X Games announced the addition of three new disciplines to its Real Series on Monday, the all-video medal events featured in tandem with each of the on-site action sports competitions. Along with the global expansion of the X Games, for which three new international events -- in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil; Munich; and Barcelona -- will be staged in 2013, Real Ski Backcountry, Real Surf and Real Women will join the current lineup of Real Street, Real Snow and Real Snow Backcountry as medal events at X Games in 2013.
Of course, we all love Innersection. And let's face it: X Games Real Series and all the action-sports clips you see online can be traced back to when filmmakers used to make boardsports movies. We watched "Surfers: The Movie" 10,000 times back in 1989. The grandfather of all action-sports filmmakers is Bruce Brown, who made "The Endless Summer." And even before that it was Bud Browne, for his surf films in the 1950s. And here we are today.
The Real Series first debuted in summer 2010 at X Games Los Angeles as Real Street. Because so many of skateboarding's stars eschew contests in favor of filming skateboard movie parts, the idea for an all-video contest was created in order to bring the two worlds together for the first time. Skateboarders submitted 60-second video parts featuring skateboarding done exclusively in city streets for a chance to win $50,000 and X Games gold, as well as an additional $10,000 in a "Fan Favorite" online bracket vote.
Based on Real Street's success, Real Snow was added to the X Games Aspen event lineup in 2011 as a way to bring urban snowboarders into the winter-contest fold. Real Snow Backcountry, an all-backcountry snowboarding footage contest, soon followed, making its debut at X Games Tignes last March.
The underlying principle of each Real Series contest is the same: All footage is shot outside the confines of parks and resorts. (Sorry, no wave pools.) Athletes with reputations for creative uses of their terrain of choice traditionally make up the invitee list. X Games gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded by a panel of athlete and industry experts during the X Games event telecasts, and fans are given the opportunity to cast ballots for their favorite video parts in a bracketed online voting contest in the month leading up to each X Games event.
For the coming year, Real Snow will go live with the online Fan Favorite voting bracket on XGames.com on Jan. 8, with winners announced during the live broadcast of X Games Aspen on Jan. 27. Real Ski Backcountry will make its debut in conjunction with X Games Tignes on March 5. Real Surf makes its first splash on April 2 as part of X Games Foz do Iguaçu. Real Women, an all-female ski, snowboard, surf and skate multi-sport contest, will join the X Games Barcelona event lineup, with fan voting starting May 30. Real Street moves to the new X Games Munich event, with video parts dropping June 4, while Real Snow Backcountry will now roll out video parts on July 16 in conjunction with X Games Los Angeles.
Remember that surfing made a foray into the X Games in the mid-2000s with team events in Huntington Beach, Calif., and Puerto Escondido. But the fit was never quite right. This seems much better, considering the medium. And the other sports have seen some dope results.
"Having the opportunity to showcase women's snowboarding, skating, surfing and skiing through video segments at X Games is huge," says Kimmy Fasani, one of two women representing snowboarding in Real Women. "I can't wait to see what each of these incredible ladies brings to the table. It's definitely an honor to be part of."
While not all of the athlete rosters have been set for the Real Series events, confirmed athletes (list subject to change) are as follows:
Real Surf ~ Voting begins: April 2 ~ Winners announced: X Games Foz do Iguaçu 2013, April 18-211. Chippa Wilson
2. Jordy Smith
3. Gabriel Medina
Real Women ~ Voting begins: May 30 ~ Winners announced: X Games Barcelona 2013, May 16-191. Snowboard: Jess Kimura
2. Snowboard: Kimmy Fasani
3. Ski: Ingrid Backstrom
4. Ski: Michelle Parker
5. Skate: Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana
6. Skate: Leticia Bufoni
7. Surf: Coco Ho
8. Surf: Maya Gabeira