Vans Combi Contest. It was a full scale assault on the mind and body this year… I’ve written more words about this contest than virtually any other. History. Longevity. Participants. Legends. It’s all here under one roof. One day. Chaos. Random highlights included- Austin Poynter going higher than anyone… ever. Chris Russell destroying another board on another disaster. He does that and his punk points are at such a level, they won’t be eclipsed anytime soon.
Bucky Lasek’s first run out of the gate was not for the weak-hearted opponent. The riders in his heat must’ve wished they were in a different building that day. His first six walls were ferocious and he didn’t let up. Pedro Barros- good grief. His speed was unmatched. I saw him go as high as Lincoln Ueda usually goes… and that is saying something. Pedro has raw, brutal power. Kiko Francisco has a backside ollie that is beautiful to witness. It looks like he fell out of a skylight in the ceiling or something. He’s like fourteen years old too… imagine the day when he’s gained some meat and potatoes on his body. He’ll need a bigger bowl.
Steve Caballero was polished perfection. Eddie Elguera once again showed why he’s a Legend in every way imaginable. Great lines and technicality were evident. Christian Hosoi was water flowing through the bowl. His runs were great. Zach Miller held some lines together in fluid form. Alex Perelson put some serious walls together and put in a good performance.
Chris Miller ran into difficulty during some seriously fast lines and found himself fending off some ultra-hungry opponents. One particular opponent was Lance Mountain. Lance came out swinging. He fought like he had extra arms. Few could stand against him and not marvel at what he threw down. It was the game changer. Lance ended the night with a top red banner spot.
Pedro Barros ate up his division though Bucky Lasek, Cory Juneau and Trey Wood were nipping at his ankles. Darren Navarette grabbed the Masters Division with strong powerful skating and ended the day with a big smile and some cash. Pat Ngoho ended the contest with three complete runs, fluid stylish skating and placed –once again–rather lower than he deserved. Open your eyes guys… It was an overwhelming contest. Mind. Body. Soul. Always is and probably always will be.
Pro- 1- Pedro Barros 2- Cory Juneau 3- Bucky Lasek
Masters- 1- Darren Navarette 2- Bruno Passos 3- Jed Fuller
Legends- 1- Lance Mountain 2- Steve Caballero 3- Chris Miller
Thank you to Vans for everything, thank you to all of the riders, thank you to Orlando Welsh, Chris Ortiz and Anthony Acosta for the images. Skate – Ozzie