For the first time in the tour’s history, we stopped at Camp Woodward, the training grounds for most pros. The level of skating we saw certainly lived up to the hype, as the event brought out skaters from across the globe, including Norway and Australia. Being one of the last stops of the regular season, everyone was gunning for one of the reamining spots in the Finals.
Skateboard Vert kicked things off with 23 competitors on deck. Considering the average age of field was 13 years old, these skaters prove that vert is alive and well and has a great future ahead. After three runs, the field was narrowed down to 6 skaters, who got to showcase their best moves against one another. First place went to now three-time finalist Zac Rose. Continually going 5+ feet above the coping through his entire run, he sealed the deal with a mute 540 to a melon 540 back-to-back.
Squeezing in the 2nd place spot was Nick Wallace, skating with very fluid style throughout his entire run. Making the long trip from Norway, Mats Hatlem found himself in 3rd place with a body jar, stalefish, and what one of the judges described as “style for miles.”
The 21 & under street division featured 26 skaters split into 5 heats going head to head for a spot in the final round. Brandon Strosser will be making his third appearance at Finals after dominating the contest, taking 1st place in both semis and finals.
“This will be my third time at finals but my first time in San Francisco,” Brandon said, adding “It’s going to be sick!”
Consistent throughout the plaza and laying down various flip tricks, Gard Jessen Hvaara will be making another trip to the US from Norway in October for Finals after placing in the runner-up spot. Ryder Lawson, the second Aussie of the weekend to make a podium, came in 3rd place.
Although it’s just the first time in the tour’s history that we’ve hosted bowl contests, it has quickly become of the most popular disciplines, with almost 40 kids in attendance. With rain looming over the hills, we ran quickly through 3 runs for every rider and picked the top 5. From that point, it was an all-out 8-minute jam – no rules just skate.
Style was a key factor for the judges, and Jake Wooten had it in spades. His stable of tricks – including a huge stalefish, frontside ollies, and a body jar – complemented his unquestioned style, giving Jake the top spot on the podium.
With a 270 boneless entry and a stalefish disaster, Nick Wallace showed the same style he showed on the vert ramp, scoring his second runner-up finish of the day. Brennan Wallace rounded out the podium, earning himself a spot in Finals in the process.
The Junior Jam skateboard street contest went down at the Target Plaza. A total of 14 little big men showed their skills, and after three heats, the field was narrowed down to a final heat of 5.
Grant Stavas ended up at the top of the podium with a kickflip down the stairset and a backside 5-0 on the rail. Jack O’Grady became the first of many Australians from the Monster Skatepark to podium this weekend, finishing in 2nd. Petey Miedaner took 3rd place, making great use of the whole plaza and landing a switch 180 over the stairset.
|Skate Vert||Skate Street||Skate Bowl||Junior Jam|
|1.||Zac Rose||Brandon Strosser||Jake Wooten||Grant Stavas|
|2.||Nick Wallace||Gard Jenssen Hvaara||Nick Wallace||Jack O’Grady|
|3.||Mats Hatlem||Ryder Lawson||Brennan Campbell||Petey Miedaner|
|4.||Luke Russell||Mike Berdis||Eamon Samojla||Shamus Malia|
|5.||David Palazzee||Zach Plank||Gard Jessen Hvaara||Bennet Schwartz|
An excited Jake Wooten celebrates his win