Sixth Annual Vans Downtown Showdown In The Books!
Posted 10/03/2010 10:17:09 by
Ladies and Gentlemen, your two time top am winner Nick Merlino. Following, please find some epic photos by Ray Zimmerman and some not so epic photos and babbling by George Crosland
Congratulations to Vans for throwing another banging event, the Downtown Showdown version 6.0. Vans proved, once again, that they can throw the best events, guess they know what they are doing since they’ve been in the game since 1966.
Zero Bloodbath runner up Guillaume Mocqui boosts while overall winner Vincent Alvarez sets up
Vans brought together the greatest pros and the greatest teams, built four great obstacles and basically threw a party. It was all smiles at the event today, everybody had a great time. Well, there may have been 10 grumpy people there but they are probably jerks any way, the other 99.9% of the people had a raging time. The action was impressive as was the free food and drinks for everyone, including In and Out burgers! Four obstacles, four 30 minute jams is more or less how the winners were decided. Being a team event, there had to be 2 members of each team per obstacle. Substitutions were allowed, for example, Chris Cole filled in when Jamie Tancowny got hurt on the F'd Up Stair Set
Pretzel Grip Times Trail Classic winner Omar Hassan
Epic shot of obstacle winner Chris Cole warming up with a backside flip on Black Label's Off The Wagon
In all the good times Nick Merlino walked alway with top am honors, again and Vincent Alvarez was the top pro. There where whispers that Chris Cole could have won and while Chris Cole did crush 2 events where as Vincent skated well in three (or was it four?). Team Pretzel Grip won it for best team. Wait, team Pretzel Grip, what’s that? It’s basically the guys that went on the Beauty and The Beast tour but we got Tony Trujillo to elaborate on the 2010 Vans Downtown Showdown team champs.
Vans: What is Pretzel Grip?
TNT: Pretzel Grip is a way of life and an exciting experience for anyone that has experienced Pretzel Grip. That’s the Philosophy.
Vans: Who makes up the team?
TNT: Oh, well, pretty much all of the Girl and the Anti Hero teams
Vans: How did you feel about the Showdown?
TNT: I actually had a good time. If we get to design something next time, that’d be great but if not, you know, we’ll come back and have a good time.
Vans: Your backside air on the Bloodbath was insane
TNT: Yea, I had to wait for the right one
Vans: You stoked you made the trip down here?
TNT: Yea, I had a good time, and now we are going down to San Diego to skate pools
You don’t get more legendary than Tony Alva and Steve Van Doren
Frank Gerwer, Billy Marks and Ronnie Creager
The Pretzel Grip Time Trial Classic kicked off things in the extraordinary mini bowl/race track. Skaters dropped, did 4 laps (8 walls) and did a trick over the bumps while crossing the finish line, motocross style. Basically, it was a timed event, fastest man won. A few extra hundo’s were thrown out to Steve Reeves for being clocked at 24 mph as well as Tony Trujillo and Elijah Berle for best tricks. Not the most serious of events but skateboarding’s about fun right, not all cover shots and 16 stairs?
Steve Reeves was clocked at 24 mph in the Times Trial Classic, a new world record for time in the Pretzel Grip time trials!
Omar Hassan - full speed attack
Steve Reeves with the number of the beast on his back which must have been a heavy burden while 3rd place finisher Nolan Monroe shows no fear and stands right next to the one cursed with carrying the number of the beast
always a nice guy - Chris Cole
It took a high level of skill to get a solid two trick combo on the Black Label Off The Wagon. Chris Cole skated and seeing as he is the Skater of the Year and won about every contest out there, it’s no surprise that he won this section. What did Chris do to win? Hmm, how much time do you have; kickflip over gap to back lip, switch flip to switch 5-0, ollie over gap to 180 switch feeble...you get the idea. Chris Pfanner crushed it into 2nd and Nick Merlino looked really solid too; a switch switch flip over the gap to switch front board is one of several combo that Nick pulled off.
Chris troy crooks over the Gap of the Black Label Off The Wagon.
Chris Cole, what can you say? One of the best skaters ever? Will he get another SOTY from Thrasher?
Off The Wagon runner up - Chris Pfanner
Chris Cole killing!
Jamie Tancowny - tail slide in practice
Tony Trujillo - back 180 over the finish line in the Times Trial Classic after some fast laps. Where’s motocross champ Ryan Dungey?
Billy Marks busts out a kickflip to Roast Beef grab and combines modern skating with some 80’s radness
Solid, solid, solid - Nick Merlino
Jordan Hoffart - kickflip boardslide
The Zero Bloodbath had a bit of a crash up derby factor since skaters could come at it from all angles. Other than the really rough terrain to get to the obstacle, it was really fun looking. VIncent Alvarez won it and he tells about his tricks in an interview below. Guillaume Mocqui had some very tech tricks to get second and Tony Trujillo skated the piss out of the thing, with maximum style, to get 3rd. It needs to be mentioned that Tommy Sandoval did the gnarliest front 1 all the way to flat.
