It's simple to understand what draws us into extreme sports. We for one are hyped on the upcoming X Games. There's actually a ton of great sports championships taking place right now that have been taking everyone's attention and you can expect the same thing from the X Games Minneapolis 2018.
This year they will be taking place in the U.S. Bank Stadium (Home of the Minnesota Vikings), Medtronic Plaza and Downtown East Commons Park. The event will take place takes place July 19-22, 2018.
Whether you watch it at home or you got tickets in hand here is everything that you need to know about the upcoming X Games 2018.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT TO SEE AT X FEST
As X Games Minneapolis returns for its second year in the Twin Cities from July 19 - 22, it will host a variety of entertainment and activities.
X Fest is free on Thursday evening, July 19, kicking off official X Games Minneapolis competition with the Skateboard Vert Qualifier and Final and BMX Vert Final. An event ticket is required to enter X Fest from Friday to Sunday, if you are living in Minneapolis there is no reason to not go check out the opening day. Hell, you'll probably end up buying a ticket for the rest of the weekend.
- The Art Installations, specifically the Minneapolis local, Hot Tea, will bring back his eight-foot steel and yarn installation created just for X Games.
- Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing & Harley-Davidson Hooligan Racing
- The limited edition merch (pick up some of that some future vintage)
- X Games will host a Game of Skate contest competed on vintage boards. Look out for "The History of Skate" in partnership with The Skateboarding Hall of Fame and 3rd Lair skatepark X Games Minneapolis will present an in-depth display of historical artifacts and film.
- If you want to shred at X fest there's Next X Park, offering free sessions all weekend long. New this year, fans have the opportunity to Session with a Pro at select times on the Next X Park. Also pro athlete demos on the vert ramp, along with the opportunity to "learn how-to vert" for kids of all ages starting Friday to Sunday.
- TWIGGY THE WATER SKIING SQUIRREL (enough said)
- All the rad skate, Moto X, and BMX events
- All the live music- Kaskade, Brother Ali, Ice Cube, Zedd
WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR ON TELEVISION
ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 19 hours of live X Games Minneapolis 2018 coverage, which will also be accessible via the ESPN App to viewers who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Eight and a half additional hours of event coverage will be streamed live on the X Games Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages to fans in the United States. Fans can get even more X Games content across digital offerings XGames.com, the X Games app and across social media pages. Following X Games Minneapolis 2018, ABC will deliver four hours of anthology programming on Sunday, July 29 as part of the World of X Games series.
*Times and events listed are Eastern Time (ET) and are subject to change. Please consult your local listings.
Thursday Coverage, July 19
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. (@XGames)
- Skateboard Vert Qualifier
10 p.m. – 12 a.m. (ESPN)
- Pacifico Skateboard
- Vert Pacifico BMX Vert
Friday Coverage, July 20
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. (@XGames)
- SoFi Women’s Skateboard Street Qualifier
- Fruit of the Loom BMX Dirt Qualifier
3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (@XGames)
- Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Street Qualifier
- Next X Skateboard Park
- Next X Skateboard Street
- Women’s BMX Park Demo
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (@XGames)
- BMX Street
- Dave Mirra’s BMX Park (Who was David Mirra)
- Best Trick
- Moto X QuarterPipe High Air
9 p.m. – 12 a.m. (ESPN)
- Moto X QuarterPipe High Air (Cont.)
- The Real Cost BMX Big Air
- Moto X Freestyle
Saturday Coverage, July 21
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. (ABC)
- LifeProof Moto X Step Up
- Toyota Men’s Skateboard Park
- SoFi Women’s Skateboard Street
7 p.m. – 11 p.m. (ESPN)
- Fruit of the Loom BMX
- Dirt Moto X Best Whip
- Monster Energy Moto X Best Trick
- The Real Cost Skateboard Big Air
Sunday Coverage, July 22
11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (@XGames - link TBA)
- Harley Hooligan Racing Round One & Semi Final
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. (ABC)
- Harley-Davidson Flat Track & Hooligan Racing
- Women’s Skateboard Park
- Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Street
- Toyota Men’s BMX Park
Sunday Taped Coverage, July 29
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (ABC)
ATHLETES TO WATCH
There are over 225 athletes invited to X Games. Here are some of the best to keep your eyes peeled for! Full list available here.
