Scott Hetherington boosting a boomer of a tre banger.
2013 Nike SbA Am Series Qualifiers
Stop #7 – Manning aka South Park
Saturday 9th of March
Words: Morgan Campbell
Photos: Matty Hooker (click pics to view larger)
Video: Shane Fowler + Alex Yates (vid at bottom of page)
After nearly two solid months of qualifiers the SbA crew traversed the Nullabor to hold the Western Australian Qualifier for the 2013 Nike SbA Am Series. You know you are going a long way when your plane is double the size of the usual metal sky angel. We arrived just prior to midday on the Friday before the comp and headed to get the establishing footage for the start of the clip. Perth and Fremantle are basically atmos machines, and the consistently blue sky is the icing on top of any good time lapse. The third one we shot was down at Cottesloe Beach and it was a reminder of the level of the beauty of my hometown. I would happily miss out on consecutive days over 40 degrees, but give me the green water and fine white sand of those WA beaches any day.
Text book merchant Alex Campbell demonstrating proper 180 nose grindage.
We woke up on the Saturday well before dawn, and scooted past WA 24 hour food institution know as Fast Eddy’s for our coffee and breaky. Eddy wasn’t so fast that morning, but boy was he funny. I accidentally said “thanks” in a high-pitched voice and within seconds all the staff were squeaking out words in the same tone. From the girl making coffees to the guy making burgers to the till staff… the whole place sounded like it had been drenched in helium. The rest of our crew had an idea of what was going on, but anyone else who entered seemed pretty concerned about the collective sanity of the joint. Our high-pitched conversation stayed with us down the Kwinana Freeway towards Manning Skatepark, which is actually called South Park. Our event manager and MC Mr. Richard Flude was so excited when he realised he was holding a comp at a venue that shared a name with his favourite show of all time.
The South Park peanut gallery in full effect.
As per every Am Series stop we pull from the local talent pool to fill out our crew. Western Australia had one of the heaviest guest staff line-ups of all time. The electric ATV lord known as Aaron Nannup was hired as second MC and once united with Mr. Flude they formed like comedic Voltron and had the bystanders in hysteria for the remainder of the day. Our guest judges were none other than Alex Campbell and Harry Clark, unarguably two of the most talented men to have stepped on a board in this here country. On top of their expertise we also had local SbA Hub Managers such as Ben Bowring, birthday girl Louisa Hawton and James Ahern involved. With people like this involved we knew that the Manning comp was in good hands. Despite searing heat and blazing sun from the beginning of the Juniors through to the end the atmosphere was thoroughly electrified. Even the South Perth’s Mayor Sue Doherty came down and joined in the cheer squad!
Two WA legends: Karma Lee and Aaron Nannup.
JUNIORS (14 & UNDER)
A bunch of last year’s Western Australian juniors had shifted up to the Open Division, but this didn’t seem to affect the standard of the division. Within minutes of seeing Jack McDonald from Wannanup skate we knew he was a bit of a ripper. He front boarded to fakie on the funbox rail and nailed a perfect big spin off the side of a kicker. Jack received third place for his efforts. In second was Mt Claremont lad Matt Archer. Matt smith grinded a ledge then popped out early into a bank and back smithed the bump to rail. Smooth styles indeed.
Zac Clinker standing tall on a proper crook lock.
Zac Clinkers was everywhere at once. It was clear that he wanted it from his first drop in. He crooked, lipslid, smithed and tailslid his way up and down the Manning concrete pad. I swear when he crooked the big rail he must have nollied a foot high out of it… a really proper exit. During each jam most people put down three to ten tricks, but Zac landed between fifteen and twenty. Zac Clinkers is a name you should remember now as I have a feeling he is going to blaze a trail of glory across the Australian skateboard landscape. A well deserved first place indeed.
JUNIOR QUALIFIERS (left to right)
1st Zac Clinkers – 14 – Scarborough (WA)
2nd Matt Archer – 14 – Mt Claremont (WA)
3rd Jack McDonald – 14 – Wannanup (WA)
OPENS (15 & OVER)
Ben Williams has some snaps. He 5-0s up where most get down.
