We are proud to introduce to you two new things. First, Lea Isabell our new intern and host for our Place Television program. Secondly, our new TV program.
Episode one was recorded at the Vans Shop Riot Finals, a contest where the best shops of all of Europe battle each other to win the coveted title.
Lea took a deep-dive into the crowd and tried to find out some answers we have all been wondering about for the longest of times. Things like which rapper do you think could be a good skater or do you like skater boys?
Anyway, enjoy the video because we certainly while we were making it for you.
We usually don’t really post contest results but that one is a special one. Once again Oski managed to take first place at the Vans Park Series World Championships Finals in Salt Lake City and he basically did that with a Wheelie. Pure magic!
Our recap of our time on the course of the Vans Park Series in Chelles is decidedly different from the ones we did in Montréal. We went from ESPN highlight shots to almost crawling inside Greyson Fletcher’s beard to look for crumbs and other things. If you loved the contest, saw the tricks on our socials this is the “through the rabbit hole” view you need to complete this Vans voyage voyage.
You might have noticed that the banners are up, the first test runs are being made and this week it will be decided who will win the Vans Park Series stop in Paris. But first, we would like to share with you one of the best VPS best trick sessions we have ever seen.
As always the skaters went big, the money was flowing as was the beer at the Montréal landmark spot the “BIG O”!
If you don’t know the “O” Watch the Canadian episode of the loveletters if you don’t know about this landmark but either way enjoy this close up and personal view of what went down that day.
After the party is the after-party and after that is probably the hotel lobby but in Montréal we got the after-party on the first day of the contest. “The Big O” is a legendary Canadian skate spot that was host to some serious destruction during this VPS.
Text by Roland Hoogwater.
Photos by Conny Mirbach.
You might have seen Jake Wooten blazing through it on our Instagram but trust us when we say many…many more tricks did go down during this wild onslaught in and around the Big O.
And before we spoil you with the moving images of the Park Series we figured the stills tell their very own story of what happened at this staple spot.
How does one define what one’s eyes see but cannot comprehend? That is the feeling we left with just moments after Pedro Barros finished his run.
Photos by Conny Mirbach.
Text by Roland Hoogwater.
The two days before, he was hardly even trying to practice, no 540 attempts, switch pushing through the bowl or even one attempt to bigspin-flip indy his way into the top spot. If you would have asked me what Pedro was working on I would have told you that he was perfecting his flat ground game and in particular his nollie flips.
But when the cameras turned on and just when Cory Juneau thought he had it in the bag, Mr. Barros stepped in, showed his cards and surprisingly it was a royal flush. Two more people took their runs afterwards but they won’t be remembered or even mentioned in the history books.
Every VPS event we go to has seen shocking moments, it is almost a tradition, one that Oskar “Oski” Rozenberg adheres to. Last year in Sweden, he, with one simple flick shuffled the entire board and claimed both the top spot, the money and the hearts of the people by clearing the box with a giant kickflip.
In true Swedish fashion about 30 minutes later he calmly climbed on his bike and cycled home with the rest of the Rozenberg family, he probably cooked dinner after and closed the day by watching some Netflix.
Both the 2017 and now defending ’18 champions seem to be aware and present when they need to be and just when the crowd has started to accept the reality that one person might win they manage to alter the course by simply grabbing the moment, the board and the crown.
A simple but special occurrence which makes the VPS worth watching until the very end… or until we do it all over again in August.
When we flew to China we arrived at Shanghai airport as two tourists, my travel companion had been to the “People’s Republic of China” before but it was my first time in Asia. I didn’t know what we were in for but I was down to experience it all, we both wanted to see as much as possible.
We had brought along the perfect tool for that, an old Digital 8 “tourist style” handy cam. Armed with both the “handy cam” and our boards we chose to visit not only the Vans Park Series but everything else that Suzhou, Jiangsu and the Chinese people had to offer us.
First off, I have some information for you, “the internet” is not the same in the PRC, no Facebook, Instagram or even Google! This was at times a big plus because instead of looking down to our devices we looked up into the somewhat smog-filled part of the world we were in.
Secondly, we didn’t want to spend all our time at the hotel or at the event. “When in Rome” you don’t just want to stay inside the Coliseum, right? So one-day Oski (bless his heart) managed to get us some free (complimentary) bikes and we were off into the weird wilderness of China’s concrete jungle.
Now, we were two white guys. Normally that is not a big deal but we were in a part of China that did not have many westerners in it. This Caused us to become somewhat of a circus show at times. People wanted to skype their families together with us, stared without shame, took “secret” pictures and the biggest bonus, they allowed us to go and see and do everything. Nobody told us no! We went into temples, factories, sweatshops and “fake supreme shops” all with our “tourist camera” in hand.
That brings me to my second to last point:
Environmental groups are not completely against dams. We approve of appropriate development.
Ma Jun, Chinese environmentalist.
Now after reading this quote you might be confused about the link to the Vans Park Series right? Well, there is no link other than that we put a large percentage of “random” quotes in this video. Not normal quotes (spoken ones) but quotes printed on various pieces of clothing.
We found these quotes (in a store that sold fakes) that seemed random and were often badly spelled and connected them to our experiences in Suzhou. So instead of trying to make sense of the quote at the top of this article just know it is a random quote we found and used, in a similar way as all the others you will see in our video.
A small example of what we found.
Finally, if that didn’t convince you to watch the video let me assure you that we have included some great moves by people like Romand Pabich, Oskar (Oski) Rozenberg-Hallberg, Brighton Zeuner, Kokona Hiraki and a dancing, screaming but overall ripping Pedro Barros. Press play and enjoy the ride!
Tomorrow, we will be flying out to Shanghai, China for the Vans Park Series final. Last year’s champ Oskar Rozenberg had a pretty busy year so far and just a few weeks back we were lucky enough to witness his winning run at the Park Series stop in Malmö. Can’t wait to see what’s going to happen this year!
One week ago we flew into Copenhagen airport because we had been invited by Vans to Sweden to witness one of the most prestigious and well-known skate contests in the world, the Vans Park Series in Malmö.
There were at least two things that had aroused my enthusiasm about this event days before the whole thing actually took place: First of all, I have never been to Sweden, and secondly, I have never watched any bowl contest on a comparable level of skating before. It soon turned out that this event managed to measure up to my high expectations. The line-up was insane, the crowd hyped and the weather almost a little bit too sunny (for Sweden).
However, what was really striking me was the fact that nobody of the riders was wearing a helmet or at least knee pads at all (some of the women did), which I really liked because – let’s face it – it makes every trick look even heavier and way more stylish. A fact that unfortunately the youngest and smallest rider CJ Collins painfully had to pay for with a hard slam in the finals. Luckily, he did not get seriously injured (after the contest he skated on).
In the end, Alex Sorgente deservedly took the victory but the crowd’s favorite was clearly once again Malmö’s own Mr. Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg.
Photos & Text by Paul Röhrs