Last year’s Am Champ and South Oz judge Sam Tran with a properly folded hardflip.
2013 Nike SbA Am Series Qualifiers
Stop #6 – Osborne
Saturday 23rd of February
Words: Morgan Campbell
Photos: Matty Hooker (click pics to view larger)
Video: Shane Fowler + Jared Nicholson (vid at bottom of page)
We flew into Adelaide on a dry, sunny Friday morning. At this point it was just our filming virtuoso Shane Fowler and I. We picked up the van and first stop was the house of certified Australian skateboarding legend Cale Nuske. Cale was locked in alongside Am Champ Sam Tran to be a judge for Saturday’s sixth qualification stop but unbeknownst to him he was also to be our Adelaide guide on this Friday. Upon arrival Shane and I usually putt around and film few time lapses for the intro of the video clip. Cale was to help us locate our locations to lens lurk. At his house we paused for a good minute to see Cale’s collection of pro models up on his wall. Boards by the likes of Aussie artists such as Paul Brabenec and Marty Baptist, amongst other internationally designed Cliché goodies. As we gazed, we asked Cale to take us to some places with good views or iconic status.
First stop was Windy Point, in the southern foothills of Adelaide. There was a fair bit of smoke clinging to the stratosphere, making the shot we were after next to impossible. But the view was still pretty staggering. I looked over to see a confused expression on Cale’s face. He muttered the words: “Where is the city?” Admittedly Cale hadn’t been up there for a while, but it was odd that he couldn’t see downtown given our current elevation? “Oh there it is" he pointed, "it is behind that tree!” Sure enough there it was, admittedly when compared to other cities in the tour it looked like more of a Uni or a hospital, not an entire downtown. Being from a smaller capital myself, I had to remind myself that it is not a skyline that makes or breaks a city, but the scenes in and around it. After taking part in the runnings of Nike SbA Am Series South Oz Qualifier the next day I can safely say that Adelaide is home to a scene that parallels or even surpasses those present in our much bigger cityscapes.
On the Friday we swung past the park in the late arvo. We were elated to find Big Worm in the house. Big Worm (also known as Adan Thompson) made an appearance at the 2012 South Australian Qualifier: he skated the entire heat lying on his belly: pretty sure he gapped into the Euro in last year’s clip! Well Big Worm’s stance hasn’t changed but his trick bag has grown. On the Friday we witnessed BW’s (and maybe the world’s) first ever lay-down backside nose grind. He also did Blue Steelish blunts to fakie and dropped in on the tombstone section of the mini ramp: all lying down. For those of you not familiar with Osborne as I am sure you will see in the photos and article: it has pretty much everything a skatepark needs: good hips, a Euro, ledges into banks, a fat fish finger shaped rail, an A-Frame rail, a big four, a mini ramp, a flat bar, a bump to ledge, a taco and much more. The silky surface links it all up in an effortless flow and it is no suprise that it is home to one of the strongest most progressive scenes in the country.
As usual we got down to the park just before dawn on event day. Logistics king Mr. Steve Murphy was already in the zone with three tents and a bunch of signage already up by the time we rocked up. Before long all the other good heads involved behind the scenes were present. Captain Hilarious Sam Goodall was coating the microphone in his usual snippets of humour and legends such as Shane Wallace, Mark Geirke and Dan Ivett were helping out with rego. I soon discovered that Dan is one of the partners in Bigspin Magazine who were launching both their third issue and a bunch of hot dogs from the BBQ area. The barometer hit 34, but it felt close to 40 out there at times, so I was well-impressed by the sheer numbers of spectators and competitors (24 in the Juniors and 36 in the Opens).
JUNIORS (14 & UNDER)
The juniors flew around Osborne with a confidence and speed that I hadn’t really spied from the division last year. Fourth placer was Erindale’s Callum Murray who qualified easily with his assortment of backside flips and tre flips over the hip. In third was Zack Lycos who unveiled his large bag of trickery over the day including tasty frontside nosegrinds and a 50/50 to front shuv over the high ledge that traverses the manual pad. Second place went to the local shredder Jay Runciman who looked like he was going to take it for sure during Junior qualification. In the final he got stuck trying a kickflip 50/50 on the A-Frame bar which def changed the potential result, but he did put down: a kickflip down the big 4, frontside smith grinds on the A-Frame and massive 180’s over the entire bump to ledge.
You might remember Bradley “Biscuit” Saunders from the Tasmanian Stop (where he placed 2nd) and the Victorian Stop (where he placed 4th). Bradley no longer needed to get a spot in the Final, but he and his dad Peter were feeling the vibe so much in Tassie that they decided to join us in South Oz. It was so rad to see the stoke that Biscuit invoked in everyone there, especially those (like Cale) who remembered him from 2011’s Adelaide City Park Qualifier. During this year’s final Biscuit put down crispy lipslides on the bump to ledge, 50/50s on the bump to bar, frontside boards down the rail and kickflips up the euro. As he already qualified the fortnight prior, it meant the three peeps below him qualified.
JUNIOR QUALIFIERS (left to right)
1st Bradley Saunders – 10 – Beauford (VIC)
2nd Jay Runciman – 13 – Findon (SA)
3rd Zack Lycos – 14 – Klemzig (SA)
There were so many rippers in the Open Division that we could have filled a sixteen-man final with talent, but we had to cut to eight so cut to eight we did. Jack Bridges (seventh) owned nollie inward heels over the hip (the hard way) and 50/50 grinded an out ledge into the Euro.
Jarrod Knoblauch rips: bluntslide to fakie on the taco ripping it in to the whippy bit.
Scott Graham killed qualification, and didn’t skate quite as brilliantly in the final, although he did stick a switch heel over the A-Frame. The relaxed styles of Dale McDermott were seen making good nollie frontside board and nose blunt slide shapes over the A-Frame. Dale placed fifth. In at fourth was Cailean Holland who has a real knack for all the style tricks: back lips, back tails and back smiths are all deeply embedded in his repertoire. Cailean who hails from Glanville, also cleanly heelflipped the A-Frame rail.
Cailean Holland was a definite stand out: heelflip over the A-Frame.
Last year’s South Australian winner was Clint Kenneally and the result could have easily been repeated: Clint kills it. Clint did Howard grinds over the hip of the taco, backside flipped the big four, nollie front boarded the A-Frame and kickflip frontboarded down the rail. Nineteen year old Tom Lupton skated into second place with authority: massive tre flips up the Euro, blunt pop outs on the small ledge, proper Kareem-height kickflips down the four and frontside feebles on the A-Frame.
Beau selects one of his many hip tricks: this time 360 kickflip <click for sequence>
Holy smoke Beau Hinge rips, he did more tricks over the hip in his heat than most would do in a lifetime: cab back foot flips, 360 backside kickflips and 360 bigger flips. He also frontside flipped the big four, nose grinded the ledge into the A-Frame and put together sweet little lines pretty much everywhere he rolled. Seemed like Beau was constantly unaware what he was going to try next: spontaneity rules in general, and it ruled on Saturday in Adelaide.
OPEN QUALIFIERS (left to right)
1st Beau Hinge – 22 – Moana (SA)
2nd Tom Lupton – 19 – Adelaide (SA)
3rd Clint Kenneally – 22 – Adelaide (SA)
It was truly a pleasure to visit Adelaide last weekend, thanks to the welcoming South Australian skaters and all the sponsors that made the stop possible.
Australian Sports Commission
Port Adelaide Enfield