Robbie Partington wallies into a tailslide on one of Manning's funnest obstacles
Stop number seven for the Nike SbA Am Series was the Western Australian Qualifier and was held last Saturday at the beloved Manning Skatepark. Manning has been a regular request for everyone from locals to visiting pros since it has been built. Why you ask? Well it is just fun! Janky quarter pipes, banks with cracks at the bottom, submerged coping: the place has many scenarios which seem like they are ripped straight from a “How 2 Not Build a Skatepark Guide”. I guess if two wrongs make a right, somehow a million imperfections also make a great skatepark. Well, this rule of thumb seems to work for Manning anyways. Maybe it is just sheer the sheer spaced-out-ness of the park that makes it appetising? Who knows, either way it is an amazing park.
Fierce Manning action during the 2012 WA Nike SbA Am Series Qualifier
Wolf Pack additions included: Harry Clark (judge), Phil Marshall (judge) and Brendon Sim (MC). Also along to help out were SbA & GMTA’s Ben Bowring, Karmen Lee and Steve Atherton. First two non-Wolf Packer’s in the house were open entrant and invert champ Ben Ditmer and long time WA ruler Sam Allen who also got there at 6:30am, got busy, gritty and helped out with the set up of the comp: Sam’s 9am watermelon, sandwich and doughnut delivery will not be forgotten. The rad crew at Momentum Skate Shop took care of BBQ duties. Lurking in the SbA tent was Chris Middlebrook, Alex Campbell and Slam Skater of the Year Nick Boserio. Just like back in Adelaide it was a sweltering day, but it didn’t stop the rippers from coming out of the AC into the brutal Perf sun.
Words: Morgan Campbell (head judge)
Photos: Matty Hooker
Video: Matty Hooker and Quentin Guthrie
Fludey's "Phil to the Marshall Tent" call was all time, it worked everytime!
JUNIOR DIVISION (14 & UNDERS)
The Juniors are kind of lucky right? They get to skate earlier (less hot), skate against less people and have way more life (and skateboarding) ahead of them! In sixth was miniscule Freo lad Eddy Pezet who brought down the house with a 360 flip off the kicker. Fifth place-getter was Matt Doyle who did sweet frontside disasters and kickflipped the box. In fourth was Josh Heske who did lengthy-locked lipslides and 50/50’s down the rail. Both Josh and Matt ripped to a degree to where thought it was worthwhile giving them a Wild Card entry to the final.
The peanut gallery was all time
In third was the man with the name: Max Kunkler. Max is from Gidgegannup (meaning: place where spears are made) and is no stranger to boardsliding rails, nor gapping to flat of the back to ledge. Max drew together long lines and was all over the course at once. In second was Zac Clinkers, wait didn’t I say the last guy was Max Kunkler? Yep: these names just keep getting better. When it came to fear Clinkers was clearly wearing blinkers: he got busy on the rails with 50/50s, and 5-0 grinds.
Matt Archer pokes Mr Smithers in the eye
In first was Matt Archer who we affectionately called Koolaide due to a pink circle on his tee (go figure). Sometimes when you are judging you have to go with any recognizable feature on a skater and run with it, whether it is a hairstyle, a pair of shoes, a shape or a pink dot on a tee, if it helps you recognize some one in the heat of a jam, you have got to run with it. Matt ran rampant over the whole course, hit up everything and showed true control with his ability to pop out of smith grinds early. Not something you often see in a junior heat right? See you at the Final fellas.
Jnrs (L to R): Matt Doyle, Josh Heske, Max Kunkler, Zac Clinkers and Matt Archer
1st Matt Archer – 13 – Mt Claremont, WA
2nd Zac Clinkers – 13 – Doubleview, WA
3rd Max Kunkler – 11 – Gidgegannup, WA
4th Josh Heske – 14 – Heathridge, WA (WILDCARD)
5th Matt Doyle –13 – Perth, WA (WILDCARD)
Judge Harry Clark with a layback air over the spine
Yay: Alex Campbell made an appearance. Nice tre flip buddy!
