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X-Games Sports | Under the Sun Sports | Suntan Sports

The X Games is an annual sports competition, managed and controlled by the well known U.S. sports broadcaster, ESPN.  "X" stands for X-treme; The X Games are the equivalent of the Olympics for extreme sports. The 1st X Games was held in the summer of 1995 in Rhode Island. There are both winter (January or February) and summer (August) X competitions and they are shown live on ESPN (and ABC). So far, the Games have always been in the United States, but there has been interest in possibly hosting one in Canada. Participants compete to win prize money as well as bronze, silver, and gold medals. Competitors in these extreme sports are in classifications all their own! When you are sitting in the stands with thousands of fans around you yelling and you see Travis Pastrana do a double back flip 80 feet up in the air on a motorcycle in Freestyle Motocross...it is mind-blowing! Every single category in the X Games continuously pushes the limits and makes up new "tricks", such as Tony Hawk's famous “900” in skateboarding and Anthony Napolitan's double front flip on a bicycle. Radical, seemingly impossible stunts are invented all of the time, each one even more extreme than the last. While X Games competitions are taking place, the X Fest runs co-currently featuring fun interactive elements, live music, autograph sessions, giveaways and the chance for spectators to sample new products from the sponsors. Sponsors include big names like New Balance, Jeep, Schick, Taco Bell, Mountain Dew and the U.S. Navy. During the 2004 Summer X Games, at X Fest, Mountain Dew was handing out samples of their new tropical-lime version, Baja Blast. Part of X Games is the musical element and there are always up and coming bands performing as well as DJs playing hip hop or heavy metal to rock the participants through their lofty goals!


The first Winter X Games took place at Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California in 1997. This extreme contest of winter sports features day and evening events including skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. The Interactive Village at Winter X Games is the equivalent of X Fest for the Summer X Games - a highly interactive area with the athletes signing autographs, new products or services to sample and giveaways. A name synonymous with Winter Sports and the X Games is Shaun White, a well-known American snowboarder/skateboarder. Shaun is sometimes known as the "Flying Tomato" because of his trademark shaggy red hair. He holds the record for Winter X Games gold medals with 10.

Since the games are held outdoors in the cold and the snow, one might think that protection from UV rays is not necessary. The competitors and spectators stay fairly covered up in gear and outdoor wear, yet precautions are still needed, such as lip balm, eye protection and sunscreen. Keep in mind also that the higher in elevation that you get, the stronger the UV rays are! On a bright day, the glare from the sun's rays reflected off of the surface of the sparkly snow will easily sunburn exposed skin. Fresh snow will reflect about 75% of the UV rays, as opposed to 25% off of water. There is even chance of “snow blindness” which is pain in the eye(s), caused by exposure of the eye(s) to UV rays in bright sunlight reflected off of snow or ice.



•    Skier X (Men's & Women's)

•    Slopestyle

•    SuperPipe (Men's & Women's)

•    Big Air

•    Monoskier X (mixed-gender)


•    Slopestyle (Men's & Women's)

•    Snowboarder X (Men's & Women's)

•    SuperPipe (Men's & Women's)

•    Best Trick


•    Snocross

•    Freestyle

•    Speed & Style





The summer version of the games features the extreme sports of Moto X, skateboarding, BMX, surfing, and rallying. The 2009 Games featured the new event Skateboard Big Air Rail Jam, created from an idea by skateboarder Danny Way. 1999 was an epic year for the summer games. After trying eleven times and failing, Tony Hawk, the father of skateboarding, finally landed a 900-degree spin (the 900!) and Travis Pastrana won the first ever MotoX Freestyle event at the X-Games, scoring (the highest ever run) 99.00 points. Bucky Lasek, Mike Metzger, Ryan Scheckler, Andy MacDonald, Jamie Bestwick, Brian Deegan & Ricky Carmichael are all big names in the summer Games.


The Summer X Games has been in sunny Los Angeles since 2003. Montreal was slated to get the games in 2010, but because of lack of a solid sponsor, it is rumored that the games will stay in L.A. for 1 more year. In the City of Angels, the games normally reside at the Staples Center, Home Depot Center & Long Beach Marine Stadium (for Surfing). Since it is August, temps are well into the 90s, there is little shade and the venue is mostly outdoors in Southern California...UV clothing, hats, sunscreen, and staying hydrated is crucial! It is never safe or smart to overexpose and sunburn.

SUMMER Sports  

Freestyle BMX

•    Vert

•    Park

•    Big Air

•    Street

•    SuperPark


•    Best Trick

•    Speed & Style

•    Step Up

•    Supermoto

•    Supercross


•    Vert

•    Street

•    Big Air

•    SuperPark

Surfing (Men & Women)


Have you been to the X-Games before? We would love to hear your stories and see your pictures. Please email us at Suntan Crew.

-CA suntan

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