Justin Schulte is hitting the smaller rail with perfect feeble grinds. Flip ams, Curren Caples and Louie Lopez are cruising around while Element's Lacey Baker is holding it down for the ladies; girl's got quite the frontside flip.


5:40 p.m. PST: Chad Bartie is looking seriously hungry out here. He's got backside ollies over the capsule every go. And he's trying to follow it up with kickflips over the massive table top pyramid. Bartie is such an amazing and underrated skater; he's an ATV that can pull impressive stuff on anything you put in front of him.


5:35 p.m. PST: The mix of skaters on the park course right now is sick. I'm looking at Eric Koston ripping alongside Chad Bartie, Lance Mountain, Charlie Wilkins, Alex Chalmers, Christian Hosoi, Rune Glifberg, Pat Ngho, Ben Shroeder, Tony Magnusson, Chris Miller, Jimmy "The Greek" Marcus and more. So random and so rad. —AS


5:15 p.m. PST: Hosoi has been eyeing the grind over the dome-capsule for the past two days and he just 5-0ed it, hooting and hollering on his way out. It was rad to see. I'm off to Staples to check in on the Big Air guys.


5:10 p.m. PST: Email from Sam in Wyoming:
Who's looking the strongest out on the park course

4:35 p.m. PST: Man, tough to say Sam. There are a lot of guys that are really getting some good lines down in there. But, if I'm forced to make a call, I'd say Rune Glifberg is looking like a solid bet. He's really comfortable in that park and seems to tie things together better than nearly everyone. But Omar Hassan is a contender too and we can't forget about all the guys who shine practice but come out guns blazing the day of the comp. We'll see. —A.S.


4:45 p.m. PST: Koston can shred a spine (I know, cause I've seen it in video and real life). I just overheard him talking about the spine in the park course, how he likes it but that it's hard to skate. Then Christian Hosoi said to Koston, "It's just like a rail, but with a wall up to it." I guess that's a good way to relate it to one of the all-time greatest street skaters.


Koston took a break from the street course to roll the park set up for a bit.
4:35 p.m. PST: Koston made it and he's skating the park course. I guess everyone likes this a lot better.


4:10 p.m. PST: Just saw some vert ramp hi-jinx. PLG yelled down in the middle of practice: "Hey, get off my phone!" I looked over and Alex Perelson was holding a Blackberry, looking guilty. "You wanna know what he wrote? 'I just had the most amazing vert run in practice. I'm gonna win,'" shouted fellow vert skater Danny Mayer, reading the text Alex wrote to everyone with PLG's phone. It appears it's a common vert prank to take advantage of practice, by nicking other vert skaters' phones and sending out fake texts to their peers. "That was weak," Danny Mayer added, "You should have made it more cocky, like, 'I just did the most amazing run. I wish I could have taken my eyes out and set them on the deck to watch myself skate." Ha!


3:55 p.m. PST: Men's vert is winding down a bit. Bucky Lasek just headed out to skate the Park event course. But the ladies are warming up. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins tried a 50-50 and almost made the fatal move of catching her feet on the coping and slamming. Could have been a harsh face smash, but she wiggled her way out. Back to ripping now.


Shane O'Neill does a first try 50-50 down the rail built more for the BMXers.
3:45 p.m. PST: Skate Mental and Nike SB am Shane "Nugget" O'Neill just 50-50'd the BMX rail on the street course first try. It's a long, laid-out 12 stair. Unreal. He claimed it and was the first to try. I'm at vert now watching the ladies and gents on the U-pipe.


3:00 p.m. PST: Corey Duffel dropped out of the street contest. He was unavailable to comment by phone. I attempted to reach him via email, but he hasn't responded. I spoke to Mike Sinclair, Tum Yeto Team Manager (includes Foundation, Toy Machine, Pig Wheels and Dekline) and he said, "He's in Canada, but I think it has to do with his wrist. He was up there and didn't want to risk hurting it in a contest. So, I that's why I think he decided not to come." Heath Kirchart will be taking his place in street.


2:50 p.m. PST: Some serious street carnage going down right now with guys taking no time at all to get used to the course. Chaz has already unleashed a bevy of tricks on the bigger rail. P-Rod is getting tech on the smaller rail and tying some lines together. Abdias Rivera did some sick gap to Smiths across the pyramid gap and down the concrete rail


Chaz Ortiz is the first skater to hit the rail since it was put into the course.
1:54 p.m. PST: Chaz Ortiz is the first one I've seen hit the 12-stair rail. That thing is big. Yeow!!!


