ENCINITAS, Calif .– Axell Hodges, an Encinitas resident, finds it scary when he flies high above the ground on his 450 motorcycle. Yet he always comes back for more.
This week, he has the home course advantage when he hosts the X Games Moto X in his “Slayground”.
– We’re at the Slayground, he said. “This is where I come to mountain bike every day. “
In January 2020, Hodges purchased a 40-acre property near Ramona. He quickly made it his personal playground, or rather the Slayground. The 24-year-old says he started off building a jump and then more and more, and that turned into a site hosting the 2021 X Games Moto X competition.
“It’s super special,” he said. “I mean, you don’t want people to forget about the action sports world and I think that will be a good thing. We took a little break and everyone is loaded and I think that will be the one of the best X Games we’ve seen in a while because people have been locked in and they want to get on their dirt bike and let it bark.
And Hodges’ bike barks louder than most. A converted motocross racer, he won seven medals at the X Games, including in his first year in 2016.
“The first event, I went up and dislocated my shoulder at Step Up and blew it up in that event,” he said. “It was my first time on TV. Two days later it was (Moto X Best Whip competition) and I taped my shoulder and ended up getting a silver medal.
Due to the pandemic, fans cannot attend this year’s X Games, but the games still had to take place. Hodges thinks he has the perfect place for this. On his home run, he will compete once again in the Best Whip category.
“A whip is when you hit a jump and get your road bike as sideways and snug as you can and bring it back without crashing,” he said.
As well as a high air quarter-pipe.
“It’s the quarter pipe right below us,” he said. “It’s the 18 foot one where you go up pretty much straight up, do a 180 and come back down. The goal is to go as high as possible and the guy who goes the highest wins the gold medal.
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