phil front lip

Relentless trickery!

It was clear from the start of the qualifiers that this year was going to be pretty special and it didn’t disappoint.

The sizeable crowd was also stoked to see the appearance of none other than Mike Vallely, who had been competing on various WCS tour stops during the summer.

Mikey V was hitting the jump boxes harder than a runaway freight-train, busting out a bewildering array of grabbed insanity. The dude still goes huge, and doesn’t appear to have lost any confidence after breaking his arm late last year. Just gutted I didn’t get a shot of his handplant finger-flip on the big quarter – right under my nose, but I was way too slow for his badass.

Sunday afternoons Final saw 5 heats of 5 skaters in the same format as the semi’s. So much went down in that hour or so, that I cant even begin to describe the level of skating on display.

The sheer consistency of some of these guys is mind-boggling. Trick after trick after trick. Noteable hammers included Rodil Jr’s tre flip front boards, Daniel Viera’s sal-flip off the bridge. Rodolpho Ramos slamming down his kickflip crooks on the flat rail. Rob Smith and Awadh Mohammed acid dropping from the peanut gallery and Ben Grove jumping the barrier into the crowd. Argentina’s Milton Martinez made the most insaneВ  melon transfer – absolutely nuts. Also, Phil Zwijsen wearing his authentic and traditional Native-American feathered head-gear for the whole event – man, that must have been hot under those feathers, not to mention restrictive! Anyone know why he did this? Still don’t know and I’m starting to lose sleep over it…

In the end the podium was taken by Brazilians Kelvin Hoefler in first (earning himself five large for his efforts), with Ramos and Rodil Jr taking second and third place respectively. Well deserved, in my humble opinion.

[Opposite: Phil Zwijsen going all 'sitting bull' on the crowd.]

[Inset: Ramos flat rail flip crooks.]

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