The first day of the Vans Shop Riot 2013 Finals kicked off in exhilarating style at Leeds’ skateboarding mecca ‘THE WORKS SKATEPARK’.
During an epic 16 stop European series, Vans Shop Riot has seen the best independent Skate Shop Teams challenge each other to earn their place as local heroes. From May through to September 2013, the fight was on. Teams including the likes of Streetmarket (CZ), Alis (DK), Streetlife (ES), Lockwood 2 (BE) or Sparky (NL) not only qualified for the finals on October 12th – 13th, but also earned their share of the prize fund to accompany their newfound status as National Champions.
After successfully clearing stops in the Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Southern UK, Poland, Switzerland, France and Russia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium, Leeds welcomed the 14 Shop Riot 2013 Finalists for a weekend of incredible skate action.
If the standard of today’s qualifiers and Best Trick action was anything to go by tomorrow’s final rounds promises to be electrifying. It was fascinating to watch the European skaters come up with their own lines on The Works Skatepark’s impressive set-up of driveways, quarter pipes, blocks, flat banks and hips in its mighty street section.
After a series of hotly contested 4 minute heats our 14 finalists were whittled down to just 8. Streetmarket, Alis, Cream, Lockwood, Ericeira, Sparky and Black Sheep all emerged victorious, and were joined in the final by the best runners up, Contest who pushed local favourites Black Sheep in their head to head.
The tightly fought qualifiers were the perfect intro to the Best Trick contest which burst into life in the final 10 minutes. Streetmarket’s Lukáš Danêk took the prize money after finally sticking his giant backside flip to flat. Lukáš was pushed all the way by his fellow competitors and notable mentions go to Portugal’s Ruben Rodrigues’ massive backside 360. Lockwood’s Jarne Verbruggen and Black Sheep’s Rikk Field’s offered super tech alternatives much to the judges delight. Verbruggen’s outrageous Frontside No Comply to Fakie 50/50 180 Out was met with wild applause, as was Rikk Fields’ who had a whole host of tricks that would have won any other day. The pick of the bunch being his late Frontside Big Spin.
Don’t forget, if you can’t make it to Leeds, the finals will be live streamed on here tomorrow 1pm!