The International Skateboarding Federation held their World Championships Saturday at Boston’s TD Garden. In the women’s field, East Coaster Gaby Ponce won the vert and Brazilian Leticia Bufoni took home the park title.
As a relative newcomer on the pro vert scene, 18-year-old Ponce unseated reigning champ Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins to take the win and become the 2010 women’s ISF World Champion for vert. And she could hardly believe the outcome herself.
“I didn’t expect it, you know, because I’m the new kid out here,” Ponce said. “I’m just so grateful, and especially to my parents for supporting me.”
But it was her solid tricks that got her the win, including a kickflip indy, a gay twist and a lez twist. She improved upon her second-place finish at last year’s event to take the win this year.
Gaby Ponce, method air
The girls got four 30-second runs each, and the best two runs were used to calculate the results.
“I liked this ordered jam better than the traditional jam because it gives me a chance to calm down and skate,” Ponce said.
Ponce is from New Jersey and didn’t have to travel far to get the Boston competition. But she’s heading to Southern California next month for X Games and staying in the area permanently to go to college in San Diego.
“San Diego is pretty much the mecca for skateboarding, and back at home I have to drive two hours to a vert ramp, so I’ll be five minutes away and it will be so convenient.”
Gaby Ponce, kickflip indy
Second place went to Mimi Knoop, who actually tore her ACL a few months ago, but was still able to pull off an eggplant and look really strong in each of her runs. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins was third.
“I haven’t been skating so I didn’t really think I was going to do that well at all, so I’m really surprised,” Knoop said. “I just tried to stay on.”
As for the new format, she said she prefers an open jam and feels like the girls skate better that way and can push each other.
“It’s kind of new for us to have runs in order and only a certain number of runs,” Knoop said. “There was a little more pressure. If you fall, or the buzzer goes off, then your run’s over, and we’re not used to that. So it’s hard to make all your tricks and keep going.”
She was impressed with the level of riding at the contest though.
“Over the last two or three years this progression has happened,” Knoop said. “There’s newer girls coming in and they’re skating really good, so it’s good for us.”
Leticia Bufoni, backside Smith grind
On the park side, Bufoni, 17, is a relative newcomer as well, who moved to California from Brazil a few years ago to pursue her pro career. The difference in parks and contests in the U.S. is something that really stands out to her.
“It’s because in Brazil there’s not a lot of contests like this and all the parks and everything is more rough, so we practice a lot in really bad rain, and stuff, so when we come here it becomes easier. It’s like paradise. All these parks that are really smooth and nice.”
Lacey Baker was second and Alexis Sablone was third.
Bufoni won the event with solid tech tricks, including a crooked grind on the picnic table, 180 ollie on the big stairs, back Smith grind on the rail, nose blunt slide, and an overcrook.
Getting mobbed by the fans
When she’s not competing, she skates the Volcom skate spot, Rob Dyrdek’s skate plaza, and all the street spots in L.A.
“I watch the guys skating and I want to skate like the guys,” Bufoni said. “So I keep looking and I train and I try to do the same things that the guys are doing.”
Bufoni said there’s not as many new girls coming up as in vert, but the ones that are out there are skating better every year. They’re pushing themselves and and they’re getting better each contest season, she said.
- Gaby Ponce, 72.51
- Mimi Knoop, 69.88
- Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, 67.63
- Cara Beth Burnside, 65.13
- Nora Vasconcellos, 63.63
- Julie Kindstrand, 54.26
- Franziska Stolz, 37.50
- Leticia Bufoni, 84.13
- Lacey Baker, 78.58
- Alexis Sablone, 77.15
- Amy Caron, 71.03
- Rachel Reinhard, 70.28
- Candy Jacobs, 68.15
- Abisha Alshebaiki, 61.75
- Marta Nery, 56.60
- Vanessa Torres, 42.85
- Chihiro Uchida, 39.30
- Miho Kazama, 34.60
- Elizabeth Nitu, 26.40
First place, Leticia Bufoni
Second place, Lacey Baker
Third place, Alexis Sablone