Kelvin Hoefler (Sao Paolo, Brazil) – Kelvin Hoefler won Skateboard Street gold as a rookie at X Games Minneapolis 2017, but he's no rookie. The Brazilian skater has been dominating contests around the world, including wins at Street League, Dew Tour, and the Kimberly Diamond Cup. Hoefler continued his streak with his second gold in his second X Games appearance at X Games Norway 2018 in May. A natural showman who skates with power and energy, Kelvin says he dreamed of competing at X Games ever since he was eight years old, skating a box and rail setup in his mother's kitchen and garage in Sao Paolo and pretending he was Bob Burnquist.
Italo Penarrubia (Sao Paolo, Brazil) – Italo is a 26-year-old Brazilian and a bona fide FOBB (friend of Bob Burnquist). In 2015 he moved to the U.S. and stayed at Burnquist's long enough to bag plenty of MegaRamp footage. In February and March 2016, he traveled from California to Florida, hitting 25 skateparks in 25 days. He has medal potential in Big Air and he hopes to land a 540 body jar on the quarterpipe, which he has done at Burnquist's place. Penarrubia's favorite trick on the MegaRamp is the Ollie 360 over the gap. "It's so sick to do that because the wind helps." He took the world record for height off the mega ramp in 2017 and hopes to beat his record this year.
Tom Schaar (Cardiff, California, USA) – Five-time X Games Skateboard Big Air medalist and 17-year old skateboard prodigy, Tom Schaar started competing at X Games in 2012 and is already in the record books. He was the first to land a 1080 on a skateboard (March 2012) and the first to land it in a contest. At X Games Austin 2014, he became the youngest Big Air gold medalist of all time at 14-years-old. He took home silver in both Skateboard Park and Skateboard Big Air at the inaugural X Games Minneapolis and looks to dominate in his return.
Jared Mees (Clio, Michigan, USA) – One of the stars of dirt track, Mees is a five-time AMA Pro Flat Track champion and also took gold at X Games Austin 2016 in Flat Track racing. In his X Games debut in 2015, he was 15 seconds away from taking gold when a drivetrain-related mechanical issue ended his race on the final lap. He returned with a vengeance the following year to take gold in Austin, then silver in Minneapolis 2017. Husband of recently retired racer Nichole Mees, the pair became the first married couple to compete against each other at an X Games event.
Jarryd McNeil (Yarrawonga, Australia) – After two silver and a bronze, McNeil earned back-to-back gold at X Games Austin 2015 and 2016 and silver at X Games Minneapolis 2017 in Moto X Best Whip. He also took home gold in Moto X Step Up in 2016 and 2017 and will compete in both disciplines this year in Minneapolis, in addition to the returning discipline, QuarterPipe High Air. An Australian native, McNeil now splits his time in Southern California as he’s become a popular demo and show rider for tours like Nitro Circus.
Levi Sherwood (Palmerston North, New Zealand) – Ticketed for freestyle greatness since his mid-teens, Sherwood is a double gold medalist and three-time silver medalist at X Games (Best Trick 2017; Freestyle 2010, 2012, 2017; QuarterPipe 2015). The son of a former speedway racer, he was on the path to becoming a motocross racer but got serious about freestyle at the early age of 13. He's known for his flexibility and huge extensions. Sherwood also owns a 60-acre ranch back in New Zealand with his own riding compound where he loves welding and creating his own bike parts. He has one of the lighter bikes on the Freestyle and Best Trick rosters, which helps with his progression.
Garrett Reynolds (Toms River, New Jersey, USA) – An eleven-time X Games medalist, Reynolds has won ten of the 11 BMX Street competitions at X Games. The defending gold medalist, Reynolds is also responsible for some of the most progressive video parts in BMX, including a gold for last year’s Real BMX competition. A seven-time NORA Cup Street Rider of the Year winner, Reynolds earned Web Video of the Year honors for the second consecutive year in 2015.
James Foster (Redlands, California, USA) – James Foster has a way of riding and doing things in a unique way no one else has thought of, feeding off progression and pushing riding to the limits with new tricks. He splits time between traveling the world with Nitro Circus, riding big contests and filming first-time tricks on custom ramps. After five X Games appearances, Foster took home gold in BMX Big Air, and owns bronze in Big Air and Dirt. He is only the second rider to ever medal in both disciplines at X Games.
