Once a Fringe Underground culture, skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX biking, and freestyle motocross are now the stuff of car commercials and Olympic competitions. How did these so-called extreme sports get there -- and how does it feel to be in the midst of it all? The first comprehensive account of the history, culture, and business of action sports, Amped is a journey into a world where deft athleticism, potential pain, and the ultimate rush commingle. In journalist David Browne's eyeopening account of a truly alternate sports universe, readers will find themselves aboard a raucous skateboarding bus tour with the iconic Tony Hawk, behind the scenes at the X Games and snowboarding contests, dropping into a summer camp devoted to these sports, on the sidelines witnessing the first-ever double backflip on a motorcycle, and in the offices of the multinational corporations that have tapped into the vast amounts of money to be made from these new American pastimes. Along the way, readers will also hear firsthand from such stars as Hawk, skaters Bob Burnquist and Mike Vallely, BMX riders Ryan Nyquist and Rick Thorne, and motocross riders Mike Metzger and Clifford Adoptante.
Based on interviews with more than one hundred athletes, pioneers, industry executives, manufacturers, and, of course, the adolescent amateurs who are the heart of this movement, Amped is not merely the story of an alternative community now four decades old. It is the tale of a flourishing culture that continues to reject old-fashioned stick-and-ball sports in favor of individualistic forms of expression -- and that culture's struggle to hold on to its integrity despite the demands of corporate sponsors. The story of action sports speaks volumes about Generations X and Y and their divergent views on life, creativity, gratification, and identity.
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About the Author
David Browne is the music critic for Entertainment Weekly and author of Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley, which was a finalist for the Ralph J. Gleason Award. A former reporter for the New York Daily News, he has also written for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, and New York, among other publications. He lives in Manhattan.