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Day One | X Games California 2023

Published On:: 21/7/2023

The world’s biggest action sports spectacle is finally back in front of live crowds!

The world’s biggest action sports spectacle is finally back in front of live crowds! On the first day of competitions inside Ventura County Fairgrounds & Events Center, the Monster Energy Team claimed 4 medals: 1 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze. 

Earlier in the week at X Games California 2023, our skate and BMX athletes also brought home 1 gold and 2 bronze medals at MegaPark competitions hosted at the private SloanYard facility in Vista.

Seven X Games medals so far? Not bad with two more days of competitions to go! 

Here’s how it all went down for the team at X Games California 2023 so far:




SECOND TIME’S THE CHARM: The Skateboard MegaPark event debuted in 2022 when all Summer X Games competitions were still contested without crowds at private training facilities. In 2023, the discipline returned to the SloanYard ramp facility, built and designed by Monster Energy team rider Elliot Sloan in Vista. On Monday, July 17 it was time for a rematch: Defending gold medalist Edouard Damestoy against the seven best riders in the discipline – a showdown for the ages!

DAMESTOY GETS THE GOLD: Before clinching gold in Skate MegaPark at X Games 2022 and Skate Vert at X Games Japan 2023, Damestoy spent ten X Games appearances earning no medals at all. Zero! But with a perfect first run, the Frenchman sealed his third consecutive gold medal on Monday and is now on a run for more gold!

Damestoy defended his Skate MegaPark gold on Run 1 by sending a huge Indy 720 over the big gap, kickflip Indy 540 on the quarter pipe, kickflip Indy 360 over the gap, and frontside rodeo 540 frontside grab on the final quarter pipe for 91.66 points. Three gold in a row!

“It's harder when you go to a contest, and you have to defend the title. It's definitely harder than coming in as an outsider when people have no expectations! But I like this new feeling better. When you defend the title, it's like you have the belt, and you want to keep it,” said Damestoy upon winning Skate MegaPark gold at X Games California 2023.

Damestoy now owns 3 X Games medals (3 gold). Also watch out for Damestoy in the Men’s Skateboard Vert Best Trick competition.

SCHAAR POWERS TO BRONZE: Tom Schaar was battling a string of injuries for the entire 2022 season. But he recently returned to X Games podium shape with a Skateboard Vert silver in Japan, so anticipation was running high when the previous BigAir dominator strapped on his MegaPark boots. Needless to say, Schaar did not disappoint…

On his third run in the jam session, Schaar put down 720 tailgrab over the gap, alley-oop backside melon 540 the big quarter pipe, varial kickflip Indy 360 the second gap, and kickflip body varial 540 on the final quarter pipe for 85.33 points and the bronze medal.

Schaar now owns 10 X Games medals (1 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze).



BACK WITH A VENGEANCE: The BMX MegaPark discipline also returned for the second time at the SloanYard on Monday. Following last year’s successful formula of BMXers sending it big over massive gaps and quarter pipes, the innovative showcase returned with eight of the best riders on the circuit.

LATE BLOOMER ON A ROLL: Jaie Toohey from Lake Munmorah, Australia, only made his X Games debut five years ago at age 27. And he did not earn his first medal until he was 30! Well, it’s safe to say that with three X Games medals under his belt before California 2023, the late bloomer is now on a roll for precious metal – and his performance on Monday proved it!

SENDING IT BIG ON RUN 1: Without hesitation, Toohey put together a full pull on Run 1 of the 30-minute jam session. A huge double backflip over the gap, tuck no-hander on the tall quarter pipe, nothing bikeflip the second gap, and triple tailwhip the final quarter earned Toohey 89.33 points and the bronze medal.

Toohey now owns 4 X Games medals (2 silver, 2 bronze). The All-Terrain Vehicle from Australia will also compete in BMX Dirt and BMX Dirt Best Trick at X Games California 2023. 

Stay tuned when X Games California 2023 returns on Saturday with competitions in BMX, Skate, and Moto X disciplines inside Ventura County Fairgrounds & Events Center.





MULTI-LEVEL COURSE: Stacking layers upon layers, the BMX Street course at Ventura County Fairgrounds & Events Center provided plenty of opportunity to go big and put down creative transfer tricks. From the volcano centerpiece to the rooftop gaps and wall rides lining the course, the options seemed endless to unleash big tricks. 

THE MISSING PIECE: With five X Games medals under his belt, Kevin Peraza from Tucson, Arizona, had already claimed gold in BMX Dirt (Austin 2016) and twice in Park (Minneapolis 2017 and X Games 2021). The only thing missing? Earning a medal in BMX Street had so far escaped Peraza… until Friday, that is.

