Creation is the life blood of action sports. New tricks push the boundaries of imagination, seizing attention and medals. Moto Shibata became the first Japanese skateboarder to win X Games gold last year debuting his signature trick, dubbed the "kamikaze," featuring a 360-degree spin and two lateral flips of the board under his feet. Even more gravity-defying feats will be unveiled this weekend at the X Games inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Nicole Hause Women's Skateboard Park
Finish last year: 4th
Favorite trick: Alley-oop backside ollie
Hause's favorite trick helped her win this year's Dew Tour Women's Pro Park final. It's a variation of the backside ollie in which the skater flies up a quarterpipe or halfpipe, without grabbing the board, letting the "pendulum motion kind of suction the board to your feet," Hause explains. The alley-oop part comes in when "instead of going toe side and landing toe side, you take off from your heel side and travel backward and land toe side," Hause said. "It's really fun."
Alex Midler Men's Skateboard Street
Finish last year: Rookie this year
Favorite trick: Backside 360 lipslide
Midler turned 20 this month and is a rookie on the professional X Games scene after three years competing in the amateur ranks. His go-to trick, the backside 360 lipslide, is one he started relying upon before he was a teenager. "It was hard at first, but once I learned how to backside 360," Midler said, "it was one of those tricks I could do all the time." Midler is "goofy," meaning left foot in the back, so he approaches the rail on his left side. He jumps and turns away into a rotation back onto the rail. "So 270 degrees, land on the rail and spin out the extra when you come off the rail," Midler said.
Elliot Sloan Skateboard Big Air
Finish last year: 1st • Favorite trick: Kickflip 720
Sloan, the reigning X Games gold medalist on the MegaRamp, has long awaited his opportunity to bust out this trick on Saturday during Skateboard Big Air. Sloan morphed two "go-to" tricks into one, making the 720 kickflip over the MegaRamp into what he hopes is a gold-worthy run. "I started doing 720s probably in 2012 and 2013," Sloan said. "And I've been doing kickflip 360s for a while, too. In 2015, I started trying to put them together." Three years later, Sloan said he's landed three altogether in practice. He'll again attempt the double rotation with a kickflip on Saturday night.
10-foot long wood ledge
Pyramid-shaped obstacle that is 3 1/2 feet tall
Vert wall that is 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall
32-foot long rail for athletes to grid down
Wooden rail that is 9 feet long and 3 feet tall
Deep end of the pool is 9 1/2 feet deep.
Top of this plexiglass enclosure is 12 feet from the bottom of the pool.
Sub rail is 3 feet tall from blue deck.
Dock jump box is 8 feet long with rails on each side.