Surfer Sabre Norris continued her domination of the skateboarding world, taking silver at the 2018 X Games in Minneapolis.
Her technically superior run came just four weeks after her surprise first-place finish at the X Games Qualifiers in Boise, Idaho.
Park skating was built on the foundation of surfing — even those who have never even seen a skate video understand the skate-surf connection, thanks in part to the notoriety of California’s Z-Boys, and the major motion picture based on their story. And when today’s surfers dry off and jump on a board, they continue to solidify surfing as the veritable father of modern skateboarding.
Sabre is the perfect example of how surfing and skating can flawlessly unite. And 2018 will be heralded as the 13-year-old’s breakout year: Along with her X Games medal and a second place finish at the Vans Park Series Oceania Championships, Sabre took top honors at the Bondi Bowl-A-Rama in her home state of New South Wales in February.
The event’s final results list perfectly illustrates just what a newcomer Sabre is to the sport: Of the top ten finishers, ranging in age from 9 to 31, she is one of only two skaters lacking any kind of sponsorship. (The other is her 11-year-old sister, Sockie.) That oversight will likely change following her X Games triumph.
What fans hope will never change, even in the wake of continued success, is Sabre’s authenticity and passion for the sport. She became a household name in 2014 at the tender age of 9, when a YouTube video of her landing a 540 went viral.
To date, it has garnered 1.5 million views. Sabre remains one of only three women in the world who can successfully land the intricate trick, a fact that X Games commentators made sure to point out.
Sabre’s X Games run garnered praise almost from the moment her wheels connected with the bowl.
“She attacks it technically,” said analyst Lyn-z Pastrana, an X Games medalist herself. The awe in her voice was apparent as she listed off Sabre’s tricks and switches, finally declaring, “I can’t even name it all, it’s so good.”
The teenage phenom’s future looks bright — According to her website, Sabre hopes to represent Australia at the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, in both skateboarding and surfing. It’s the first year of Olympic inclusion for both sports: Stay tuned to see if Sabre will become the Australia’s first dual medalist in women’s surfing and skating.
About the Author
Leah D. Nelson is a writer, wanderer, and avid music lover. After living, dancing, and writing in exotic U.S. locations including Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Taos, N.M., she is now comfortably settled in Boise, Idaho. She had never attended a live skate competition prior to 2018’s epic X Games Qualifier in her new home base, and now hopes to make it a habit.
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