OPEN DIVISION (15 & OVERS)
There were just shy of forty people in the Open. Which made for quite an amazing comp, but made it pretty grueling, yet highly entertaining for our judging panel. In tenth was last year’s winner Aaron Winter who is not only one of the nicer kids you will ever meet: he rips. His ninja flips are to die for! If he made his hardflip to flat before time he would have made the final for sure. In ninth was Jeremy Lane who 360 front shuved the bump to gap (yep frontside).
Sean Parker frontal feeble to biggie the round rail
Now this is where it gets tricky, the top eight were so tightly placed. There was only five points separating seventh to fourth! That’s five out of three hundred: hello cluster! The eighth slot went to Eugene “Genius” Stewart who is pretty much a super hero when it comes to board control and has a bit of a Davo crossed with Sammy Winter vibe. Eugene could have easily taken the comp (he qualified first) but his consistency faltered a wee bit in the final. Keep you eye out for this kid: his nickname is no exaggeration. Benjamin Weir is from Rockingham and despite his local Rocko park being way out of date, and rail-less he ripped up and absolutely fury on the balance bars at Manning. He nailed a first try kickflip back lip down the rail and couple of hard flip back lips on the bump to bar. Yep: ripping!
Benjamin Weir kickflips to back lip with ease
Sixth place went to Adam Haydec (from the Blue Mountains) who was turning heads all day with his antics: massive quarter pipe frontside flips, 360 flips to fakie, and bluntslides across the fun box. Fifth place went to Paul "Froggy" Bruno who has a Black Flag tattoo and a huge bag of old school-inspired transition manouvre’s, but still got busy on the rails and ledges. Froggy skates around with the biggest smile on his dial, which is always a plus. In fourth was James “Acorn” Ahern who was about a day away from boarding a crazy ass sky angel and heading to India. James has a unique, yet powerful take on skateboarding and he was a pleasure to watch. His short, yet fiercely fast nose wheelie up the back of an extension into the quarter was a beautiful moment indeed. Places fourth to sixth were awarded Wild Card entries to the final.
Adam Haydec had these 360 flip fakies on lock
Third placer Scott Hetherington (fourth place + Wild Card last year) and his skating has only gotten more consistent and powerful over the last dozen months. Scott owns back smiths, frontside feebles, nollie k’s and back tails: whether it is a rail, a ledge or a hubba he always holds his shapes rather well. See you at the final tiger. Second went to Matt Reilly who has a sprinkling of stretched Hensley about him. Crisp confidence and a great bag of tricks. He popped massive switch frontside deckers, noseslid up a hubba and even smith grinded UP the round rail.
Matt Reilly smiths up the round rail. Definitely one of the tricks of the day
In first was Quayde Baker. Quayde was actually in Shocklands last year (a part of our Pro/Am tour) but he didn’t place top twenty which meant he was eligible for the 2012 Nike SbA Am Series. Quayde blitzed the joint with massive switch heels, frontside smith 180s down one hubba and BA’s (back smith 180s) down another one. He also ollied up fun-boxes, back tailed and switch back disastered quarters and ended his run with a slam on a switch backside boneless (how often do you see that trick? Yep: never!)?
Quayde Baker with a well-boned switch heel off the kicker to flat gap
1st Quayde “Muffin“ Baker –19 – Padbury, WA
2nd Matt Reilly - 20 – Kingsley, WA
3rd Scott Hetherington – 23 – Chittering, WA
4th James “Acorn“ Ahern – 23 – Perth, WA (WILD CARD)
5th Paul “ Froggy “ Bruno – 17 – Maddington, WA (WILD CARD)
6th Adam Haydec – 25 – Blackheath, NSW (WILD CARD)
Opens: Adam Haydec, Froggy, James Ahern, Scott Hetherington, Matt Reilly and Quayde Baker
Thanks to everyone who made the Manning stop possible and to all of the councils, sponsors, skaters and enthusiasts who made the qualifiers for the 2012 Nike SbA Am Series so enjoyable. Stay tuned early next week for a hype clip for the final featuring the highlights from the seven qualifying rounds.