Vans Pro-Tec Brews Perfect Storm

See links below for the Alli video edits from the contest:

Check out the video recap from the pros

Check out the video recap from the masters

See the full list of results

Saturday the top round wall specialists descended upon the Vans Skatepark in Orange, Ca. to battle it out for one of the most prestigious bowl events, the Vans Pro-Tec Pool Party. Changes this year created a perfect storm and made this contest arguably the best since its inception six years ago. The Combi pool got a major facelift after being completely resurfaced and capped off with new tile and coping and there was a new contest format with a flood of new young pool rippers.

Bucky Lasek Frontside Blunt

California Skateparks did the rebuild, removing the lumpy and slippery plaster surface and adding faster grinding coping. With Lance Mountain, Bucky Lasek and Steve Alba keeping a watchful eye, the new version of the Combi is flawless and allowed skaters to break out tricks that were unthinkable with the old version. The tweak to the contest format had the skaters jamming in order for the beginning of the heat before opening it up to the full chaos of the open jam format.

Rune Glifberg Frontside Nosebone

While it’s always a crowd favorite to see skaters crisscrossing with near misses, the new format change allowed skaters to put together better runs without having to look over their shoulder or get knocked off their line. Last year was the coming-out party for the new crop of pool slayers with five of these young kids making last year’s final. This year these kids really stepped it up and in turn caused the old guards to up their game if they wanted to keep their positions at the top and not fall behind.

Omar Hassan Heel Flip Frontside Air

The masters’ event is always amazing to see and while all over the age of 40, these guys still shred just like they did 20 years ago. Chris Miller has dominated this event for five years straight and this year looked to be no different. He brought some new combinations to his already heavy bag of tricks and always performs them with speed, style and effortless grace. But a six-pack of wins was not to be this year and when the dust settled it was Steve Caballero who found himself holding the Gibson guitar above his head, with Miller in second.

Steve Caballero Backside Air

Following Miller was Lance Mountain, whose attention to detail in the Combi rebuild showed as he broke out new lines and new tricks. Traveling all the way from Copenhagen, Nicky Guererro showed why he’s always in the finals, just missing the podium that he made last year. Duane Peters, in fifth, skated with reckless abandon living up to his moniker “The Master of Disaster” and had the crowd screaming for more. Eric Nash skated flawlessly and a sixth-place-finish seemed hardly justified, but Eric was still all smiles and will certainly place higher next year. Tony Magnusson finished in the seventh spot and landed everything in his run. Christian Hosoi, who took second in last year’s event, probably skated the event better this year but managed only an eighth-place finish. Jeff Grosso finished ninth and was a crowd favorite after he board slided 28 blocks in the Blocks for Bucks event while Lester Kasai rounded out the top 10.

Chris Miller Frontside Transfer

To be a judge at the Pro-Tec pool party has got to be a nightmare of a job and this year may have been the toughest to decide. Bucky Lasek put on a show as well as a pool clinic mixing tech lines, big airs and back-to-back combos that had your head spinning. He was clearly the winner. After that though, the top five could have just been pulled out of hat. Rune Glifberg and Omar Hassan have switched places on the podium since this contest started and this year was no different. Flip-flopping the order of last year, Rune was awarded second and Omar had to settle for third. While Rune skated aggressively and consistently Omar brought a slew of new moves that had been honed since his move to Oregon and he was on fire from the start to finish.

Lance Mountain Frontside Invert

Just missing the podium was the new group pool wizards and the Brazilian phenom Pedro Barros, who has won just about every bowl event this year and spun his way to fourth. The fifth spot went to Nolan Munroe and if he had made the podium it would not have been a stretch. Nolan had several tricks that nobody else did and his 540s were as high as they come. Josh Rodriguez continues to impress and a top-three finish is in his future no doubt. Competing in his first ever Pro-Tec Pool Party, Alex Perelson blew minds and settled for a very respectable seventh place. Once again making the finals and the last of the young guys, Josh Borden got eighth. A tattered Bob Burnquist powered through the pain for the ninth position while fellow Brazilian Lincoln Ueda flew higher than anyone and grabbed the last spot for tenth.

The Vans Pro-Tec Pool Party is always an amazing event and Steve Van Doren is positively skateboarding’s best ambassador. The 2010 event was the best ever and to see this new young group of bowl riders pushing the old guard so hard, rest assured that this event and bowl riding will continue to grow for years to come.