The LG Action Sports Tour Event in Birmingham at the end of July was excellent. It was the first time that I’ve seen any of these events live and it was very impressive. But not only was the action good, the weekend on a whole was great: a bunch of friends on a camping road trip. Excellent

There were three things that I was most looking forward to seeing: the skate vert, the bmx street and Tony Hawk. They all delivered. But the surprise of the weekend for me was the inline skate vert – I enjoyed it much more than expected. It’s still not something that I’m interested in trying, but seeing first hand the height that some of the inline skaters are getting was impressive and exciting. I got a clip of Eito Yasutoko doing his new trick “The Twister”… I think it was the first time he’d landed it in a competition. The Yasutoko brothers did a good job of getting the crowd into the event.

The skate vert competition. One of the key reasons that I originally started skating was to try and learn to ride ramps and bowls. That’s why I was really looking forward to this event: watching great skaters go from transition to transition, pulling off big airs each time. I think these skating moves are closest to those of snowboarding and that’s why I like them. It was sick! I don’t think the world’s very top vert skaters were there, but the competition was still great. Super smooth riders – great style – sweet tweaks etc etc. I really liked Terence Bougdour and Jake Brown, they brought a lot to the competition. Check out some of the video, including the winner – Anthony Furlong.

Tony Hawk. Simply watching this guy skate a vert ramp is a treat, given his role in skateboarding. That said, demonstrations tend not to push riders to the same levels that competitions do, and the various demonstrations that Tony and Matt Hoffman put on did have a kinda laid back feel (although Matt Hoffman was going real high). Still very enjoyable, and some of the combinations they did were great (and a little close in some cases).

The BMX street. This was the most gripping event of the weekend for me – and that’s because it had the largest element of “competition”. It was the event that the crowed really got into. The scores mattered. The ending was tense. Watching the likes of Ryan Nyquist and Mark Webb go head to head was a real treat – and we had front row seats. Watch this video of the top 3… that front flip transfer from Webb is insane 🙂

I also enjoyed the street skating, but there seemed to be a huge variation in the ability of the contenders. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing – as a range of skaters were clearly encouraged to get competition practice. However, it did knock the edge off the event. The runs seemed a little inconsistent, which made it hard to really get into it. We didn’t see the bxm vert or the inline street competitions…

The camp site. Camping was both a fun and cheap option for us, and to be honest it turned out ok. Stupidly expensive onsite food and drink, the usual camp site toilets and an over-hyped showering system that turned out to be a flop – but it was fun! It was also easy to find, real close to the event and with an all-night tescos around 10 minutes away getting food and drink was handy. However, we should have definitely bought a case of beer before arriving – everyone was gasping for a beer after the long drive and then putting the tents up in the dark. We’d wasted wisely spent our time the night before doing stuff like checking the tents and directions…

All in all, the events left me wondering, how hard is snowboarding? Compared to some of the tricks I was seeing in the skateboard events, perhaps snowboarding isn’t so hard after all.

Great weekend!

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