NIKE SB x SBA PRO/AM INVITATIONAL AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER, 2013: BELCONNEN SKATEPARK, CANBERRA
This past weekend saw one of Australia’s largest skate pilgrimages hone in on Canberra’s Belconnen Skatepark for Belcopalooza 2013.
It was pretty amazing seeing people rock up to Belconnen Skatepark for their first time. For those who have an average-sized park at home, I feel the experience was akin to someone who grocery shops at a corner store suddenly being given the keys to the world’s largest mall. Not only is there an excess of space, but there is also a whole lot of choice for skate consumption. It is not unusual for a Belco first-timer to be crippled upon arrival: doubled up due to obstacle-based anxiety. Unlike cricket hero Don Bradman, Canberra has only just now clocked its first century. The capital was so delighted that it flowed us the opportunity to hold a contest at this sheer behemoth of a skatepark.
Words: Morgan Campbell
Photos: Matty Hooker (unless noted otherwise)
Belcopeanut gallery in full effect.
This was an invitational Pro/Am comp but due to a couple of injuries, one guy being ‘double-booked’ and a tooth-brushing accident, a few of the confirmed field were not present for Friday’s practice. This opened up a few spots and a couple of the lesser-known rippers were given an opportunity to skate the course. From these three wild cards were picked.
Wild Card Joel Wilshere with a hard flip latey 180 down seven. <click to animate>
These ‘wildies’ consisted of Rowan ‘Happy’ Sercombe, Joel Wilshere and Mitchell ‘Mashy’ Howse. From the moment practice began there were skate-bangers popping off all over the place, and chances were if it wasn’t an internationally known legend, it was one of the aforementioned wild cards that was behind the wheels.
For those that didn’t make the twelve-man final, almost all of them laid stuntery that is now eternally etched into our minds. After looking good early on Jakey (Duncombe) got taken out on a no-handed benihana. Joel Mcilroy belted out heel flip varial to crooks down the wee rail and a mental kickflip frontside nosegrind down the seven. Sammy Winter had a superb orange shirt on, has one of the best pushes since Jay Lee and holds a great 180 nose wheelie.
Last year’s QLD Am Champ Beacho nailed the biggest front shuv off the cheese down the seven. This year’s NSW Am Champ Robert Pace did the most perfectly locked kick flip back tail down the seven rail.
2013 NSW Champ Robert Pace with a kickflip back tail <click to animate>
Smiley pin-up with the wild fringe Mr. Marty Girotto fakie 5-0’d the small hubba and slid the most devine back tails over the tranny pad. Sam Giles ripped as per usual showed a new array of tranny skills. Just wait till later in the week to find out what he unleashed in the bowl jam in the hours following! Brophy smiled about the joint and laughed as he 180’d up the five stair as if it was a curb.
Between them what couldn't be ollied? Andrew Brophy and Nick Boserio.
Harry Clark did a ‘Rod Stewart’ (backside five-0 rewind) over the tranny pad and then came back the other way with a 5-0 shuv! The peanut gallery was peaking and every time some one made something or even got close they would go mental. Makes such a difference to have a receptive audience. Thank you Canberra!
Harry Clark extends five-o over the tranny pad with front shuv exit! <click to animate>
12TH ALEX CAMPBELL - $300
Alex Campbell slink-fanged around the joint leaving excellent lines in his wake. A pleasure on the retina is the AC.
11TH MITCHELL 'MASHY' HOWSE - $300
The Australian skateboard collective might not have been familiar with Mashy before the weekend, but we know his name now and it is here to stay. Well-roundness and a front three to die for.
Maybe Will Hine and Peewee saw something that Marty and Joel didn't?
10TH SHANE AZAR - $300
Azar was on absolute fire. Hitting dadland and thirty hasn’t slowed him at all. His switch tails down the round seven rail were beyond awesome.
9TH MAX COULING - $300
Holy smoke. Max nollie heel noseslid the rail in qualification and nollie flipped the big four in the finals. Proper nose-based street skating in full effect.
