X Games Real Street class of 2014
Real Street 2014
Real Street, the all-street, all-video X Games skateboarding contest, is back for its fifth year. On Tuesday, May 13, the one-minute video entries of 16 of the world's best street skateboarders will debut at XGames.com/RealStreet. As always, a panel of highly-respected skateboard industry judges will decide who gets the grand $50,000 prize, as well as gold, silver and bronze X Games medals, which will be awarded during the live broadcast of XG Austin this June. The Fan Favorite portion of the competition will be structured a little differently this year, however. For the first time, there will be no head-to-head elimination rounds. All videos will now be in competition with each other in one group, and the video with the most votes at the end wins $10,000 and bragging rights. Read on to find out more about this year's cast of characters, as described by the people who skate with them.
Billy Marks is from Corona, Calif., and has been pro for Toy Machine since 2003. He is known for making memorable video parts using his trademark combination of doing technical moves down massive rails or sets of stairs -- some of which he can do with a backpack on. When Billy is not competing in Street League, or out in the streets skating, he spends time playing ice hockey, playing video games, collecting novelty songs and hanging with his kids, Catch and Maybe, and his wife, Ashly. Billy's sense of humor and awesome mustache are what make him a fan favorite, and there isn't a gap or set of stairs on Earth that Billy can't kickflip roast beef.
Clint Walker is a determined maniac on and off his board. His work ethic is truly something to behold. He will sweep the spot, bondo the crack or go buy plywood with his own dime to make spots skateable for his homies. Clint puts in hours and countless slams to pull off the stuff that he does. He keeps going until he gets his trick or until he can't walk anymore. Clint is the guy you want on your team. His energy and determination keep everyone around him psyched.
Dane Burman is a skateboarder's skateboarder. He doesn't skate because he grew up wanting to make a name for himself. He doesn't have an energy drink sponsor or a flashy car. He's just a normal guy with a love for what he does. He's not scared to put in the time and effort to achieve what he's set out to accomplish, whether he's starting his new sock company, Sock Posse, or trying for hours to get a trick. I think I speak on behalf of most skateboarders when I say that skateboarding needs more people like Dane Burman.
David Reyes is one of the most positive and motivated people I know, on and off a skateboard. It's been a real blessing being able to watch him progress over the years and I'm very proud of him. Skating with him always makes the session pinnacle. David is one of the only ams in this contest. He should be pro. He's already had interviews, been on magazine covers, and everybody knows his name. And if they didn't know it before, they will after his Real Street part. I got a sneak peek and it's truly amazing.
This Minneapolis, Minn., native, who now resides out West, goes fast and pops high, catching his flips with such fancy footwork that the outcome never seems in question -- he's always going to make it. Bursting onto the scene in a pair of Minnesotan videos, "Boondoggle" and "Flow Trash," Torgerson made a name for himself handling nollie frontside hurricanes down handrails. (A feat yet to be matched by anyone else.) He was a part of the cast in Real Skateboards' "Since Day One," and he's kept his profile high with regular appearances on The Berrics. Chances are Davis has something up his sleeve that we've never seen, or even thought of, and we're assured it'll be crisp and clean.
Evan Smith is a very tough person to describe. He doesn't really have to try to learn the latest tricks or train for the next big contest. Everything he does is spontaneous and meant to be. On and off his skateboard, Evan is one of the most talented people I have ever met. His passion for skateboarding, music and his general uniqueness make him one of my favorite people to be around.
I met Forrest at our local skate park in Riverside, Calif. He would try tricks all day and most of the time he would end up breaking his board from landing wrong. He was no natural, but he never gave up. Forrest would skate five miles to and from the skate park every day and skate non-stop, determined to get better. I've never seen so much dedication in my life. After 10 years of this, he became the skateboarder he is today. Forrest will terrorize anything in his path -- from the biggest rails, stairs and gaps. It's no joke. He has a surprisingly big bag of tricks and a wild personality that makes him entertaining on and off the board.
