Rob Machado's The Drifter

The 10th annual X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival was held January 21-26th in Salt Lake City, Utah. Action sports industry leaders, athletes, celebrities, enthusiasts, and filmmakers gathered to celebrate the culture, and view the world’s best action sports films. Audiences enjoyed Q&A’s with filmmakers and featured athletes, along with open-forum panels on cinematography, distribution and piracy issues that were streamed live on the internet. 33 features and nine short films screened over five days at X-Dance Headquarters (Off Broadway Theater on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake). Over 6000 people attended screenings, sponsor events, and the opening and closing party.

The festival’s opening party in conjunction with Outdoor Retailer featured Collective Soul, three other bands, street scene painters and several thousand people attending. After five days of screenings, X-Dance 2010 culminated at Club Elevate where the awards ceremony was hosted by the ever-savvy Olympic snowboard commentator and Fuel TV’s “Daily Habit” producer/host Pat Parnell.

Award presenters included soul surfer Rob Machado, epic snowboarders Erin Comstock, Tina Basich, Mike Basich, and Tara Dakides, wakeboard maverick Parks Bonifay, extreme skiers Scot Schmidt and Jeremy Nobis, Mt. Everest’s Apa Sherpa, moto Hellion and star of “Mind of the Demon” Larry Linkogle, Oakland-based hip hop artists Del: tha Funkee Homosapien, A plus, and Bukue, A-list commercial director Chris Woods, the GM of VAS Entertainment Danny Grant and Hotelier Chris Minnes from 968 Green Hotel. Every winner received a GO Pro camera and chest mount for their outstanding work.

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CJ Hobgood

2001 ASP World Champion and current ASP Dream Tour stalwart C.J. Hobgood (USA) confirmed his status of top seed at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star PRIME Hang Loose Pro, winning the first ASP Prime event of the year in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Raoni Monteiro made his third final in a row in Cacimba do Padre waves, but as last year, didn’t find the barrels to win.

“I’m stoked," Hobgood said. "Last year I put too much pressure on myself and it didn’t paid off. It was amazing to win right now in the ning of the season. I was lucky all day long finding those left barrels and I’m glad to be here in this amazing place."

Hobgood walked away with a US $20,000 winner’s check and 6,500 points to take the lead of the ASP World Rankings. Raoni pocketed US $10,000 and 4,875 points to place himself two steps below Hobgood on the ASP World Rankings where young Brazilian Alejo Muniz is the current No. 2. Here in Noronha Alejo and fellow coutryman Wiggolly Dantas was equal 3rd.

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Chris Friend

Chris Friend (Alexandra Headland, Qld) today claimed the inaugural 2010 Grade – 3 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Couran Cove Island Resort Pro Junior by less than one point ahead of the Gold Coast’s Mitch Crews (Currumbin, Qld).

In perfect 1.5-2m waves on Queensland’s (Australia) notorious South Stradbroke Island, Friend edged out Crews in a thrilling final, which saw the lead change multiple times before Friend shut the gate with a 9.50 registering a combined two-wave total of 16.00 (out of a possible 20) to Crews’ 15.00.

“That was one of the hardest heats I think I’ve ever surfed,” said and exhausted Friend.

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