Danny Harf and Dallas Friday both rode their way to a fourth X Games gold medal at the Long Beach Marine Stadium Saturday morning. X Games 10 Wakeboard Men’s gold medalist Phillip Soven narrowly edged out Josh Sanders for the silver medal. Sanders, in his fourth X Games, medaled for the first time taking the bronze. Emily Copeland Durham took home the silver medal in the women’s competition, with Tara Hamilton capturing the bronze.
Harf, a 20-year-old California native who now lives in Orlando, put together a clean winning sequence of tricks including a switch 540, a regular heelside 720, nuclear whirly bird, a moby dick to a nuclear crow mobe grab method 540 and a slob 180, and was punctuated by a switch 900 with a heelside grab off of a double-up.
“I feel great about winning this year, because last year I had such a rough time,” said Harf, referring to X Games 10 when he finished 9th, missing the finals completely. “It feels good to come back from such bad bounces last year. The X Games is a great showcase for the sport and it’s great to come out and show off a bit for the kids. Hopefully they’ll be the ones to take it to the next level.”
Friday, the 2005 ESPY winner for women’s action sports athlete, rode to a record third straight gold medal (fourth overall) with a run beginning with a huge OHH and including a scarecrow, a toeside front roll followed by an indy grab. Next up she pulled a KGB wrap, a heelside off-axis 360, and closed the run with a bat wing followed by a switch-back-board.
“I feel like I had a great weekend and had a good run today,” said Friday. “Its great to be out competing with all the other athletes and to be able to be good friends also. (Wakeboarding) is such a great sport and I feel lucky to be able to do what I love, compete and travel around the world.”
In the men’s competition, the 16-year-old Soven, running before Harf, set the competitive bar high, stomping a litany of tricks in a run that included h
is own nuclear crow mobe method 540, a backboard transfer into a back flip, a nuclear whirly bird, a Pete Rose whirly 720 and a heelside 540. He punctuated his ride with a switch toeside off of the double-up.
Sanders, the current pro tour champion, just missed the silver with a ride that included a toeside 540, a huge switch stance whirly bird, followed by a front to faky, a roll blind and heelside 720 tootsie roll, and finishing with a heelside slim chance off the double-up.
On the women’s side, Copeland Durham won her fifth X Games medal on a run that started with a back board on the rail, followed by a toeside back front roll. The 21-year-old Denver native followed that sequence by stomping an off-axis 540 and a heelside off-axis 360. She finished her run with a fall on an attempted heelside back roll to blind.
Hamilton won her sixth X Games medal with a bronze medal run that started with a back board on the rail, followed by a frontside 360. After a fall, the 23-year-old Lantana, Florida native stomped a huge scarecrow and a toeside back roll, finishing with a toeside front roll. Off of the double up, she attempted a left hand KGB but did not land it.
ESPN X Games is the definitive annual action sports competition featuring more than 150 of the world’s best athletes competing in: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, Surfing and Wakeboard