Patrick Dandy owns this trick, kickflip lip over the tranny pad. <click to animate>
8TH JACK KIRK - $500
Jack Kirk is one of the funnest skaters to watch, and is easily one of the best all-rounders in skate land. If someone got in his way, he would choose a different obstacle and lay! A spontaneous ripper indeed.
7TH GABRIEL SUMMERS - $600
Some of the tricks this guy can do first try! Incredible. Accidental kickflip smith to back lip down the seven and kickflip back tail down the small hubba was textbook perfection.
6TH BUGS FARDELL - $700
Before he blew minds in the bowl jam Bugs schooled us in the street area. ‘The Captain of Floaty Flow’ blitzed the joint spending almost as much time in airborne as he did rolling.
Bugs Fardell clears the taco bell like a boss.
5TH MATT CHENEY - $1,000
Local ruler Matt Cheney is amazing to watch skate Belconnen. In a pair of oversized headphones he ploughed through the biggest 360 flip off the cheese wedge down the five and showed us some secret gap lines. Electric!
Cheen dog was everywhere at once here twirls a brilliant tre-banger. (morey)
4TH BJORN JOHNSTON - $1,500
Bjorn Johnston would have stunned the best in the world with his array of switch and nollie gnardom. He switch frontside bluntslid the big hubba! For reals! World class assault.
Bjorn's switch frontside bluntslide blew our little minds to smitherines.
3RD REECE WARREN - $2,000
Eden’s finest skate warrior never ceases to amaze. Don’t think much scares the guy… he hoisted a front 360 to back lip down the seven rail, and his back three down the big for was nutta! A well-deserved third.
2ND TIM WILLIAMS - $3,000
Like a v8 interceptor he was. So many unique power moves including a seldom seen cab back lip out forwards down the seven rail. If he had made his ridiculous gap from the picnic table on steroids to the volcano he could have placed higher.
Who does cab back lip out forwards? Tim William does. <click to animate>
1ST TOMMY FYNN - $5,000
Tommy Fynn is not only highly talented on a board, he is a strategist. Despite injury he hit up all parts of the vast course with consistency and tech precision. With a knee injury, he pretty much had to land on his board or he was going to be in strife. In the last half of his heat he did nothing but that, turned it on and capped of the deal with a kickflip front board down the seven followed by an icy kickflip crook down the small hubba. Birthday luck? I doubt it.
Tommy Fynn with a Threepeat on his birthday! Backside nose blunt slide. (morey)
As the attention turned to the bowl jam (video out later this week) the scores were tallied and it was understood that Tommy had not only won his third Australian Championship but he did so on his birthday!
Saturday really was a monumental notch in the Australian skateboarding tree. Thank you everyone who made it a reality.
Be the Influence
Australian Sports Commission
2013 BELCOPALOOZA FINAL PLACES
1st Tommy Fynn (QLD)
2nd Tim Williams (VIC)
3rd Reece Warren (NSW)
4th Bjorn Johnston (NSW)
5th Matt Cheney (ACT)
6th Bugs Fardell (QLD)
7th Gabriel Summers (VIC)
8th Jack Kirk (VIC)
9th Max Couling (VIC)
10th Shane Azar (NSW)
11th Mitchell Howse (QLD)
12th Alex Campbell (WA)
13th Harry Clark (WA)
14th Andrew Brophy (VIC)
15th Sam Giles (NSW)
16th Robert Pace (NSW)
17th Marty Girotto (NSW)
18th Sammy Winter (NSW)
19th Will Hine (VIC)
20th Pat Dandy (QLD)
21st Beau Hinge (SA)
22nd Mat Kinsman (VIC)
23rd Dean Palmer (NSW)
24th Joel Mcilroy (QLD)
25th John Dickenson (QLD)
26th Rowan Sercombe (VIC)
27th Andrew Beauchamp (QLD)
28th Ryder Lawson (NSW)
29th Brendon Hill (TAS)
30th Pedro Day (QLD)
31st Kristjan Rowell (TAS)
32nd Dean Parsons (NSW)
33rd Joel Wilshere (QLD)
Belcopalooza's facebook gallery. Follow Belcopalooza on #sba2013 and #belcopalooza
Continue on to the Bowl Jam article.