Skateboarding Stands Out at California’s X Games 2023

x games 2023

Skateboarding Stands Out at California’s X Games 2023

The world’s most prestigious extreme sports competition, the X Games, just wrapped up its 2023 edition in California over July 21-23, with around 20,000 fans per day attending the event in Ventura. X Games has had a huge influence on the world of extreme sports and adrenaline-raising action, with many broken world records at the event and new levels set for stunts and tricks. 

This year was no different, and the event was a record-setting success featuring the youngest ever contestant to score a medal in the X Games, 10-year old Reese Nelson, who earned a silver medal in the Pacifico Women’s Skateboard Vert competition. On top of that, fans witnessed a surprise appearance of the ultimate boarding legend, Tony Hawk, who dropped into X Games California 2023 to compete in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick competition. 

The summer weather was perfect in Ventura over the weekend, attracting celebrities besides Hawk like Lil Wayne and Bam Margera. X Games is the hottest, fastest, and generally the most extreme major competition at these levels, with coveted prize money, acclaim, and social media clout for the winners.  

X Games 2023 Top Scorers 

X Games has a unique ability to attract a wide range of talent and some of the heaviest hitters in the scene. Known for its cool, casual, and laid-back vibe, X Games is a favorite of many athletes and presents a coveted competition with the best of the best competing just for a spot. For those lucky enough to compete, it’s a dream come true and the experience of a lifetime. 

The women’s skateboarding runs were a crowd favorite, with Reese Nelson leaving the crowd in awe at her skill at such a young age. However, she was barely beaten out for the gold medal in the Pacifico Women’s Skateboard Vert competition by Australia’s 13-year old Arisa Trew, who managed to land a 720 on top of an immaculate run, making her the first woman in X Games history to do so. 

Another Australian, Chloe Cavell, won the Women’s Street event, with her best run placing a score of 90. For the Men’s Street Event, Japanese skater Yuto Horigome took home the gold, with Brazilian Kelvin Hoefler placing 2nd. For the Men’s Pacifico Skateboard Vert event, American Jimmy Wilkins placed in the top spot with a score of 92.33.

American Jagger Eaton, formerly the youngest ever competitor in the X Games when he competed at 11, managed to barely beat out Keegen Palmer with a score of 92 compared to Palmer’s 91.33 in the Men’s Park Final. The top spot for the Women’s Park Final again went to standout Arisa Trew, with a score of 91.

Tony Hawk, dealing with the aftermath of a broken femur in 2022, placed 9th in the Best Trick competition, although he will always be remembered as the one who kickstarted, revolutionized, and legitimized skateboarding as a now-Olympic sport, debuting at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The gold medal in this event went to Brazilian Gui Khuri, with Japan’s Moto Shibata taking silver.

Finally, the Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Megapark event saw an exciting run by French skater Edouard Damestoy, placing a score of 91.66 on the board. He was followed up by Brazil’s Khuri, with American Tom Schaar placing third. 

Kicks, Flips, and Tricks in Ventura

The BMX and Motocross events also attracted some of the world’s top talent. Internet personality and American Colin Varanyak placed first in the Real BMX top trick competition, with Argentinian Jose Torres placing first in the Men’s BMX Park event. Brady Baker took gold in the BMX Dirt competition, and Kevin Peraza placed first in the BMX Street event.  

X Games’ signature motocross event, Moto X, put on an exciting show for the crowd. David Rinaldo placed first in the best trick competition with a version of the Carolla trick, a gravity-defying stunt where the rider twists around in a horizontal corkscrew movement, the first time the trick has been performed since 2004.  

For the Moto X Quarterpipe High Air event, California native Colby Raha took home the gold medal with a massive jump of 56’3”. For the Moto X Best Whip competition, American Tyler Bereman placed first, with Tom Parsons, another American, taking home the silver medal.  

Sell Out Crowds at X Games

While events like BMX and motocross still attracted huge crowds, skateboarding was the clear fan favorite. The bleachers filled quickly with the packed attendance, leaving standing room only for late arrivals. Fans, professionals, recruiters, and the media all kept a close eye on the half-pipes and ramps where the gravity-defying skateboard stunts took place. 

Parking was sold out too, with the event packing the Ventura County Fairgrounds close to its capacity. X Games attracts a worldwide audience and attendees from all around the world bringing the total attendance over three days to well over 50,000. Of course, the event was live-streamed over YouTube and other platforms, bringing the total viewers far over that count.  

Young fans even got to take part in the event themselves, with a youth section dedicated to an open skate park called the Exposure course. Kids of all ages got to try out the fun and see how it feels, with guidance and coaches handy for advice. Of course, anyone using the Exposure course was required to sign a liability waiver due to the potential for injury.   

On top of that, there were plenty of booths and vendors selling food, drinks, merchandise, and even original art from an art collective called Punk Rock Art. X Games is more than just an exciting way to watch the world’s best riders, bikers, and other high-performance adrenaline junkies practice their art, it’s a full-on packed event with all the entertainment and excitement you could imagine.  

If you’re looking for more thrills, the next edition of the X Games will be the 2024 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. It’s going to be another sellout crowd, so make sure to buy your tickets early and take care of lodging and transportation before the rush starts!

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Categories:   Skateboarding