Red Bull pro Ryan Decenzo won his second straight gold in Game of SK8 on Saturday, unleashing a barrage of switch rail tricks, which he identified prior to the event as his advantage.
"I'm feeling stoked," Decenzo said afterward. "I'm really glad that I was able to do those switch rail tricks that I had in my mind because I knew the other competitors don't really skate rails switch."
The Game of SK8 is the X Games version of S.K.A.T.E., which is skateboarding's version of H-O-R-S-E. At the X Games, there are four athletes, who compete on the Skateboard Street course. The first skater completes a trick, and the remaining athletes must successfully complete the same trick. If they are unable to do so, they receive a letter. Once an athlete spelled out S-K-8, they are eliminated.
In the end it was only Decenzo and Ishod Wair, who was making his first X Games appearance. The two went round for round until Wair threw down a solid nosepick on the quarterpipe. Decenzo admitted he was in trouble.
"Ishod had me in hot water at the end for a minute," he said. "He did a backside nosepick on the quarterpipe and I thought to myself, 'I know how to do this but I'm for sure not going to do it,' But then I was up there and I was in it pretty good and I had to land it. It was pretty cool."
The contest ended quickly after that. Wair missed a front shove down the steps. Decenzo nailed a switch smith down the rail and took home the treasured hardware. He skates again today in the Skateboard Street competition.