Overall, this year’s X Games flew by almost completely by without a hitch or injury. Short of Ronnie Renner’s back injury during step up, there was a collective sigh of relief after the best trick and freestyle contests as the tricks are progressively getting more dangerous. That was until the final event when Jarryd McNeil’s first launch during quarterpipe big air that went south in a hurry. Upon landing, McNeil crashed and hit the dirt hard, cuasing the stadium to go quiet. Remaining conscious, he was visibly hurt and carted off the field with what looked like a broken leg. After catching up with the charismatic Aussie he informed us that a dislocated hip was the extent of the injury and he’s on the road to recovery already. We had a brief chat with “The Jazza” as he headed back to California in his van…
That was a heavy one, Jarryd –I heard that your grip came off, is that true?
Dude, I don’t know! I was looking at my bike in the back of the van and it was on so I don’t know if Bryce and them put it on. I don’t know if it came off, but someone said it did. When I landed I feel like my hand just blew off, it was super strange. I knew that when I got up there I was a little bit over whipped, and I had enough to straighten it up and got it pretty straightened out. Like I messed up a little by carving too much on the lip, and when I landed I was back wheel first and then next thing I knew I felt like I was being clotheslined by a rope! I honestly don’t know what happened. After riding all day long, having no mistakes in practice and being consistently smooth, then going out there and doing that I was like, “What the heck just happened?”
When you went down it was a quick reminder of how quick things can happen and how gnarly this stuff you guys are doing is. It’s scary to see anyone go down like that…
Yeah, it was a gnarly crash but it was pretty cool…it looked cool! That’s all I can take from it; it actually looked sweet! (Laughs)
You’re a nut, dude. (Laughs) So the result was a dislocated hip?
Yeah, like it was weird. I dislocated my finger last year on quarterpipe but that was the only thing I have ever dislocated and I put that back in myself. (Editors note: He then went on to win the Quarterpipe Big Air Contest at the Monster Energy FMX High Rollers Contest). This one took like three doctors to put back in, and they had to put me to sleep to pull it all back into place. Other than that, they said I had broken ribs but I don’t feel like I have broken ribs at all. Like I was smacking my chest saying like, “I don’t have broken ribs what are you talking about?” I don’t know what they are talking about, I think they’re old ones from another injury a couple years ago when I broke them. So I tried to get out of the hospital last night, but they convinced me to stay. I ended up staying until like 9:30 this morning and they released me. Now I’m sitting in the van driving home 28 hours!
That’s nuts. How much pain are you in?
It’s sore, like it’s tender. I’m not allowed to put weight on it, and when I get back I’m going to see a specialist and see what they think about it. But yea, a bit of time off and I have to rest up a little bit. I’m going to try and get back on the bike as quick as I can within reason because I could injure it again really easily.
So aside from this, you had a great weekend at X Games –the fans loved you.
Yeah, step up was the one I wanted to win the most out of anything. So that kind of set the bar, it was really fun. Then best whip, I mean I don’t know dude – the Twitter vote needs to go, it’s crap. I just saw online that you can pay like $40 and get like 10,000 tweets. I don’t want to take anything away from Cantrell because the guy has bike skills for sure, but when it comes down to it the Twitter voting doesn’t make sense. I think there could be a big change in the future.
The cool thing I noticed about this weekend was how much of a performer you were. Rolling out of the tunnel straight to the ramp for a huge flat liner whip was rad and the crowd lit up.
That’s the goal. Now it would just be sick to have some judges, or have the bikes fitted with some kind of sensor that tells how upside down or 180 you’re going. Just a new format would be cool.
That would be cool if it went that direction for sure. Well, thanks for the interview. Heal up man!