Kevin Peraza (Tucson, Arizona, USA) – The charismatic Peraza was a surprise gold medalist at Austin 2016 in BMX Dirt, and followed up with a win at X Games Minneapolis 2017 in BMX Park. Kevin comes from a family of BMXers: his three brothers all compete in the sport and his dad is a former BMX racer who still rides at the skate park regularly. Family is important to the 22-year-old bilingual Mexican-American, and all six of the Perazas will be in Minneapolis. Mom, Maria, will be the one waving a Mexican flag in the stands.
Couple things that you probably do or don't know about the X Games and the competition formats here below.
Harley-Davison Flat Track Racing – 24 Riders In Harley-Davison Flat Track Racing, motorcycle racers compete against one another on an oval dirt track 1/8 of a mile long, aboard twin-engine motorcycles at speeds reaching up to 60 mph. Racers hurl themselves sideways into turns where their handlebars are within inches of each other and often several riders abreast. The main event features 6 racers competing for 20 laps.
Harley-Davidson Hooligan Racing – 48 Riders Harley Hooligan racing provides an opportunity for interested amateur riders to compete in Flat Track. Participation in the sport is easily attainable for just about every motorcycle enthusiast, given the ability to race using low-cost, garage-built motorcycles. Harley Hooligan racing encourages participation over competition and gives even novice racers the chance to experience the thrill of Flat Track racing.
Pacifico Vert – 18 Skateboarders The halfpipe is constructed of skatelite (a durable paper-composite material) and wood and is 60-feet wide with 11.5-foot transitions and two feet of vert. The skateboarders ride the ramp from wall-to-wall combining technical big airs and lip tricks. In the Qualifying round, skateboarders will take three runs, with their best counting towards final ranking. The top seven overall advance to the final to take on the X Games Minneapolis 2017 medalists. In the final, skateboarders will have three runs, with their best score counting towards final ranking.
Competitors will be judged based on aggressive execution of maneuvers, the degree of difficulty, variety, continuity of run, originality and style, amplitude (height of airs) and use of the ramp.
The Real Cost Big Air – 10 Skateboarders The Real Cost Skateboard Big Air competition features 10 skateboard athletes who drop in on the Big Air ramp from either a 50- or 65-foot high roll-in. The athletes then hit 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. In this year’s final-only format, each athlete will each take four runs with their best run counting towards their ranking.
This competition is judged on style, creativity, and amplitude. Scores from the two sections will combine to equal the competitor’s final score.
Fruit of the Loom Dirt – 19 Riders The Fruit of the Loom Dirt competition features 19 BMX athletes who compete on a four-jump downhill course with huge gaps. The course is complex and offers a variety of jump and landing sizes and gaps ranging from 17 to 25 feet. For 2018, 16 riders will compete in a qualifying round, where the top seven move on to meet the Minneapolis 2017 medalists in the final. The three medalists from 2017 pre-qualify directly into the final round. In the Final, the 10 riders will have three runs each with their best score counting towards final ranking. Riders are judged on a combined score of tricks completed over the jumps and tricks executed. This competition is not timed and is judged on amplitude, creativity, style, the volume of maneuvers and flow of the run.
Bob Burnquist – Skateboard (@bobburnquist) Retiring from X Games competition after X Games Minneapolis 2017, Burnquist will join the telecast team in 2018 providing analysis for the Skateboard Vert, Park, and Big Air competitions. The most-medaled athlete in X Games history with 30, Burnquist was the only athlete to compete at every X Games summer event through Minneapolis 2017. Tied for the second-most gold in X Games history, Burnquist has 14 gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals from X Games alone. A licensed helicopter and airplane pilot, Burnquist is also an avid skydiver. Burnquist currently splits time between his homes in Brazil and California.
Spreading the shred in action sports since 1995 X Games has been hosting competitions for 23 years now. Every year we are guaranteed to see world records, and impossible tricks and stunts. The same way other athletes dream of competing in the Olympics, extreme sports athletes dream of competing alongside legends in the X Games.