MESA, Ariz. — Jagger Eaton is only 11, but don’t tell him that the biggest stage in pro skateboarding is too much for him to handle.
Eaton is the youngest competitor ever invited to compete at the X Games. He’ll make his pro debut in the Big Air event at Los Angeles on June 28.
He’s been skateboarding since he was 4 — his family operates Kids That Rip! Skateboard School in Mesa — and has competed for several years. But the Big Air competition may be the most dangerous experience of his young life.
Eaton will skate down a large ramp, fly over a 55-foot gap and then skate on to a 27-foot quarter-pipe ramp. And he’s not just going to ride down the ramp.
“Over the gap, I’m looking for a back flip, then I’ll do a 540 on the quarter-pipe,” said Eaton with a smile.
Eaton has been training in both California and Pennsylvania for two years, getting about 15 hours of practice a week on the only Megaramps available for training.
His brother Jett was also scheduled to compete but was injured in training and had to withdraw. Their friend Trey Wood, also 11, will also be on the ramp.
Eaton relishes in the fact that he is competing in an event that many professional skateboarders shy away from because of the high risk.
“A lot of skateboarders like trying things that might look impossible. I love doing that, and I love the risk and I love the fright, so I can do ginormous things,” he said.