Huntington Beach. Traffic. Cars clogging the streets. Sidewalks drowning in people. Music pulsed and rumbled from every conceivable place. Rental security glowered at every turn. The sun beat an unmerciful rhythm of midday heat onto everything. The bowl complex was situated just off the PCH. It stretched out onto the beach. Aluminum bleachers rose from the sand and surrounded it. VANS banners and towers of scaffolding loomed above it all. We climbed the stairs leading up. Security eyed our wristbands closely. Once on top, the bowl spilled out before us. Small hips, extensions, bowl corners, cups and a big bowl all connected in a Marseille-esque structure. Special artwork had been done on the concrete riding surface to brighten up the otherwise drab gray coloring.
Vans and California Skateparks did a spectacular job in my opinion. The bowl seemed a bit smaller and mellow in some areas but had deep vert and difficult areas for doing tricks, transfers and these encouraged general mayhem. Everyone that was practicing on our early arrival, were flowing about the place well. MRZ and I set up under an umbrella and watched for a bit.
The Skate Shop Challenge was pretty cool. There were twelve skate shops with three riders from each. Each shop of three riders, had a ten minute jam format in which they could throw down and kill it. All the three riders had their scores combined.
There were some pretty spectacular runs going down. In the contest, The Loy brothers slaughtered dragons, Dylan Witkin crushed, Tristan Rennie and the SoCal Skate Shops crew held it down but the Val Surf team were on punishment patrol. Eddie Mighty Moreno, Al Brunelle and Oscar Navarro made everyone sit up and take notice. These three guys took everyone to the wall.
In the end, the judges whittled it down to two teams. Val Surf and Active. These two teams were pitted against each other and it was an eight minute jam format for each. The Val Surf guys put everyone else on blast and they took that contest… they simply took it. There was unquestionable greatness from all three riders. Well deserved.
They were in the money and it is a good thing. Before the contest, Al Brunelle had driven over to San Pedro and picked up Mighty and Oscar. Enroute to Huntington Beach, they were pulled over by the police. Infraction? No seatbelts… well, none were worn by Al’s passengers. I hope they split up some of that Vans cash… fines are becoming expensive. Maybe these guys turned on the heat because they knew that they were facing it… but then again, in Huntington Beach on this day, we were all facing the heat. Thanks to MRZ for the images and VANS for killing it. Skate- Ozzie