The X Games is an annual extreme sports event, organized by American sports broadcaster ESPN. The inaugural X Games were held in the summer of 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island. Today the Games are held in multiple cities, including Aspen, Oslo and Austin, Texas, and there are both summer and winter events. Skateboarding, BMX, motocross and wakeboarding the X Games main summer sports, with top competitors coming from around the world.
Bringing together such a pool of talent often sets the stage for athletes pushing the limits of their respective sports. For instance, X Games attendees have born witness to new tricks such as Tony Hawk’s 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana’s double backflip in freestyle motocross, Heath Frisby’s first ever snowmobile front flip in Snowmobile Best Trick, and Torstein Horgmo’s first landed triple cork in a snowboard competition.
Coinciding with competition is the “X Fest” sports and music festival, which offers live music, athlete autograph sessions, and interactive elements. In line with 21st century thinking, the X Games have made it a point since its founding to be an eco-friendly event. Such measures include using biodiesel fuel in their vehicles and ample opportunities for recycling.
The X Games Austin will have something for everyone. For instance, in skateboarding alone there are separate competitions for specialty disciplines, including Street, Park, Big Air, Big Air Doubles and Vert. As for Moto X, there’s Flat Track, Freestyle, Best Trick, Quarterpipe, Step Up and Best Whip events. BMX also as smattering of options, including Street, Dirt, Park, Big Air and Vert.
The X Games draws the biggest names in these respective sports. Skateboard invitees include top performers such as Brazilian charger Pedro Barros (winner of the Vans Pool Party and many other competitions), Aussie Jake Brown and American Curren Caples.
Beyond the world-class actions sports taking place over three days, this year’s event will feature outstanding musical performances by the likes of punk legends Blink-182, Bay area rapper G-Eazy, pop-punks All Time Low and hip-hop artist Logic, who will take center stage at the Austin360 Amphitheater. Various ticket plans are available, offering limited or full entry to all events, with a ‘Gold’ pass offering VIP access to private, air-conditioned lounge spaces with hosted happy hours and private restrooms (every festival goers dream).
While Texas may conjure images of cowboys with six shooters, Austin is unique city, a desert oasis for alternative hedonists of all breeds. Since the late 90s, Austin has really made its name the so-called live music capital of the world. Austin is filled with music venues from classic live music joints to up-and-coming hot spots – much like the artists playing in them. There are more than 250 live music venues that feature everything from rock and blues to country and jazz every night of the week. A trip to Austin, especially one to the X Games Austin, just isn’t complete without a little live music.
There are also numerous music festivals throughout the year, the most notable being the now iconic South By South West (SXSW). This internationally-recognized event brings together noted filmmakers, musicians and multimedia artists from around the world to showcase music, film and interactive media. If you’re looking for something a little grittier and distinctly Texan, the Republic of Texas Biker Rally, held every June could be the ticket. The state’s largest motorcycle gathering attracts thousands of bikers for rides, parades and live music. Beyond music, Austin has great shopping, steakhouses, Mexican joints and many other culinary options and plenty of parks and outdoors spaces to unwind in.
But of course one still needs to get their actions sports fix in, and Austin will not disappoint in this regard. There are a number of Motocross tracks in the vicinity, the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail for mountain biking and stand-up paddling. The Austin BMX and Skate Park is also an awesome facility with great runs integrated with unique functional art. With some many great offerings, a trip to the X Games Austin is sure not to disappoint.
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Rad's top 10 action sports, adventure events and music festivals in 2019