Monster Energy congratulates team rider Curren Caples for taking home a strong silver medal finish today against some of the world’s best riders in Toyota Men’s Skateboard Park at X Games Austin 2016. In a nail-biting final that came down to last attempts, the 20-year-old from Ventura, California, put together a near-perfect run on the California Rampworks-designed course at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). But a fall on Caples’ last trick left the win to Brazil’s Pedro Barros.
Caples came into today’s finals as the defending champion after winning the Skateboard Park event at X Games Austin 2015. As the 12 finalists attacked the challenging course – constructed with tall obstacles and a preference for BMX riding – the action soon focused on the ongoing rivalry between Caples and Barros. It was a clash between two different schools of skateboarding: The Brazilian’s explosive airs and fast-charging grinds against Caples' surf-inspired flow and deep repertoire of technical tricks adapted from street skating.
As the two long-time rivals went run-for-run in the final, their scores led the rest of the field by a good five points. Barros set the bar on his flawless first run, establishing an early lead with a 90.33 point score. Caples fired back with an almost perfect routine, but missed crucial tricks in runs one and two. When it all came down to the third and final run, Caples unfolded his versatile bag of tricks with a frontside 360 ollie up the platform, huge frontside nosebone air in the pool corner, backside smith grind and frontside 5-0 grind transfers over the tall bump ledge, and a contorted backside crossbone air on the plexiglass extension. But a miss on a frontside kickflip over the extension’s doorway channel brought his overall score down by a few key points, leaving him with the silver medal.
“I’m a little bummed I couldn’t land my last trick but I’m definitely stoked on my run,” said Caples upon winning silver. “It was a bit shaky out here, windy and hot. The course was definitely a bit weirder than in previous years. I found my flow, but I had to plan out the timing of my run for the first time.”
Today’s silver medal brings Caples’ X Games medal count to four (two gold, two silver). Known for his fluid and effortless style, the son of former pro surfer Evan Caples is a rare breed of all-round talent. A strong competitor in skateboard park events, Caples also won the Red Bull Hart Lines street competition in Detroit 2015 and finished in second place this year, closely behind Monster teammate Nyjah Huston.
Also skating strong in the finals but missing the podium, Curren’s Monster Energy teammate and five-time X Games medalist Tom Schaar dwarfed the course with huge indy transfers over the bump gap into the corner section, as well as high-flying 540s on the plexiglass extension. Ben Hatchell brought his blend of big vertical moves and technical tricks to Austin. The four-time Park medalist from Manassas, Virginia, strung together frontside lipslide on the plexiglass extension, frontside air into the bowl corner, backside tailslide over the box, frontside feeble grind to fakie, huge indy air transfer over the bump, flyout to frontside wall bash pull-in on the wallride and a near-make on a stalefish 540 on the extension.