"World of X" Game of Skate contenders
"World of X" Game of Skate
X Games might be over for the year, but the World of X Games continues with the latest creation, "World of X Games" Game of Skate, coming Aug. 1 to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Eight of the world's top skateboarders have been selected to compete against each other in a trick-for-trick showdown that follows the classic basketball game H.O.R.S.E. What follows is a rundown of the invited skateboarders competing in World of X's Game of Skate.
Nyjah Huston, 19, is no stranger to skate competitions. Huston is a nine-time X Games medalist (with six gold) and is the most dominant street skater on the competition scene. In the history of Street League competitions, Huston has 12 wins and two of four year-end championships. How does he do it? Consistency, style and an approach that screams, "Not holding back."
Huston skates for Element Skateboards, DC Shoes, Monster Energy, AYC Apparel, Diamond Supply Co., Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, Stance socks and Lance Snacks. A list of sponsors that long doesn't come easy. According to Huston, "It's a great feeling when all my hard work and practice pays off."
At 32 years of age, Chris Cole is coming into ESPN headquarters as the elder statesman for World of X's inaugural Game of Skate. The five-time X Games medalist (with three gold) is sponsored by DC Shoes, Thunder Trucks, Spitfire Wheels, Monster Energy, Diamond Supply Co., Bones Bearings, Reign, Stance socks, Kershaw Knives, GoPro and Grizzly Grip. Cole recently left longtime board sponsor Zero after 13 years. "It's great to see X Games creating more skate events, especially different types, since skateboarding is so diverse," he said. "This being on the Bristol campus is just icing on the cake."
"I love that the Game of Skate is the same contest kids have every day at their local spots," Cole added. "They skate together and play in a friendly competition. We are going to do the same."
P.J. Ladd is not the typical X Games competition skater. Although he has competed in the X Games Real Street video series (and earned a bronze medal), Ladd's main focus as a pro is filming video sections. He has also seen success at various Battle of the Berrics competitions, which he won in 2012 and 2013. Ladd is also semi-local to ESPN's Bristol campus, having grown up in the Boston area. Now 31, Ladd's sponsors include Plan B Skateboards, Diamond Supply Co., Hubba Wheels, Jessup, Venture Trucks and New Balance.
The sole Australian in World of X's Game of Skate, 24-year-old Shane O'Neill is sponsored by Nike Skateboarding, Skate Mental, Fourstar, Thunder, Spitfire, CCS, Diamond Supply Co. and Grizzly Grip. Known for his technical precision, as well as earning the highest score ever on a trick at Street League, O'Neill is one to watch as World of X's Game of Skate approaches. Ever the crowd pleaser, O'Neill takes trick requests from fans via social media and films them for his fans if the trick request is doable.
O'Neill has competed in various Battle at the Berrics competitions and has been able to defeat names such as Nyjah Huston and Eric Koston. He's comfortable competing and filming in front of friends and fans, including landing switch double 360 flips like it was nothing special.
Hailing from Corona, California, Toy Machine's Billy Marks is a longtime pro who also skates for Thunder Trucks and PIG Wheels. "I gamble a lot, and I lose a lot," Marks said. "And I can't skate tranny -- I only do kickflips." Marks, now 31, has filmed video sections for Fallen's "Ride The Sky" and numerous Toy Machine videos, and he is more than a decade into his career as a pro.
"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," Toy Machine owner Ed Templeton said. Marks is married to wife Ashly and the couple have two children, Catch and Maybe.
Originally hailing from the Philadelphia area, 24-year-old Tom Asta is sponsored by LRG, Fallen, Mystery, Spitfire, Thunder Trucks and Reign Skateshop. Asta competed in X Games 17's Real Street competition and earned himself a spot on the 2012 Street League tour. Asta is currently filming a section for a new video from LRG and has been spending time at Woodward Camp East while also traveling to various Street League competitions.
Mike Mo Capaldi
Hailing from Simi Valley, California, Mike Mo Capaldi is a hardened Game of Skate competitor and earned the win at the first-ever Battle of the Berrics. Capaldi, 24, skates for DC Shoes, Girl Skateboards, Glassy Sunhaters, Mob Grip, Spitfire Wheels, Royal Trucks, Skatelab, Swiss and Dr. Pepper. Capaldi has had full sections in seminal skate videos, such as "Fully Flared" and, more recently, "Pretty Sweet."
Mike Mo Capaldi
Capaldi isn't just a pro skateboarder -- he's also an entrepreneur who runs a sunglasses brand with his brother Vince, dubbed Glassy. He's primed for Game of Skate, having competed against some of the other competitors invited to World of X's Games of Skate. "P.J. Ladd keeps beating me, damn it," Capaldi said. "I'm not good at contests."
At 25 years of age, Boston to New York City transplant Brandon Westgate actually won a silver medal in a past Game of Skate competition at X Games 17, so he's primed for the competition. Coming off of a recent back injury which forced him to pull out of X Games Real Street earlier this year, Westgate is sponsored by Zoo York, Emerica, Venture Trucks, CCS and Ricta Wheels. Westgate is also known for his stylish flat ground techniques. "It's a trip when a flatground trick that's easy gets people stoked more than things I killed myself for. It's cool though when people recognize that though," said Westgate after fans started creating gifs of Westgate's flatground moves.