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Friday, July 31, 2009
Updated: June 15, 12:32 PM ET
Surfing and X Games


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Kelly X Gaming it up in Huntington, circa 2004.

So, moving on to more positive and constructive topics, obviously X Games is going on this week in Los Angeles, but once again surfing has been left out of the lineup. Based on a poll posted on this site earlier in the week, the overwhelming majority of people out there feel that surfing should definitely be featured in X Games. The question I put to you this morning is what's the best format to use?

In the past X Games has utilized Brad Gerlach's Game format...playing off, dare I say, East Coast vs. West Coast (and yes, the East Coast mopped the floor with the West Coast). But is this the right format to use? Should we instead be looking more towards an ASP model where there's one eventual winner? Or is there another option out there we haven't discussed?

Along those same lines, X Games has held its surf events in both Huntington and Mexico. Both locations have their own unique pluses and minuses. Obviously you want to see the best surfers in the best waves, which doesn't bode well for Huntington. But then again, you have to figure out a way to make it work for a live audience and TV, so Mexico's not the best option in that regard. Are there other spots worth looking into? How do you combine quality surf and accessibility to the masses?

Finally, who gets invited? Do you pull from the ASP Top 45, or do you have a qualifying event, or do you just do it by invite only? Like I said, you want to have the best surfers in the best waves, but how do you determine who the "best surfers" are? Does a free surfing talent like Jamie O'Brien or Julian Wilson get the nod over competitive veterans like Taj Burrow and Taylor Knox? Who gets in and who doesn't?

There's a lot of variables to consider, what's your take?