LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Decenzo successfully defended his 2011 gold medal in the Game of SK8 competition at X Games on Saturday by beating out Ishod Wair, Aaron "Jaws" Homoki, and Mike "Lizard King" Plumb.
"It was all about picking tricks that the other guys couldn't do, and they were doing the same to me," Decenzo said after the competition. "Most of these guys don't skate rails switch too much, and it was the perfect rail for me to skate switch on."
Lizard King went out first -- skating after Decenzo in Game of SK8 is a thankless task -- after missing a switch lipslide, a gap lipslide to fakie, and a switch tailslide. Jaws picked up his third letter and went out on a 270 Switch crooks down the rail, after Wair and Decenzo both landed it.
After that the contest came down to a head-to-head battle between Decenzo and Wair, two technically skilled skaters with different skating styles.
Decenzo picked up his second letter after Wair set the trick with a backside hardway flip over a banked stair gap, then was able to match Wair's quarterpipe nosepick stall. But Wair gave up control of the endgame after falling on a frontside shove-it attempt down the stair set. That left an opening for Decenzo to seal the deal with a switch feeble grind down the handrail, which Wair was unable to answer.
Homoki will compete in the Skateboard Park competition, airing Saturday on ESPN and ESPN3D from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET Saturday. All three Game of SK8 medalists -- Decenzo, Wair, and Homoki -- will be competing in the Skateboard Street finals, airing on ESPN and ESPN3D from 3 to 5 p.m. ET Sunday.