Western Australia has been producing amazing street skaters for ages, and the standard is pretty high over there, so we all knew when it came time for the Open Division we would all be in for a show. Eighth placer Mathew Beau Gresham had recently taken a two-year break from skating but it didn’t show. He sprinkled his heat with savage doses of humour whilst nollie heel nose sliding and nollie crooking various ledges around the park. Seventh went to Rin Hutcheson who recently appeared on our blog due to a banging web clip. Rin back smithed and back lipped to fakie down a hubba and back 50/50 backside 180’d up a hubba too. In sixth was Connor Harrington who threw down the best backside nose grind across and down the fun box ledge and nailed frontside nose grind pop ins on the quarter pipe.
In a gap between judging heats Morgan Campbell enjoys a slashy back lip at home.
Fifth-placer was granted a wild card entry to the final, and it is someone who you might be familiar with: Scott Hetherington. Scott just came back from an extended stint in Melbourne, but he still looked pretty at home at Manning. He nailed a bump to bar kickflip back lip straight out of the gates, nolllie front feebled down the rail and frontside blunt slid the bump to bar. Out of nowhere half way through his heat Scott’s heel caught on a trick down the square rail and he was body slammed into the flat. The whole park stopped, but Scott didn’t. He sheepishly skated the rest of his heat and made quite a few more tricks. Hope that hip is feeling better mate. In fourth (and owner of a Wild Card final spot) was Issa Hassan. I remember Issa well from the 2011 series and it sure was a pleasure to witness just how much he has progressed since then. Issa did brilliant backside boardslide 270’s on the flat ledge, finger flip lein to tails on the quarter pipe and a pocket-to-pocket lein to tail in the back section. He also gave the massive Chad Bartie gap a go but walked away empty handed. See you in Melbourne Issa.
Sean Parker freshing his way through a switch 270 to front board. <click for sequence>
As we head into the top three we are dealing with some seriously talented badgers. You might remember the name Sean Parker from last year. He had an amazing frontside feeble bigspin sequence. Well he was good last year, but this year he was mind-blowing, and that is no understatement. Sean landed a perfect smith grind kickflip in the qualifiers and went on to front feeble 180 the rail and gap to backside 5-0 over the fun box. Sean has one of those ultra-casual styles and as a result he is really easy on the eyes. Another one I can see concreting a solid name in this countries skate history books. They call him "The Genius", and after a couple of minutes watching Eugene Stewart skate you know why. Pretty sure that this guy can do every trick in the book in the stance of his choice. He 180 no complied and gapped to lip over the fun box, switch backside 5-0’d the bump to ledge and back smithed to 180 down the hubba. Aarron Winter did fewer tricks than some of the guys who placed lower than him but the few that he did nail were of such a high caliber that he won easily. He 360 flip lipslid and frontside k-grinded the bump to rail, back smithed down the round rail, 360 flipped and nollie bigspin heeled the kicker gap. This guy has been on a street rampage as of late and you will
no doubt see a bunch of top notch footage from him soon. See you at the Finals on the 30th of March Aarron.
Aarron Winter with a stellar nollington biggy heels. <click for sequence>
As the results were tallied we often do some locally based skate trivia, and those nerds who manage to answer questions are given prizes. One of the questions was: “ Who did the first ever kickflip back lip at Woolstores?” A couple of people yelled out “Chipper” but it was Mathew Beau Gresham who seemed to have the actual answer. Once pointed at he yelled out “John Butler” and correct he was. For those of you who don’t know John Butler (yep the one from the Trio) was one of WA’s most talented skaters during the early 90’s and he wasn't only known for his 360 flips (first guy to have em down in the state) but he also slid and landed the first kickflip back lips at Woolies. It turns out that Mathew not only had seen John skate, but also as a locally talented session musician he had actually played with the Trio. When he received his Skull Candy headphones in return for his knowledge he immediately rushed off to play a gig in Bunbury with Cat Empire.
OPEN QUALIFIERS (left to right)
1st Aarron Winter – 16 – Woodvale (WA)
2nd Eugene Stewart – 20 – Burswood (WA)
3rd Sean Parker – 17 – Connolly (WA)
4th Issa Hassan – 16 – Belmont (WA) (WILD CARD)
5th Scott Hetherington – 24 – Chittering (WA) (WILD CARD)
It was so good to return home and see the scene in such an intact, progressive, healthy state. Keep shredding West Coasters. Thanks to all the sponsors and helpers that made the stop possible.