photo: Marcel Veldman
It’s well noted we love Amsterdam.
Whether it’s the CPH Open stopping by last year in A Tale of Two Cities, or La Certilia tour of death we embarked on several months after, the Dutch capital has always served us well. Which is why we were more than obliged to accept an invitation to this year’s Vans Shop Riot – now in it’s eleventh year – as it descended upon NOORD skatepark.
With heats and finals reserved for Saturday we arrived Friday evening to a cash for tricks mini ramp session in which Robin Bolian in particular, was earning coin with a pretty incredible display of transition skating. Simon Karlsson also destroying with an incredible nollie varial heel blunt! Once the cash was gone, the lack of food to soak the beers was setting in and hunger got the better of us. We made our way to Klaproos Restaurant who deserve a special mention for their melon & cucumber salad by the way. Hydration levels are strong on that one. We were also spoilt to a Jacob Ovgren art show inside, the renowned Swedish artist collaborated with Vans on the creative execution this year and was bouncing around with a smile on his face all weekend.
photos: Robin Pailler
We awoke Saturday to sunshine and a mild but manageable hangover and as we made our way back to NOORD cupping hot caffeine bumped into Victor Pellegrin in fine form, himself clutching a various assortment of Holland’s finest greenery. “I must have spent over €100 on this shit already”. Oh Doobie.
We arrived right in time for the opening heats and it was immediately clear Burnside had brought their supporters en mass as always. It wasn’t long before they had the whole crowd joining in to “Always look on the burnside of life”. It’s a pretty impressive feat to generate so much hype and with beers flowing again and the comp in full beast mode, the day breezed by as our eyes darted across the course, desperate not to miss a thing. Despite the heavy support team and Rob Maatman on fine form as always, Burnside eventually lost out in the semis, finishing third behind Skate Boutique. The Belgians putting on a show as always, with Simon Deprez especially, showing some next level consistency.
Yet for the all efforts of the 15 teams competing, it was Adriel Parmisano, Rafa Bocanegra and Christian Estrada from Barcelona’s Venero who were deservedly crowned champions, the latter coming through with a bs 360 to front lip on the bump to rail which no doubt sealed it.
Special mention should go out to Junkyard’s Simon Karlsson though, who once again was murdering the park in between heats – that fs blunt, one foot on the quarter!. Lyon’s Quentin Bouillon was also have a ton of fun with his trademark late sex change variations, as was Rave’s recent acquisition Mika Germond who unfortunately might be most remembered for his backflip to faceplant on the after party dance floor. A clip that went viral in celebration of his birthday the following day.
As always we can’t thank Vans enough for inviting us and continuing to support grass roots skateboarding. Whilst photo recaps and insta clips of competition events might not be everyone’s cup of tea in the oversaturated age of mass media, it’s events like these which restore our faith in the skate community. It’s a celebration of the joy skateboarding offers and with the current state of the modern world, where we awake to ever depressing headlines of war, Brexit and inept politicians, it’s a welcome reminder to forget the bullshit for a day and enjoy the simple things in life.
Check out the gallery below courtesy of Marcel Veldman.