ENCINITAS – Although Tom Schaar landed the first 1080 during March 2012, Mitchell “Mitchie” Brusco wasn’t far behind in landing the trick. The then 16-year-old Brusco landed the 1080 — three aerial revolutions — in X Games Barcelona 2013 just two months after Schaar first performed the trick.
Encinitas’ Brusco now has his solo spot in history as he successfully completed the first ever 1260 — three and a half aerial rotations — on a skateboard during the Big Air event at the X Games Minneapolis 2019 on Aug. 3.
“It was a different level of focus that genuinely I’m not really quite used to,” Brusco said of the record-breaking aerial spin. “Rarely there’s something that’s that scary and important for me.”
Brusco, 22, completed the 1260 after just four previous attempts during the summer of 2019.
After coming short on the trick twice at the X Games Shanghai 2019, he failed two more attempts in Minnesota before landing his third try.
“I was almost in disbelief. Once I landed it was surreal,” Brusco said.
Legendary North County skater Tony Hawk was the first person to ever land a 900 after he completed the spin during the 1999 Summer X Games. He tweeted a video of Brusco completing the 1260 with a caption stating, “I’m speechless.”
Brusco’s full run with the 1260 ultimately propelled him to win the silver medal at the X Games Minneapolis 2019. To date, the skating prodigy has 10 X Games medals: one gold, four silver, and five bronze.
Brusco debuted at the X Games in 2011 as a 14-year-old athlete. He became the third skateboarder to land a 900 in a Big Air contest, and in 2013 he became the second skater ever to land a 1080 on the MegaRamp event at the X-Games.\
Fellow Encinitas skater Tom Schaar was the first to ever land the 1080 but he believes that Brusco is now in a league of his own.
“He’s doing something no one else can do and he’s trying to just keep pushing the sport,” Schaar said.
It doesn’t seem Brusco has any immediate challengers for the 1260 either as the two other skaters who landed 1080s have stopped pushing for bigger aerial spins in recent years.
“I thought about trying it but never really wanted to because I didn’t think I’d be able to because it’s too crazy,” Schaar said. “He’s insane for doing that.”
Although Brusco has gained about 45,000 social media followers since he landed the 1260, he has stuck to his same lifestyle and training plan.
“I worked so hard for that event that the only thing that made me feel comfortable after was getting back in my rhythm that got me there — it made me feel at home,” Brusco said.
And the way that he trains isn’t necessarily orthodox to skateboarding. Brusco goes to the gym but he also takes to the air to skydive.
To date he has completed about 950 jumps and spent about 100 hours in the wind tunnel.
He believes that his skydiving has helped him learn how to turn his body better in the air.
“Every day that I get better at flying, I get more comfortable in the air and every day that I get more comfortable in the air those little moments where you’re 20 feet, 17 feet out over the (vert ramp) just seem to get a little bit more comfortable,” the Big Air skater said.
While Brusco prepares to begin competing in national and international indoor flying competitions in the near future, he doesn’t see another half or full rotation coming anytime soon in skateboarding.
“We’ve got so far in spinning right now that these flip tricks, and these switch tricks and these frontside tricks need to catch up a little bit before we push it any further,” Brusco said.
But he isn’t entirely opposed to the idea of another half rotation in the air.
“I’m sure people will try it in the future, and I might be one of the guys who does,” said the Encinitas skateboarder who has cemented his place in skating history.
Photo Caption: Mitchie Brusco skates the halfpipe at Elliot Sloan’s Highland Showdown In October 2017. Brusco, 22, made history at the recent X Games in Minneapolis. Photo via Instagram