Nitro World Games Wales is shaping up to be the biggest action sports event of 2020. More than 100 of the best action sports athletes in the world will head to Cardiff to vie for the podium in Freestyle Motocross, BMX Best Trick, BMX Triple Hit, Skate Vert, and Scooter Best trick. The competition is set to go down on the 23rd and 24th of May, and you can find tickets and more info right here.
The competitor lineups are still developing, but you can be sure that the top riders in each discipline are planning to be there, and every event will be absolutely stacked. Stay tuned as the competition gets closer, and read on to learn more about the events and how they’ve played out in years past.
Freestyle Motocross at Nitro World Games is designed to ensure that the most well-rounded riders rise to the top. Competitors must land a set number of tricks from specific categories, including upright tricks, backflip tricks, combos, and more. The specific event rules for Wales will be available closer to the competition, but the takeaway is: To win FMX at Nitro World Games, riders have to perform the biggest, cleanest, most technical tricks to show a complete range.
FMX has been featured at Nitro World Games twice, and both times the legend Levi Sherwood took home the top prize. Josh Sheehan also made the podium both years, earning second place in 2016 and third place in 2017. Taka Higashino brought home the third-place trophy in 2016, while Javier Villegas was the second-place finisher in 2017.
BMX Best Trick is easily one of the most intense, edge-of-your-seat events in action sports. With one of the biggest ramps in the business and the cream of the crop in BMX big air competing, you just never know what you’re going to see happen.
In its first year, a scooter kid named Ryan Williams shocked everyone by winning his first-ever BMX competition on the back of enormous, competition-first tricks. Kurtis Downs landed the World First backflip quad tailwhip to earn second place, and Gavin Godfrey rounded out the podium. In its second year, R-Willy repeated as champion and also won the Scooter Best Trick event, making him the first-ever Nitro World Games competitor to win two events in two disciplines. Brandon Loupos took home second and Jaie Toohey earned third.
A staple of Nitro World Games in its first two years, BMX Triple Hit attracted a field of heavy-hitters, household names in the BMX competition world. The unique setup consisting of three jumps in sequence tests more than just a rider’s freestyle chops; to put down a worthy run, flow, momentum, and consistency are essential to success. This contest is always a tight one.
In the first year, Colton Walker entered as the youngest rider in the field and came away with the win. The battle for second place was decided by about a tenth of a point, but Logan Martin edged out Alex Coleborn in one of the tightest finishes of that year. Walker repeated as champion the following year, beating Nick Bruce by eight-hundredths of a point and Brian Fox by twelve-hundredths of a point. Fox had qualified in first place the prior year but had to scratch before the final due to an injury in practice, so making the podium was full redemption for him. With big names and stories like these leading to a tight competition, Triple Hit is consistently one of the most exciting events to watch.
Skate Vert is one of the most intense freestyle sports, with a high degree of difficulty and wall to wall excitement throughout. So when Nitro World Games welcomed the discipline in 2018, it felt like a no-brainer.
When the dust settled, Moto Shibata edged out a stacked field, with Elliot Sloan and Jono Schwan also making the podium. In a noteworthy result, Tate Carew, the first-ever winner of Nitro World Games Unlocked: Skate Vert, finished in sixth. Unlocked is a competition where up-and-comers compete for a spot in the semifinal, so to finish sixth overall was a huge accomplishment for the young athlete.
For the first two years, Scooter Best Trick went down in Salt Lake City, Utah, before moving in 2018 to Paris, France. In that first year, the Funk Brothers bookended the podium, with Capron taking the win and Corey earning a third. Jordan Clark finished second.
In 2017, the event grew to have one of the largest qualifying fields, and Ryan Williams got redemption by winning the event outright after a disappointing finish in 2016. Tyler Chaffin and Cody Flom rounded out the podium in a tight race for the prize.
R-Willy repeated as champion in Paris in 2018, cementing himself as the athlete to beat in this event. In Wales, the best scooter big air athletes in the world will yet again compete in what is destined to be another intense competition full of impossible tricks.