James Hardy hails from Alabama and he wears his hometown pride like a badge of honor. This badge signifies power, beauty, hard work, modesty and a tangy bit of sauce. His bag of tricks has only the finest ingredients. His modesty comes from being beaten down by rough cement and dirt. His power evolved from his hard work ethic. Never one to oversaturate himself, if you see a video part of James you can count on it being worth watching every day before you get out and shred.
Luis Tolentino is a friend, son, brother, comedian, philosopher and, not surprisingly, a great skateboarder. He's the kind of person who feels like your best friend, even when you've just met him, and he will stop at nothing to steal your attention. He's non-stop entertainment and comedy. When you're not on the floor laughing, your mouth is on the floor from witnessing his power and pop on a skateboard. You're really going to enjoy the show.
Mikey Taylor loves skateboarding. I know a lot of people claim they love skateboarding, but I bet Mikey loves it more. Usually the older you get the less you skate. Not Mikey. He founded a craft brewery last year, has a wife and a daughter and he still finds the time to skate every single day. It's like he's still 15 years old, instead of 31. If we're not going out filming in the streets, then Mikey is usually perfecting his skill at Biebel's Park or The Berrics. Everyone loves Mikey. He makes us remember why we all started skateboarding -- because we love it.
Moose is one of the best guys you will ever meet, both on and off the board. No matter where we go -- if it's a manual pad, ledge or rail -- he's always on the grind and killing it at skateboarding and at life. He's a great friend, loves his family and is always willing to help anyone out. His X Games Real Street part is going to have a little bit of everything and be amazing, just like Moose.
Nick Dompierrewas sponsored by Real Skateboards in 2004, at the age of 17. A year later he appeared in his first full length video part in Real's "Roll Forever." In 2006, he made the cover of the July issue of "Thrasher," the August cover of "Slap," and was runner-up for Thrasher's "Skater of the Year" award. He turned pro shortly after in January of 2007. Then in 2011 tragedy struck in the form of two fractured vertebrae. In 2012, he started physical therapy and strength training. In 2013, he put out an amazing "Bangin!" segment on The Berrics, which caught the eye of Puma footwear and opened the door for the X Games Real Street video you're about to watch.
Being the son of Tony Hawk, Riley was puton a board at the age of 3. Being one of the most dedicated skateboarders in the world did the rest. His hard work, style and versatility have earnedRileyrespect in the industry far outside his family name, earning him his own Baker pro model and The Skateboard Mag's Year's Best Am award in 2013. Never one for the spotlight, his unassuming, mellow demeanor belies a wealth of talent, and the staggering amounts of footage he's been putting out over the last few years have made him one of the most talked-about pros in skateboarding whether he likes it or not.
Rodrigo Petersen is the only Brazilian in Real Street this year, and he's holding it down for international skaters in a contest that is heavily U.S. focused. "A lot of people may not realize [he] opened the door for the rest of the Brazilians to all come out here and find success," says Paul Rodriguez. Rodrigo was showcased with his groundbreaking video part in LRG's "Give me my money Chico" in 2010. He officially entered the professional ranks in 2011 riding for Boulevard. In 2012, Rodrigo had a full part in Boulevard's film "Amburger," which blew minds. Today Rodrigo continues to push the limits on the board with an original style, intense power and chest-high nollies.
At one point multiple companies wanted Wes Kremer on their teams, but he remained loyal to Skate Mafia, the first company who sponsored him, and where he's now one of the top pros on a team stacked with friends he grew up skating with. The great thing about Wes is he isn't out chasing trends. He skates his own way, and generally does what he wants. And it stands out, as you can tell from things like the TransWorld "Reader's Choice" nomination he got back in January.
Tyler Surrey grew up skating with Wes Kremer and has been slowly building a name for himself the same way Wes has done. He's not your typical contest skater. He's in the streets filming, getting footage that people love with a clean trick selection and a unique way of doing tricks. Tyler and Wes have a classic street skater approach that is just cool to watch. It's not like they are jocks, out there seeing someone doing something and trying to do it bigger. They aren't one-uppers. They just skate the way they want to skate, and that's enough.