The scene shifted today from the Staples Center in LA to the Home Depot center in Carson, California.The outdoor venue was packed with people getting sunburned (myself included) and watching some crazy BMX riding. This year’s park course was, once again designed by ramp builder extraordinaire, Nate Wessel. And once again, Nate came up a unique design that opened things up for riders to get really creative.

Morgan Wade had two of the biggest lines during the Park finals. This corner pocket air is from the quarter on the right to the landing on the left.  credit: Fat Tony

If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage of this year’s X Games, you already know that Scotty Cranmer took the win with Morgan Wade and Daniel Dhers placing second and third, respectively. And if you’ve been keeping up, you also know that after winning last year’s event (as well as several prior to that) Dave Mirra was not in this year’s contest due to an injury he sustained during the first day of practice. What you may not know is that Ryan Nyquist also dropped out of the contest. Nyquist won a silver medal at the Dirt contest two nights ago, but a crash during park practice messed up his knee and prevented him from competing in Park.

Below is a list of highlights from each of the ten riders during the park finals.
– Scotty Cranmer absolutely killed the course. He placed second behind Dave Mirra at last year’s X Games and came back this year to prove what he is worth. His first run was good enough to give him the gold so his second run was a victory lap, but Scotty didn’t hold back. He gave the fans what they paid to see: a full run with enough back to back tailwhip and flip variations to keep anyone entertained.

Scotty Cranmer – 360-Double Tailwhip  credit: Fat Tony

– Morgan Wade is awesome. His fun personality combined with his powerhouse riding and huge tricks makes it impossible to stop smiling while watching him ride. He started off both his runs with a pocket air transfer that was close to 25 feet long. The middle of his runs consisted of plenty of bangers like flairs and a 360-whip. At the end of his second run, Morgan pulled another pocket air transfer and secured his second place finish.

– Daniel Dhers was the only rider wearing a full-face helmet during the park contest. Luckily Daniel is a machine on his bike and the helmet never had to do its job. He landed every trick perfectly every time including double whips out of the quarter, 360-whips, barspins, no-handed flairs and a whole lot more.

Daniel Dhers is new to the contest scene in the US but that didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Double tailwhip into third place at his first X Games.  credit: Fat Tony

– Australia’s Dave Dillewaard narrowly missed a podium spot after delivering two solid runs including 270 and 360 inverts, tailwhips and barspins.

– Gary Young placed at a respectable fifth and busted wallride-to-tailwhips, 360-whips and other high speed moves and transfers.

– Ryan Guettler came to the X Games after being the winningest BMX rider of 2005. This year however, other riders put in their practice time during the year and were able knocked Guettler off the podium. Ryan pulled 720s, flairs, whips, 360-whips, and even attempted a 1080 that took him out at the end of his second run.

– Colin Mackay was oone of the alternates that made it in after Mirra and Nyquist dropped out. Mackay had an interesting tailwhip line from the “coffin” into the landing of the box hip. He also had 540s, barspins and other whips thrown into his runs.

– Alistair Whitton’s most impressive move was his 360-downside whip over the stepup. Other than a downside whip and some tables and lookbacks though, he didn’t have anything else that was very noteable. It seemed that he lost his rhythm when a huge disaster on the wallride gave him trouble. – Josh Harrington was one of the few to drop in on the roll-in and boost the box hip. Unfortunately, it was the big air that caused him to crash at the start of his first run which in turn messed up the rest of his run. However, Josh did have some impressive whips, barspins and a superman seatgrab transfer.

– It is no secret that Chase Hawk has an amazing style, but after making it into his first X Games as an alternate, he couldn’t put together big enough moves to impress the judges. His bangers were a 180 up the stepup, big, stylish airs and clicked 360 inverts.

This is actually Chad Kagy’s first practice jump today on the big ramp. Tomorrow things are going to get out of hand!  credit: Fat Tony

After the park contest was over, heavy hitters suited up to hit the Big Air ramp. Kevin Robinson, Chad Kagy, Morgan Wade, Allan Cooke and Ryan Guettler all gave it a few gos. Kagy came out swinging hard and did a superman seatgrab on his first jump. Kevin Robinson and Allan Cooke both took falls but were able to get up and go at it again. Expect huge things to do down tomorrow. The Big Air contest isn’t a Pay-Per-View event for nothing!

The roll-in for the Big Air ramp towers over the Home Depot Center and dwarfs Kevin Robinson as he prepares to drop in during practice.  credit: Fat Tony

Kevin Robinson took a few falls during practice, one on a flip like this. Luckily Robinson is smart and hand plenty of pads on. He actually looked like a football player on a bike — I don’t blame him.  credit: Fat Tony

Allan Cooke came up a bit short on his first jump, this flip that sent him to the ground.  credit: Fat Tony

A full view of the big ramp.  credit: Fat Tony