All Photos: ©Loic Benoit
Under the heat of the Spanish sun, Germany’s Titus won a hard fought battle against Sweden’s Coyote Grind Lounge. Having lost a teammate to injury in the early rounds – forcing their Team Manager to step up for the crew Titus got stronger and stronger as the weekend went on, deservedly making their way to top spot.
Still buzzing from their win at the Nordic round of the Vans Shop Riot, which took place in Stockholm just two weeks before, Coyote Grind Lounge didn’t waste any time before impressing the judges. Right from the start, the Swedish trio were killing it. Making use of the entire park, they were one of the only teams to ride transition as well as they did street.
The finals had everyone on the edge of their seats as Coyote Grind Lounge got off to a stellar start, but Titus continued to step it up. Proving unstoppable in a fast paced back-to-back session on the big stair set, they left everyone exhausted, including the judges. As the final drew to a close, Titus‘ Team Manager Yannick Schall stuck a kickflip front boardslide first try, solidifying their win.
As the first time the Vans Shop Riot Finals have been set outside in years, the blue skies and warm weather made for a great atmosphere in Madrid’s Chopera Skatepark. As the teams arrived, crowds drew in, getting comfortable on the grassy banks and gearing up for an epic series showdown. With a level of skateboarding that surpassed all expectations, they were not to be disappointed.
The Swedes didn’t have it easy on their journey to the finals. In the semis, they faced perennial park bashers, Street Market who’ve been so outrageously consistent, no one can remember the last time they failed to make the series finals. Czech’s Street Market weren’t here to mess about either, and Richard Tury was soon to be come one of the judges’ favourites. Laying down innovative trick combinations with unmatched consistency. However, after a heavy hitting round, it was Coyote Grind Lounge who made the cut.
During the Best Trick session on Saturday, one of the two Swedish Simons (Simon Hallberg) was busy going nuts on the A-Frame section, attempting to stick what would have possibly been the first ever 50:50-fast-plant-50:50, but it remained elusive. That didn’t stop both Simons and teammate Jonathan Carelle from slaying the park all weekend.
With three sections of the park being singled out for some ‘Best Trick’ action, it presented three opportunities to go big and win, allowing riders to focus on their favourite spot and get busy. Mickael Germond from France’s Wall Street was also going all out for the accolade with impressive combos: mixing fast-plants, early-grabs and all sorts into the rails and stair sets. His wallie over the hubba was a highlight, as was his early-grab to layback boardslide on the same obstacle, but even with an ollie nose-stall to 50:50 on the square rail, the prize remained out of reach. It was Street Market’s Richard Tury who took that, with a nollie flip shove-it backside boardslide on the big round rail.
That only left Titus‘ Farid Ulrich to claim the final Best Trick, with an insane switch flip on the ledge to fakie manual, fakie 360 flip out.
On day two, Black Sheep were knocked out by Belgium’s Twits, but not before Rob Smith took to the transitions in style. His big frontside wallride and fingerflip-to-tail transfer were evidence of time-well-spent shredding the bowl at House of Vans London. The whole team were giving it 100%, and Harry Lintell was another stand-out in the semis, sticking early-grabs all over the place, including an early-grab to back-lip and early-grab to back-tail.
Other highlights included Swiss Sven’s (Sven Kilchenmann, from 242 Shop) switch assault on the park, and Dor Efraim Hershkovitz (Gili’s Skate Shop, Israel), as he killed the big stair set, going big with everything, including a nollie heelflip all the way down.
Once again, the level had really stepped up for the Vans Shop Riot Finals, and the Spaniard’s from Pandaka shop showed their familiarity with the park. Gonzalo Jimenez’s back-tail on the hubba impressed, while he laid down his dominance of the street gap with a big fronside flip and bigspin flip, as well as a backside Cabalariel back-lip on the small rail.
However, none of that could stop Titus. As the triumphant Germans sprayed each other with Cava, the weekend and the 2015 Vans Shop Riot Series came to a close. Another year, another bunch of minds blown: with each series, the level just gets higher and higher, leaving us in anticipation of 2016 already!
The Vans Shop Riot Series was created in celebration of Europe’s independent skate shops: the lifeblood of skateboarding, and those who’ve supported everything we’ve known and loved since the beginning. Having grown over the years to involve more then 200 of the best shop teams from across the land, the Vans Shop Riot is dedicated to the skateboarding community, all those in it and all those supporting it. A big thank you goes out to those who joined us along the way: the stores, the teams, the supporters, skateparks and everyone in-between. Special thanks also goes to Weasel Face for bringing his artistic charm to the event, to Red Bull, the people of Madrid, the Municipality of Leganés and all those who helped host a epic final in Spain.
2015 Vans Shop Riot Finals
1st Place: Titus, Germany
2nd Place: Coyote Grind Lounge, Sweden
Stair Set & Ledge: Farid Ulrich (Titus, DE) // Switch Flip Fakie Manual Fakie 360-Flip Out
Street Gap & Rails: Richard Tury (Street Market, CZ) // Nollie Flip Shove-it Backside Boardslide
Big Stair Set & Rails: Simon Hallberg (Coyote Grind Lounge, SWE) // Fakie Bigspin Bluntslide
Thanks to all the Teams who joined us along the way, and those who made it to Madrid:
Boards LV (Baltics), Twits (Belgium), Street Market (Czech Republic), Wall Street (France), Titus (Germany), Slut (Greece), Gilis (Israel), Flame (Italy), Manus (Netherlands), Skate or Die (Poland), Boardshop No.1 (Russia), Pandaka (Spain), Coyote Grind Lounge (Sweden), 242 Shop (Switzerland), The Black Sheep (UK)