L to R: Guest judges Reece Warren and Jim Fowlie, Guest MC Mat Rat (photo Luke Brown)
“…Skateboarders are like miniature movement gods…” Did I hear right? Judging by the utterly confused, yet amazed look on Cuzza’s face I did hear hear right! It was another morsel of gold that splurted from the lips of our MC Richard Flude. “Miniature Movement Gods”: I love it. When he introduced us to the term we were just finishing set up for the ACT Qualifier of the Nike SbA Am Series. This was last Saturday 28th of January at the freshly face lifted Belconnen park. This park is practically unfathomable: it is stupendously large and there are lines and obstacles for days. ACT is going to produce some epic talent over the next few decades that’s for sure. First Woden and now this! Guest judges were Jim Fowlie and last year’s Am Series winner Reece Warren. Our guest MC was Mat Rat. Local legend Luke Brown helped with rego's and photography. Jack Dowden of Dad Cam fame got busy as second filmer and the Shifty’s crew BBQ-d their little hearts out. At one point the whole comp drew to a halt due to an appearance of the now legendary rainbow cloud aka circumhorizontal arc.
Words: Morgan Campbell (head judge)
Video: Matty Hooker + Jack Dowden
Photos except where noted otherwise: Matty Hooker
JUNIOR DIVISION (14 & UNDERS)
As you know the Belco park is massive and there is a myriad of potential from end to end. Judging this was no joke as there was such a large canvas for the shredders to unleash on. Even the juniors had no qualms ripping every single corner of the skate mega-scape. I remember squinting at one guy trying to work out whether the boardslide he did was switch or regular. He must have felt my pain as he yelled out to me as he went past: “Switch boardslide”. I wish all the skaters were that helpful! In third was the red tee bearing Blake O’Connor who kickflipped the big 4 in the midst of his heat. In second was the ‘grey reaper’: Jack Patterson who connected lines across the behemoth and nailed a feeble grind to double fist pump down the rail!
Mitchell Folley floats a 180 fatty to flatty
First place went to Mitchell Folley who skated like a true vet with fakie flips on the bank, 180’s to flat off the kicker down over the hubba and basically just had great flow and trick variety.
Juniors left to right: Blake O’Connor (3rd), Jack Paterson (2nd) and Mitchell Folley (1st)
1st: Mitchell Folley – 14 – Moruya, NSW
2nd: Jack Paterson – 13 – North Balgowlah, NSW
3rd: Blake O’Connor – 14 – Winmalee, NSW
OPEN DIVISION (15 & OVERS)
The Open Division was home to a pretty heavy standard. For starters Robert “Macca” Macalister nail-gunned a nollie flip down the big four. Rylan McNeil backed up the loudness of his tie die with a giant ollie shifty and a kickflip off the kicker over the hubba to flat. Darcy Corbett pounced on nollie flips and switch flips down the big steps and front boarded the rail. In fourth place was American Walyon Hendricks who has not only made my rad names list but powered his way through smith grinds down the steel hubba, crails on the quarter over the manual pad and a show stopping backside flip off the kicker over the hubba.
Jamey Foxton points a nose grizzle down the rusty hubba
In third was Jamey Foxton (who just missed the cut for the final in Sydney) blazed though hubba nose grinds, front feebles down the rail and massive frontside bonelesses on the bent coin.
Steeze bandit Todd Baker slices through a back smith to back tail over the manual pad
Second place snatcher was Todd Baker who seemed to be everywhere at once. He nailed 5-0 to switch crooks on the wallie pad, ollied over the dog kennel pad into the other side, did back smiths to tail and five-0’s to feeble grind over the manual pad quarter gap. After seeing him in the real Todd is one of my new favourites for sure. In first was the key holder of the park: Matt Cheney. Matt ripped the whole joint to shreds: an ollie up over and nose wheelie up over the tranny-hubba, multiple dog piss variations, fakie flips down the seven and a front shuv down the big 4. Cheney rocked the biggest smile the whole time: how good are people who have a great time whilst laying power moves?
1st: Matt Cheney – 19 – Braddon, ACT
2nd: Todd Baker – 21 – Isabella Plains, ACT
3rd: Jamey Foxton – 15 – Gladesville, NSW
4th: Walyon Hendricks – 20 – Vista, CA, USA (wild card)
Opens: Walyon Hendricks (4th), Jamey Foxton (3rd), Todd Baker (2nd) and Matt Cheney (1st)
Thanks again to everyone who was involved with getting the comp off the ground, the Australian Sports Commission, Nike SB, SbA, modus, X-mini and the Shifty’s crew. Victoria is next: what will Clifton Hill bring?