Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (Wii)

Tier 1 Race Tips

Dharma Dash

Welcome to the sparkling, neon-lit Hong Kong raceway! There's nothing too tricky to deal with here, just shoot down that ramp and tear downhill. This track offers a lot of rails to grind along the sides of the track, perfect for building up boost to blow by your opponents. Taking a grinding run around the Buddha statue offers a nice little bonus of letting you bust up some objects. There's a big jump near the end of the run-trick like crazy while you're in mid-air then burn off all that boost for a last second dash to the finish and maybe a gold medal.

Cable Car Sprint in San Francisco

San Francisco races are all about dodging obstacles as pedestrians, cable cars, automobiles, and (of course) other racers are always getting in your way. A good tip here is to race the course the way you'd drive it: stay on the right side of the road to minimize ugly head-on crashes. You can ollie over the cars if you time it right but the cable cars are another thing altogether.

Right off the starting line, aim for the middle of the road and that nice, fat ramp. Rack up some tricks for boost but don't burn it off yet. Instead, take that first big right turn wide-this'll set you up perfectly to hit the ramp on the left side of the street for more tricks. Go ahead and burn off some of that boost now if you like before you make the next major turn. After that turn, look for a green ramp on the right. Jump off it for more boost-gathering opportunities and-if you're lucky-a high rail to grind. That high rail is perfect for avoiding the chaos below.

Further along the track, after a few more turns you'll enter a parking garage. See that arrow just at the end as you enter? Use your remaining boost to blast straight at it then ollie over that low wall to leapfrog ahead of the pack to the finish line. Remember this shortcut and use it often in other San Francisco events.

If you're still trying to get used to the game and the controls, this is a good track to play conservatively. Ignore all that preceding advice and just cruise down the road and dodge the obstacles. Even if you're playing it safe, you'll want to get some boost-those cable car tracks in the road are tailor-made for boost-generating grind runs. You should still post a good time playing this way-especially if you make that last shortcut jump in the garage.

Castle Chaos

Welcome to Edinburgh Castle, the stately manor of lords and ladies and home to some of the craziest action in the game. There's a ton of jumps in Edinburgh and even more tourists-clobber those pesky sightseers for lots of cheap boost. And keep a look out for the big red arrows since they call out some of this level's best highlights (see box on this page). Keep an eye out for ramps to grab some air and generate boost.

Street Issue Slalom

Slalom races can be some of the toughest in the game but you've got a couple things very much in your favor here. First off, you've already run this track so you're familiar with it. Secondly, the gates are easy to spot and placed in such a way that you can readily hit them. The key to winning gold in this event is to hit that second mid-air gate. To do that, blow some boost for a bigger jump and make sure you hit that ramp on a straight line.

Tony's going nuts and why not? You've just unlocked the Street Issue board. With better speed, turning, balance, and combat stats you should choose this board for the rest of your Tier 1 races. And your past ones as well. Just for fun (and maybe a gold ranking) go back and re-race Dharma Dash with your new board. See that pagoda just to the left immediately after the start? Zip over there and shoot off the ramp for some major air and a nice jump ahead onto some train tracks-you wouldn't have made that jump with your first board.

Twin Peaks Slalom

Make sure you select your new Street Issue board before you start this event. Twin Peaks is a little harder than the slalom you just completed but that new board is going to help a lot. Control your turns and make sure you look ahead on the track to spot upcoming gates-you'll need to hit most of them not to run out of time.

Gunnar's Threads

This Edinburgh race is absolutely lousy with vehicles making wipe-outs (and a loss) especially likely. The key here is to exploit the vehicles to your advantage-a well-timed ollie over a car not only negates the threat but that nifty hurdle will help you rack up boost. If you're having trouble leaping the cars, just stick to the sides of the tracks both to avoid them and to have easier access to the marked shortcuts. There's also a great unmarked shortcut on this track: Near the bottom of the big hill in the business district you'll see a bright red trashcan on your left. Make a sharp turn to jump past it and get much closer to the finish line. Commit this shortcut to memory-you'll have ample opportunity to use it in later races.

Twin Peaks Race

You should remember this twisting track from the slalom a little while back. Just as in the slalom, managing the hairpin turns can make or break you here-that's why there are those nice red shortcut arrows on the rails. Jump onto those rails and grind your way downhill and (probably) past the competition. Even if you manage the rails, the pack will still be breathing down your neck. Look for another arrow on your right just after you get off the third rail. That arrow points out a drainpipe shortcut. Soon after exiting the drainpipe you'll see another arrow on the right. This shortcut is trickier but the payoff is worth it. You probably won't be able to leap the fencing here so slow down enough to take the ramp then turn sharply right, crashing through any tables or people in your way. You'll then drop well ahead on the track, seconds away from victory!

Castle Chaos Trick Event

Welcome to your first Trick event. Try not to give in to the temptation of just stopping somewhere and repeatedly ripping off tricks or long grinds-you'll run out of time before you even score bronze. You've got to keep moving forward to hit the time-extending checkpoints. To get big points you need to make good use of your limited time and the way to do that is to hit as many of the bonuses littering the track as you can. Look for spinning wheels (they look sort of like slalom gates) and hit them-they'll slow down time, allowing you to cram a ton of tricks into relatively short period of time. The floating numbers you see will multiply your trick runs so pop through those as well. Don't worry, this is a very forgiving event-that first ramp is loaded with a time gate and multiplier to help you get off to a strong start.

Waterfront Wipeout Slalom

This race takes you to some new areas in Hong Kong, specifically the market and the waterfront. There's lot to destroy in this race, perfect for building up your boost. The boost will come in handy during the series of ship to ship jumps that close out this level. Near the tail end of the market section and just before the waterfront, keep your eye open for a shipping container on your left-it's an unmarked shortcut. Leap through the back to shoot quickly ahead to the waterfront. If you spot a rail to grind near the boats, get on it. You can grind your way across a number of the boats, sparing you the risk of missing a jump and landing in the drink.

Tourist Trap Race

You've made it to the end of Tier 1 and one of Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam's signature long run races. You'll be going over a lot of familiar San Francisco territory here so remember everything you've learned-grind those hairpin rails, use the drainpipe, and so on-and use it to your advantage. Look for an early shortcut right off the starting ramp and don't forget to ollie over that garage wall a the end of the race. Got any boost left late in the race? Use it-you won't be the only racer jumping that garage wall to skip ahead to the finish line.