Active + Adventure

Extreme Sports for Spectators

by Dave Flanagan

X Games 17, Los Angeles, and Winter X Games 16, Aspen, Colorado

Why watch: Extreme sports neatly packaged for the MTV generation

Yes, the X Games, held annually in L.A., are huge, brash, and rampantly commercial, but they're very hard to ignore if you're looking for a spectator-friendly extreme-sports package. Some of the biggest names in skate, BMX, motocross, and rally still turn out to do their thing, and past games have delivered several milestone moments—Tony Hawk's 900 and Travis Pastrana's double backflip on a motocross bike for starters. Not risky enough? At the free winter version of the X Games, held on Aspen's Buttermilk Mountain, double backflips on a snowmobile aren't out of the question. Fearless U.S. rider Levi LaVallee just about managed it at 2009's Winter X Games 13. The audience stats are as staggering as the action. More than 138,000 people attended the 2010 games in L.A., and 40 million people in the U.S. alone watched on TV. The event was also broadcast to 176 countries. But if you want to really feel the buzz, there's only one way to truly experience the X Games: Be there.

X Games 17, July 28–31, 2011; Winter X Games 16, January 2012 (dates not set yet)

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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