Xtreme Asia

The skateboard culture invades Asia.
Story Aggie Tyloch

Do you have what it takes? Do you have an insane urge to jump a flight of stairs wearing a pair of rollerblades? Does the idea of massive jumps and bone-crunching competition make your mouth water? Then the Asian X Games are for you.

Started in 1998, the Asian X Games are a showcase of Asian in-line skating, biking and skateboarding talent. Qualifying competitions are held in Bangkok, Taipei and Singapore. This year the winners of each are invited to Patong Beach in Thailand for the chance to compete in the 2001 Summer X Games in San Diego, California, the world cup of extreme sports.

Of all the events at the Asian X Games, in-line skating is the most aggressive and popular. “We have seen some wicked talent…especially from the Yastutoko brothers. They really know how to get a crowd going,” says Grant Beattie, an amateur skateboarder from Toronto. The brothers—Takeshi, 13, and Eito, 15—have made a big impact on the in-line skating world. With huge back-to-back spins and gravity-defying aerials, the brothers make every trick look easy. “They are so damn good because their dad owns a skate park back in Japan,” says Beattie. “If I had my own park, I would be good too. It’s a shame that they are not skateboarders, I could show them a thing or two.”

The number of Pacific Rim participants grows every year. The talent pool keeps increasing and competition stiffens. Beattie says, “When the time comes to have children, I want my kids to experience the thrill and excitement of what was once a troublemaking activity. I want to give my kids the chance to become someone’s hero and have fun while doing it. Competition is grand out there and it’s hard to get sponsored, but if you have what it takes, then show what you’ve got.” Let the X Games begin.