This will probably not be the most finely-crafted piece of writing I’ve ever done, but it’s for the sake of expediency, so cut me some slack. For a more accurate example of my writing, check me out on Suite101 where I’m a Featured Writer in Extreme Sports. Ok, shameless self-promotions said and done, on to the event! Oh- if I missed a name or got it wrong, please let me know so that I can correct it.
Mr. Small’s 5th Annual Summer Xtravaganza
The fifth annual Summer Xtravaganza was Friday July 23 and Saturday July 24, 2010 at Mr. Small’s Skatepark in Pittsburgh, PA. Now, for many extreme sports fans, Chicago was the place to be on this particular weekend for the Nike 6.0 BMX Open /Dew Tour. But Chicago wasn’t the only spot on the planet where extreme sports junkies could get their groove on, plus it rained there most of the weekend. Mr. Small’s was holding it down East Coast style with the vibe that can only be found in the ‘Burgh, with beautiful sun and stifling heat.
Its a rare thing to see an honest-to-goodness, gnarly-as-all-hell extreme sports event in Pittsburgh and Mr. Small’s killed it, (after years of tweaking the event and hearing more than their share of negative feedback, no doubt), putting on a first class event right along the shores of the picturesque Allegheny in gritty Milvale. There is something fitting that Mr. Small’s is located upstream; there’s a lot of pushing upstream in Pittsburgh in the extreme sports realm, whether it’s having opportunities to ride or compete, promoting a product or yourself, getting city footage while you ride, or if you’re just a fan, getting to attend a real-life event. Seeing these kids on tv is one thing, but seeing them up close for real– to see the air they get and risks they take and get a clear idea of the skills required to carry out these sports, these art forms – is an entirely other thing.
Mr Small’s Xtravaganza
The event was first class (yes, I said that before, it’s not deja vu) and featured riders in Aggressive Inline (AIL), BMX Freestyle, and Skateboarding. Friday had the qualifiers and Saturday the prelims and finals. Each discipline consisted of heats of four or five and included an introductory run, 5-minute jam and a final “spotlight” run, a format that worked well.
The Prelims and Finals on Saturday had some of the most insane, rapid-fire riding ever. Music by Digital, DJ Hatesyou, and Formula 412 (hyping “The Difference”) kept the riders going and provided sizzling music to enhance the hottest event on the hottest day of the year.
Sponsorship was provided by Woodward Camp, Vitamin Water, Bones, Independent, and of course, Mr. Small’s. Each of the top five in each disipline won prizes and each first place winner snagged a week at Camp Woodward.
AIL Prelims and Finals
Ok, Ok, so we missed the AIL prelims, but we had a good reason– we had to get our daughter and acquire vast amounts of liquid and ice for the cooler so that we could ride out the day into the evening without heat stroke and see our son in the Skateboard comp later. But we saw the AIL finals and it was chock full of huge, buttery skating that delighted and terrified.
Here are some high points of what went down: Matty P’s invert; Mike’s 900 (seriously!); John’s huge transfer above the bridge, Grant hitting that tippy-top rail, and Mark’ s fakie grind down the hubba. There were oodles more tricks, but hey, we just got there! In your spare time check out some footage of Mike Wagner in this Mr. Small’s edit by Stefan Brandow (who is also an AIL animal/guru ). Here are the final results:
Mr. Small’s Xtravaganza 2010 AIL Results
- Mark Walker
- John Campbell
- Mike Wagner
- Matty P
- Grant Sorok
Mr. Small’s Xtravaganza 2010 BMX Prelims and Finals
Here’s a quick list of tricks fired off just during the prelims because it was absolutely some of the most insane riding: wallride, 270, toboggan, 360 tailwhip (no way!), flare on the 10′ quarter ( I’m not kidding! Think that was Wolfgang ), x-ups, barspins galore, inverts, tables, turndowns, and a 13 year old kid (Shane Tobac) with a final run that began with a big alleyoop on the 10′ quarter and ended with an icepick on the flat rail– we’ll see more of him, for sure and all of these guys.
The finals had some amazing tricks and ridiculous amplitude. Here’s a few highlights: Brad’s toothpick, truckdriver, 360 to flat; Justin’s wallride above the window and the other riders’ heads; Eric’s 360 table, superman and turndown; Tucker’s icepick to footjam on the big quarter; Joe’s double tailwhip– oh and did I mention Justin riding off the roof and onto the course for an effortless ride-away? Here’s how it all shook out in the end.
- Eric Miller
- Joe Wolfgang
- Tucker Brunson
- Brad Gibbs
Skateboard Prelims and Finals
These guys were skating fast and furious, discovering lines along the exceptionally tight course like friggin’ Magellan– so much that the prelims and finals were one huge blur. Maybe it was the heat getting to us! Some highlights of the Sk8 prelims and finals include: Shean ( the youngest skater, but can he ride with the big dogs or what!) nailed a buttery feeble to fakie on the flat rail and gravity-defying front and back blunts to fakie on the ledge. Luke dialed in tricks like a smooth front side 5-0 from the small quarter to the big quarter, a tre flip up the 3-stair euro, and 50/50 from the tall vert to the small quarter. Cody’s back feeble to front shuv out and back lip on the top rail was beastly and Nick’s front feeble down the rail, nollie crooks and killer back Smith on the flat rail was equally amazing. Josh crooked the down rail, killed a front blunt on the flat rail, and did a sick nose grind pop out on the ledge.
Mr. Small’s Xtravaganza 2010 Skateboard Results
- Luke Radziminski
- Cody Tate
- Shean Roche
- Josh Radko
- Nick Teddar
The event was hosted by Mike Speranzo of Mr. Small’s, Maverick of Woodward, and Evan Smith, one of the smoothest sk8ers ever, making skating appear effortless, even though we know otherwise. If you don’t know what a monster Evan truly is, check him out the DC Shoes Skateboarding is Forever vid.
If you missed it, you’ll have to wait until next year to see the best, hugest extreme sports event the ‘Burgh has to offer. No lie.