1:45 p.m. PST: Alexis Sablone just graduated from Columbia University with a major in Architecture, so I asked her, how she would design the course. She said, "I don't know. I don't think I'd change too much. Maybe take two stairs off that part over there," referring to the 12-stair rail and bank section. "I tend to like things a little more mellow." Alexis is still living in NYC after graduating and says she happy just skateboarding for the time being.


Elissa is taking it in stride that someone gave her men's underwear.

1:35 p.m. PST: The athletes all get a swag bag of goodies from event staff and various event sponsors. But someone forgot to check who gets what apparently. They gave Elissa Steamer a pair of specially-engineered men's boxer briefs. On the box it says, "Designed for the contours of the natural shape of men." —Chris Nieratko


1:28 p.m. PST: Sierra Fellers, Abdias Riviera, Chaz Ortiz, Terry Kennedy and Paul Rodriguez just arrived and started skating the street course. Warm up time.


1:10 p.m. PST: The course is good and all, but Amy Caron and Alexis Sablone are opting out of skating the obstacles to play a game of SKATE. They both have flatground on lock, but Alexis, of "PJ Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life" fame has still got all her tricks with proper flick and consistency.


1:08 p.m. PST: The gals were sitting here talking with us about the brick tranny. "It's kind of hard to skate," Nike TM Andy Henrie said, "A simple 5-0 would be the ultimate." Then, Elissa said, "Just wait until later. Dudes will be gapping across to 5-0 and backside Smith. It only seems hard now."


Leticia Bufoni is tearing up the street course right now.

1:05 p.m. PST: I saw Leticia with ice sticking out of the back of her pants. "What happened?" I asked. "I slammed on my hip, skating the brick transition...it was the first thing I tried today!" She's just taking a rest, then she's going to keep rolling and it's not putting any fear in her. "I wish the double set was a little bigger," she said, when I asked her what she thought about the course.


12:48 p.m. PST: Here's the beta on the crazy graffitti that appeared overnight on the Street course—it was all done this morning by Logan Hicks, who did the cover art for Green Day's album "21st Century Breakdown." He's also working with the the X Games TV crew to do a lot of the graphics for the TV broadcast.


12:15 p.m. PST: I asked Elissa what her favorite part in the street park is and she jokingly said, "This part!" and pointed to the massive BMX section. I don't think anyone's gonna skate that part.


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Ramos storms the ladies Street practice

12:05 p.m. PST: Elissa Steamer made it out to the ladies Street practice, so it's Elissa and Leticia Bufoni on the course. No, he's not a girl, but Rodolfo Ramos came along with Leticia and hit the only piece of transition in the park, the bricks—back smith.


11:54 a.m. PST: Yesterday I caught up with Alex Perelson and hit him with a few questions about the 900. Get some Face Time with the Vert's new superstar right here.


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Skate course: bombed.

11:41 a.m. PST: My eyes are tearing. Someone bombed the street course this morning with a bunch of weird graffitti. There's a stencil of Bob Burnquist and his medal, and this crazy LA cityscape.


11:09 a.m. PST: It's Wednesday! Yesterday wound down with Danny Way frontside crooked grinding the rail over the Mega Ramp chasm and Bob Burnquist following behind him with a backside smith grind. Big Air is still entertaining, but I think the new Rail Jam event is going to be the most eye-popping, draw-dropping, leg-tapping, brain-exploding ... you know what I'm trying to say. It's going to be awesome. I'll be covering that event later in the evening.

During the day, the ladies' street practice comes first with the men's street practice coming second. Every invited skater's favorite, skateboard park practice will be next, with the legends—Hosoi, Cab, Lance Mountain, etc.—pulling bertlemans all over the place (just kidding). Then, the little ams will be shredding vert, including lil' back-to-back 540s Jono Schwan and friends. I'm hoping that Alex Perelson will continue his 900 success by pulling a 900 tailgrab in practice. It's always cool to see someone landing a trick regardless of who is around. The ladies take over next. While her name has always distracted me, I'm paying attention to Lyn-Z Adams-Hawkins both on vert and in the Big Air practice. She's the only girl hucking the gap. I'll wind down at Big Air, surely with some more behind-the-scenes coverage of Danny Way and all.