"World Of X Games" Game of Skate randomness
This was the scene from ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut for the inaugural "World Of X Games" Game of Skate. Eight of the world's best skateboarders were invited to compete in a head-to-head flat ground competition, and in between, randomness ensued. What follows is an inside look at a not-so-usual day at ESPN.
Mike Mo Capaldi
Mike Mo Capaldi, one of the eight invited skateboarders on hand to compete in Game of Skate, stretches prior to the start of the competition. The night before, Capaldi amazed the other Game of Skate competitors with his superior bowling skills. He rarely misses a strike, and in the event he does, he always cleans up with a spare.
Toy Machine pro Billy Marks surveys the competition prior to the start of Game of Skate. Marks was eliminated early in the competition, but was gracious enough to cheer on the other competitors and give his board away to a fan after the competition was done.
Semi-local Brandon Westgate hails from Massachusetts and made his first visit to ESPN headquarters this week. Westgate often travels between New York and Massachusetts to film for Zoo York and Emerica, and although his flat ground pop is legendary, he did not advance past the quarterfinals during Game of Skate.
The coin flip
To determine which skater gets to go first during Game of Skate, a coin is tossed. The particular coin used on this day paid tribute to the first Extreme Games held in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1995 and broadcast on ESPN2.
PJ Ladd has won past Battle at the Berrics Game of Skate-style competitions, and coming to Bristol, he was one of the perennial favorites to take the win. Ladd made it all the way to the finals, but was ultimately bested by Mike Mo Capaldi.
Nyjah Huston surprised hard-core skate fans by taking friend and teammate Chris Cole out in the quarterfinals. Huston made it to the semifinals but was ultimately taken out by PJ Ladd. Huston remained on site following his elimination to sign autographs for the many fans on hand who were eager to meet him.
A switch hardflip from Chris Cole early in the competition. Check the height off of flat ground. Yes, Cole has pop on lock.
Between heats, PJ Ladd kept his blood flowing by skating with several locals near the main entrance to ESPN. Ultimately, security came along and shut them down, though, several hundred feet away from the skate competition happening on ESPN campus.
Brandon Westgate, Sean Cronan
Brandon Westgate takes a moment to pose for a photo with Zoo York photographer Sean Cronan and his son Max.
PJ Ladd, making his sponsors happy during the Game of Skate finals. From start to finish, Ladd probably put in more hours on his skateboard than any other competitor.
All eight Game of Skate competitors remained on hand following the event to sign autographs for attending fans. Some even walked away with their favorite pro skater's personal boards.
Mike Mo Capaldi
And in the end, flatground master Mike Mo Capaldi walked away with his first "official" trophy (he claims he never got a trophy from winning Battle at the Berrics), $10,000 and a lifetime subscription to ESPN. Congrats Mo!
And then the rain came
The skate gods were looking down kindly on Bristol on Friday. Despite the threat of rain, the skies remained clear until about 10 minutes after the end of the competition. And then, winds picked up and the rain started coming down just as soon as the venue started to be torn down.