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April 29, 2011

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X Games takes tricks to the extreme

WHETHER it's BMX freestyle, skateboarding, Moto X or aggressive in-line skating, fans of extreme sports will be converging in the city this weekend to see some of the biggest names in various vert and street disciplines take part in the 2011 KIA X Games Asia event, Fei Lai reports.

Fans of extreme sports are in for a bumper May Day holiday treat with the KIA X Games Asia taking place at the KIC Jiangwan Sports Center in Yangpu District this weekend.

Starting from today and running through Monday, it will be the extreme sports event's fifth year in Shanghai.

Organized by ESPN Star Sports' Event Management, the four-day event will be headlined by top names from the world of extreme sports.

Almost 200 competitors from almost 30 countries and regions will take part in skateboarding, BMX freestyle, Moto X and aggressive in-line skating events for a share of the total prize money, which this year will reach US$65,000.

Last year saw a record-breaking attendance with 58,400 spectators and similar numbers are expected this weekend.

The X Games facilities, including the returning mini-Mega Ramp, are all imported from the United States, providing the perfect conditions for the skaters and riders to compete. From the grandstand, the audience will get to witness the contestants performing daring jumps, back flips and other tricks on this exciting ramp.

Budding extreme sports athletes can also enjoy free on-the-spot skateboard and in-line skating tuition from professional coaches.

A fresh element for the 2011 contest is the X Games Visa. Visitors can collect stamps from sponsors' booths, stage and dining areas at the event by using the X Games Visa, and then have the chance to win a prize. Some of the prizes on offer include the opportunity to test drive a KIA car, Apple products and signed pop CDs.

Visitors to the event will not only get to see extreme sports pros in action, but also experience a festival-like atmosphere as a stage in the center of the venue will be graced by a range of music performances and entertainment with Andrew Cheung, Ding Xiang and Black New New among the big names performing.

Tickets: 120 yuan per day for adults; 50 yuan per day for children; 240 yuan per day for family package (two adults and one child)

Tel: 962-388


X Games Tricks

In-line skating

Jump Forward

While rolling at a moderate speed, slowly squat down and then leap up as high as possible using your arms to help launch you upwards. When coming down to land, bend your legs slightly to ensure a smooth landing and avoid ankle injury.



This trick can be performed stationary or while moving. With one foot on the back of the skateboard and the other in the middle, bend your knees slightly. With an explosive burst slam down the foot on the rear of the skateboard as hard as you can so the tail hits the ground. As the skateboard pops into the air, slide the other foot up to the front of the deck to ensure the skateboard is horizontal when it lands.



While the bicycle is moving forward, pull up the front wheel (but not too high) and shift your body weight back slightly to lower your center of gravity, straighten your arms and maintain balance while continuing to coast on the back wheel only.

X Games Events

BMX freestyle

Freestyle, or bicycle stunt riding, evolved from BMX (bicycle motocross) racing in the early 1980s.

Racing has been around since the 1970s when the first official BMX heavy-duty bike frames emerged.

In 1983, the first bikes made exclusively for freestyle came off the production line. By 1984 some of the first freestyle competitions were held in skate parks.

By 1986, sponsorship began pouring into freestyle. While BMX racing has become an Olympic event (with its first medals awarded at the 2008 Beijing Games), the more skillful and daring BMX freestyle disciplines of vert (performed on ramps) and street (performed on flatland) have become a staple of the X Games.


The surfboard is the father of the skateboard. During the late 1950s and into the 1960s, American kids began to look for ways to recreate the feeling of riding a wave on land. Soon they were experimenting with surfboard-like designs with wheels.

The first commercial skateboard, the Roller Derby, hit stores in 1959. Like BMX freestyle, skateboarding can take place on vert or street. Key advances in the sport included the aerial, the invert and the ollie, which may be the single-most important trick in the evolution of skateboarding.

Aggressive in-line

The basic idea for in-line roller skates has been around for about 300 years, when a 17th-century Dutchman tried to simulate ice skating in the summer by nailing wooden spools to strips of wood and attaching them to his shoes. Today in-line skating ranks as the fifth largest participatory sport in the US and can be performed on vert and street.

Moto X

Adding a motorized element to the X Games, Motocross racing which takes place on off-road circuits was born in Europe after World War II and has grown into a global phenomenon.

In the same way BMX freestyle evolved from BMX racing, Moto X evolved from motocross racing in the 1980s, became more mainstream in the 1990s and was added to the X Games roster in 1999. Riders compete to perform the best aerial tricks after launching at high speeds from a dirt-covered ramp. It will be one of the highlights of the 2011 KIA X Games Asia.


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