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X Games California 2023: Boyd Hilder With The Silver

After a memorable gold in BMX Street at X Games Japan earlier this year, LUXBMX pro Boyd Hilder has shaken off the rookie label and is back for more, competing in the BMX Street event at X Games California 2023. 

Held over the weekend of the 21-23 July at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, the behemoth of extreme sports i.e. X Games has come and gone. With more than 150 competitors across the 3 x disciplines of BMX, Skate and Moto X, the Californian version of the summer X Games marks the 68th edition since the contest’s inception in 1995. 

Being an arms length from the competition scene, it's always a welcomed surprise when X Games creeps up out of nowhere, unleashing as guys and girls from around the world put their bodies on the line for gold and glory. And doesn't it feel like that, I've watched a bunch of the various events, honing in on BMX but also keeping abreast of skating and Moto X, it's honestly incredible to think about not only the level of riding and how much incredible competition was packed into 3 days, but the logistics and planning to make something like this happen without a glitch. I suppose this is somewhat unsurprising given the capability of America in putting on a show, credit where credit's due. 

The X Games street course, courtest of California Skateparks

Out of the 50+ hours of competition, it was the BMX Street event which had my interest piqued. Despite the opinion of some, this event felt true to its origins with the course borrowing elements very much at home in a school yard while equally providing for effortless flow, the ability to link lines and he option to go big should you choose. The course builders (California Skateparks) have been building parks for over 25 years and are clearly experts in design and construction, with a portfolio of over 500 facilities including the infamous Vans park as well as the more transient X Games Sydney course. 

Further to the above, the 9 finalists are all genuine 'street' riders, offering a trick portfolio that would not look out of place in a core, modern video. While variety may be lacking amongst the style of riding from these dudes, you cannot question the deservedness of each biker in this final. 

Come finals, it was difficult to predict who was going to make top 3, with each dude capable, hungry and on-point during practice. Aside from Garrett 'Gary' Reynolds and his ridiculous history of X Games podiums (having made every single one he has competed in), the floor was open to whoever could put down a clean run. With 3 x runs and the best score counting, the bell had tolled and the boys were on. With Boyd having come off X Games gold in Japan earlier this year, he was to take to the course last, giving him the upper hand over his competitors. 

Above, Boyd with the feeble to smith to bar and the subsequent crowd hype. Screenshots taken from the below video

With Mexico's Kevin Peraza setting the bar high on his first run, Garrett holding down the seond place and Germany's Felix Prangenberg in third, Boyd had his work cut out for him. His first run was good but sprinkled with a few glitches lowering his score. This was however tidied up come round 2, sticking all the links but stomping the key highlights like the bar drop to ledge ride, the over tooth on the sub-rail and the feeble to smith to bar on the big out ledge. The judges did their thing, sending through a score of 86.33 which just marginally fell short of Perazas winning 87. From my point of view, the scores were fair, Peraza nailed his run which was super well rounded and had the atmosphere of a gold winning moment. 

Extract of the BMX Street final results - screenshot taken from the X Games website

To make the podium from both X Games events of the year is remarkable, Boyd is no doubt making his mark on BMX and showing that he is one of the best to do it. To see the boy from the Gold Coast (who is a regular sight at the LUXBMX warehouse) dominate at one of the worlds most competitive BMX events brings the pride bubbling to the surface. All power to you kid, keep it up!

Boyd and Kevin, happy chappys. Photo courtesy of PR Web - taken by Jeff Z

Take a look at the top 3 runs from BMX Street in the below video, with the full event also available to watch should you wish to indulge.