Heading to Austin this weekend to check out the athletes competing in the ESPN X Games Austin 2014? It’s time for you to know the events and some of the athletes to watch with our quick guide. In other words, this is a crash course for the lazy.
BMX GoPro Big Air – The GoPro BMX Big Air competition features eight BMX athletes who drop in on the Big Air Ramp from a 60-foot high roll in. The athletes then hit a kicker ramp over a 55 foot gap, where they will attempt their first trick and continue into a 27 foot quarterpipe for the second trick. The eight competitors take three turns each. Riders are judged on style, creativity and amplitude.
Athlete to watch: Morgan Wade from Tyler, Texas. This Texas native is known for his massive air and 2013 was his best year yet.
BMX Dirt – 12 BMX athletes compete on a six-jump downhill course with huge gaps. The course is complex and offers a variety of jump and landing sizes, berms, and ranging from 15-33 feet. Competitors are judged on amplitude, creativity, style, volume of maneuvers and flow of run.
BMX Park – Park offers riders the opportunity to test their skills on a unique transition-based concrete course. Competitors will be judged based on aggressive execution of maneuvers, degree of difficulty, variety, continuity of run, originality and style, amplitude, and the use of the course.
BMX Street – The street competition features simple, raw street elements such as stairs, concrete rails and ledges, and air elements such as street style gaps. Judging is based on the overall impression of an athlete’s run.
BMX Vert – Vert competitions have become a favorite of action sports fans around the world. Essentially a halfpipe, the Vert Ramp for X Games Austin is 60 feet wide with 11.5 feet transitions and two feet of vert. Competitors will be judged based on aggressive execution of maneuvers, degree of difficulty, variety, continuity of run, originality and style, amplitude, and use of the ramp.
MOTO X Best Whip – Riders showcase their abilities to throw a 250 pound machine sideways and bring it back with style. This venue is 100 percent fan judged and their best attempt is voted on via tweets.
MOTO X Step Up – Riders line up 30 feet from a near vertical wall of dirt and have two attempts to clear the Step Up bar at each height. If a rider knocks the bar to the ground in the first attempt that rider has one additional attempt to clear the bar at that height or be eliminated. After each round, the bar is raised in increments and the entire process is repeated until one winner is determined.
MOTO X Freestyle – In Freestyle, riders tackle a complex dirt course made up of a variety of different jumps, some dirt, some metal, which challenge overall rider skills while integrating tricks throughout their overall run. Scoring is based on overall impression, tricks, execution, style, use of the course and landings.
Athlete to Watch: Taka Higashino from Osaka, Japan. Taka was the most dominant Moto X Freestyle rider in 2013. He won his third straight Freestyle gold at the X Games Los Angeles.
MOTO X Men’s & Women’s Enduro X – Enduro X features both men’s and women’s disciplines, showcasing riders’ talent on an all-terrain obstacle course. Riders will race through sand, mud, logs, rocks and other terrain features in a blend of motocross racing and traditional Enduro.
Athlete to Watch: Tarah Geiger from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The most decorated female Moto X athlete, Geiger currently has a total of seven X Games medals.
MOTO X Speed & Style – Speed & Style combines racing and the gravity-defying tricks of Freestyle. Two riders race head to head around a three-lap short track motorcross inspired course. The twist is that both riders must hit a freestyle ramp and execute a trick on each lap. Riders get “style” points and “speed” points to determine the overall winner.
FORD RallyCross – Ford RallyCross features drivers competing side-by-side in 600hp RallyCross cars on a mixed surface course including dirt, jumps, and obstacles.
Athlete to Watch: Toomas Heikkinen of Joensuu, Finland. The only driver to medal in all four X Games 2013 Rally Cross events. Heikkinen had a dream season last year and is only 22 years old.
RallyCross Lites – RallyCross Lites features a similar format to the Ford RallyCross, with all drivers competing in identically prepared 310 horsepower vehicles.
Stadium SUPER Trucks – The Stadium SUPER Trucks will feature identically prepared 600hp trucks reaching speeds up to 120 mph and man-made ramps at multiple locations throughout the course. The Baja-style race trucks will negotiate a track course made of both dirt and concrete.
Athlete to Watch: Robby Gordon of Cerritos, California. A former NASCAR competitor, Gordon has raced in the Indianapolis 500, has three NASCAR Sprint Cup wins, and is a seven time SCORE International Off-Road Racing Champion.
SKATEBOARD America’s Navy Big Air – Competitors drop in on the Big Air Ramp from either a 50 or 65 foot high roll in. They then have their choice of kicker ramps over a 50 or 65 foot gap where they will attempt their first trick and continue up a 27 foot quarterpipe for the second trick. Competitors are based on style, creativity, and amplitude.
Athlete to Watch: Bob Burnquist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Burnquist has the most medals in X Games history. He has 26 X Games medals and has competed in every summer X Game since it’s inception in 1995.
SKATEBOARD Park – Park offers riders the opportunity to test their skills on a unique transition based concrete and wood hybrid course. Competitors are judged based on degree of difficulty, variety, height, distance, and execution of tricks.
Athlete to Watch: Pedro Barros from Florianopolis, Brazil. Part of the latest group of versatile skateboarders to come out of Brazil, Pedro dominated the X Games Skateboard Park competitions in 2013.
SKATEBOARD Monster Energy Men’s Street – This competition showcases riders on a street inspired course that consists of stair sets, banks, manual pads, ledges, rails, and quarterpipe. Competitors will be judged on degree of difficulty, variety, height, distance, and execution of tricks along with continuity of the run, originality, style, and the use of the entire course.
Athlete to Watch: Nyjah Huston from Davis, California. With three Skateboard Street gold medals in 2013 Huston missed out on the X Games Skateboard Street sweep when injury prevented him from competing at X Games Munich.
SKATEBOARD Women’s Street – The Women’s Street contest showcases the best female skaters in the world performing tricks in a concrete plaza complete with stair sets, manual pads, and ledges. Women will be judged on overall impression of the athlete’s run.
Athlete to Watch: Leticia Bufoni from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The defending women’s Skateboard Street gold medalist, Bufoni won her first X Games gold in front of her hometown crowd at X Games Foz do Iguacu last year.
SKATEBOARD Vert – The halfpipe for X Games Austin is 60 feet wide with 11.5 foot transitions and two feet of vert. Skaters ride the ramp from wall to wall combining technical big airs and lip tricks. Competitors will be judged based on aggressive execution of maneuvers, degree of difficulty, variety, continuity of run, originality and style, amplitude, and use of the ramp.
Athlete to Watch: Bucky Lasek of Baltimore, Maryland. The only athlete to win gold in the same discipline at all four X Games summer events in 2013.
SKATEBOARD Amateur Skateboard Street – The Amateur Skateboard Street showcases the top amateur street skaters competing in the same course as the pros. Judging will be based on overall impression of the athlete’s run.