Considered by ESPN watching fans around the globe as ‘the world’s biggest window into action sport’, you can be forgiven for saying that the X-Games is the counter-culture’s equivalent of the olympics. And just like the olympics, surfing wasn’t invited to the show.
Well it had been in 2003, but hosting the event at Huntington Beach proved of little interest to the majority of ESPN’s viewership – who preferred to watch dirtbikers backflipping 100ft gaps, than wetsuit clad pro’s doing the Huntington hop in chest high slop. So surfing was pulled from the schedule after just a few unsuccessful seasons, and has since remained absent from the X-Games.
But that’s history. It has just been announced that surfing will once again feature in the X Games, but the savvy producers have realised that they needed a shake-up to the format in order to gain maximum interest – invitees have been asked to submit their craziest video part, and the surfer who enters the most mind-blowing clip, according to the judges, wins the US$50 000 first prize and an X-Games gold medal.
So, like, who’s been invited?
Well, of course the 11-time world champ got an invite, but South Africa has been invited too – in the form of our gladiatorial champ Jordy Smith. If Zag had to make a wager, we’d bet at least our sunday roast on Jordy being able to make a video part that rivals the King’s.
Especially if he unveils some footage from a recent trip into the Mozambique channel, where he and Chad du Toit chased a cyclone swell to the most perfectly tapered sandspit you could imagine.
Other invitees include; Gabriel Medina, Josh Kerr, Chippa Wilson, Matt Meola, Julian Wilson and Dion Agius. That’s a solid crew of free surfers and tour surfers. Some balding and experienced. Some still wet behind the ears and unabashed with their repertoire. Whatever the result, surfers across the world are going to be blessed with some sick clips to add to their flat day entertainment – which is just fine by surf fans.
All 8 invited surfer’s clips will be placed online on April 2nd, and you’ll be able to pick your winner and vote who gets the US$10 000 People’s Choice’ award.
Winners will be announced between 18-21 April during X Games Foz do Iguaçu 2013.