Using every angle of the course, Peraza put down Icepick 180 back into wedge, 360 into the quarter, switch toothhanger on the rail, wallride on the front of the bell tower, nosewheelie bar spin the grind box, 180 bar spin the gap, switch tailwhip drop off the stage, 270 tire bonk into the pole (highlight #2) straight into switch feeble soft 180, nose 180 on the picnic table both ways, and a massive flair over the volcano for 87.00 points and the gold medal.

“I grew up riding everything. There was never a right way or wrong way to ride BMX. All of my heroes and these amazing riders I got to ride with today have inspired me to flow through what BMX is. It’s always been my goal to ride all the disciplines. To walk away not only healthy but with a gold medal, it’s a dream,” said Peraza upon winning BMX Street gold in Ventura. 

“My best friend Pat Casey told me, ‘Dream big! You can do anything you want!’ This one’s for him and all the kids out there. There’s no wrong way or right way to do it!”

HISTORIC FEAT: Peraza makes history as the first BMX athlete to claim gold in three disciplines (BMX Park, Street, and Dirt). Talk about a historic day at X Games California!

Peraza now owns 6 X Games medals (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). He

HILDER CLINCHES SILVER: It’s safe to say that 27-year-old Boyd Hilder from Queensland, Australia, is having a breakout year at X Games. Earlier this year, Hilder squeezed into X Games Chiba as an alternate and took the surprise gold medal. A tough act to follow, but Hilder kept the podium spots coming by claiming silver in Ventura.

On Run 2, Hilder opened with a huge bar spin the roof gap onto the Hubba ledge, 180 fakie up a wedge to half-Cab over curved wall ride, tooth over and back on the fence, feeble to Smith to barspin the wall into bank, and down tooth on quarter below bell tower for 86.33 points and the silver medal.

“It’s unreal mate, I thought the first medal was a dream, now I’m just adding to it. In the second run, I got exactly what I dreamed of doing,” said Hilder on taking silver at X Games California 2023. The newly minted Monster Energy team rider also said: “So stoked to be part of the Monster family, it’s been a dream of mine for years and I feel the love!”

Hilder now owns 2 X Games medals (1 gold, 1 silver).



THE MOST INSANE VERT FINAL EVER? As nighttime set over Ventura, the massive stadium crowd was in for the halfpipe show of a lifetime. The 35-minute jam session escalated the level of riding with never-been-done tricks and variations. With the benchmark for reaching the top three around 90 points, X Games judges called it, “Probably the most difficult vert finals to judge.”

SHIBATA CLAIMS HIS FIRST BRONZE: 27-year-old Japanese style icon Moto Shibata from Osaka brought his signature blend of technical finesse and fluid style to the session. But when the dust settled in the historic finals, Shibata brought home his very first bronze medal despite throwing one of the most diverse runs ever witnessed in competition.

On his last attempt of the day, Shibata put together alley-oop front foot impossible lien air, alley-oop McTwist, backside crossbone, kickflip McTwist, slob air to fakie, fakie to fakie 540 tailgrab, frontside Caballerial Madonna, alley-oop lipslide to Smith grind, backside air fakie and a fakie stalefish 720 on the last wall for 89.33 points and third place.

Shibata now owns 6 X Games medals (1 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze). Also, watch for Shibata and the rest of the Monster Energy halfpipe skateboarders in the upcoming Men’s Skateboard Vert Best Trick event. Let’s get it!



ENDING THE DAY ON A HIGH NOTE: As the worthy finale to the first day of X Games Ventura, Moto X Best Trick featured ten of the world’s leading motocross freestylists. The man to beat? No other than Jackson Strong from Lockhart, Australia, fresh off locking in the gold medal in the discipline at X Games Japan 2023 with a difficult front flip variation. But as the session over the two massive jumps got underway, it soon became clear that this final was in a league of its own.

FLURRY OF NEVER-BEEN-DONE TRICKS: Raising the stakes, Frenchman David Rinaldo took the lead with a never-been-done body varial trick, cementing himself in the top spot. For ‘Jacko’, this meant sending it big – and he had a brand-new aerial up his sleeve as well.

For the crowd in Ventura, Strong unveiled an aerial move never landed in competition before: A frontflip Cliffhanger, locking his legs under the handlebar while flying hands-free in a forward flip rotation, earned Strong a score of 96.00 points and the silver medal.

“It feels good. I’ve been around for a while now and been to many of these events. The competing doesn’t get any easier. It’s just a great place to come and hang out with friends after the event, and I look forward to that half of it now,” said Jackson Strong upon taking silver at X Games California 2023. 

Speaking on the vibe in Ventura, Jackson said: “We got the crowd again, and what makes an event like this is the crowd! The energy that they put out when they’re cheering and screaming is what makes it all worthwhile.”

MOST DOMINANT IN THE GAME: Jackson is a seven-time X Games Best Trick gold medalist and owns ten medals in the discipline – more than any rider has ever earned!

Strong now owns 15 X Games medals (7 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze).

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