Guilaume Mocqui teeters on the edge of insanity, doing a crazy ass, tweaked indy foot block to fakie thing on the Zero Bloodbath
Tony Trujillo - front side blunt
According overall DTSD pro winner Vincent Alvarez, this huge method air by TNT was the best trick of the night
Doubles and yes, they both landed it, the crowd erupted. Get it, the thing looks like a Volcano...eruption. Guaranteed that after some late night revelry following the event plus some consuming of Pinks hot dogs or Roscoes chicken and waffles, there were likely other types of eruptions in the am hours of Sunday morning
These excellent photographs should help you understand the Zero Bloodbath obstacle; a volcano with a bank to bank gap. The fact that Nick Merlino is in the photo is a bonus
Tommy Sandoval - front flip
Daniel Lutheran lip slides around the whole thing, a trick that defied logic and bent minds
Vincent Alvarez back lips and what the hell is Steve Reeves doing, a frontside pivot on that gnarly curved rail?
Omar Hassan shows why he has been in the skate business for 20 whatever years - Madonna in a crazy spot
The Foundation F'd Up Stair Set was won by Nick Merlino with some tailslide variations and other tricks. Nick was one of the few to skate all four obstacles and, even though Nick won best am, had he been pro, he would have been a contender for top pro. This obstacle was basically a series of hubbas and ledges down, what would be a massive stairs set. Save the craziest obstacle for last, a finale, if you will. The skaters could go huge and clear the whole kit or approach slowly and work some tech wizardry; the options were endless. Hats off to Nick to skating all night and getting some well deserved prize money. Great to see Garrett Hill on the podium in second place. Chris Cole came in for an injured Jamie Tancowny, who went down on an ollie all the way to flat on the side of ramp. Chris rounded out the podium.
Vincent Big Spins the Foundation F’d up Stair Set
Jake Duncombe - gap to blunt
There’s Nick Merlino again and no we don’t have crush on him, he just skated so well he’s popping up in all the photos
Pretzel Grip Times Trial Classic winners, Nolan Monroe, Steve Reeves and Omar Hassan flanked by announcers Jeff Pang and Vern Laird
Nick Merlino, Chris Cole and Chris Pfanner took Black Labels Off The Wagon
Tony Trujillo and Vincent Alvarez of Zero Bloodbath fame, sorry that Guillaume Mocqui is missing from the photo, the podium scene was chaotic
Nick Merlino, Chris Cole and Garrett Hill of the Foundation F’d Up Stair Set. Also in the photo is Brian Schaffer, of Skatepark of Tampa, who pretty much ran and mc’d the event
Top am Nick Merlino and top pro Vincent Alvarez
Team Pretzel Grip representatives Chris Pfanner and Tony Trujillo
Why not send it off with a photo and mini interview of event winner Vincent Alvarez? Is Vincent the only winner? Pretty much anyone who showed up was a winner and everybody in the world is a winner in their own own way, hug the person to your left and check back next year. As usual, The Vans Downtown Showdown was one of the best events all year
Vans: So did you come to Paramount today expecting to win?
Alvarez: No, not at all, I just was super hyped just to skate in this
Vans: How does it feel, you’re up there with a pretty heavy field
Alvarez: Yea, I’m pretty psyched
Vans: Can you name 5 tricks that you put down to help put you on top?
Alvarez: Over the Zero Bloodbath gap - the backside 180, the switch ollie, the half cab to back 5-0 on the Foundation F’d Up Stair Set, on the Black Label Off the Wagon I did the crook to fakie and the switch 180 to backside 5-0 on the rail, The nollie half cab to the F circle to switch roll down
Vans: What are you going to do with all the new found wealth?
Alvarez: I don’t know, save it, help out some family, it’s sick though
Vans: Who else was throwing it down?
Alvarez: Tony Trujillo, Jake Duncombe...everybody
Pretzel Grip Time Trial Classic
1 Omar Hassan $2,500
2 Steve Reeves $1,500
3 Nolan Monroe $1,000
Black Label Off the Wagon
1 Chris Cole $2,500
2 Chris Pfanner $1,500
3 Nick Merlino $1,000
1 Vincent Alvarez
2 Guillaume Mocqui $1,500
3 Tony Trujillo $1,000
Foundation F’d Up Stair Set
1 Nick Merlino $2,500
2 Garrett Hill $1,500
3 Chris Cole $1,000
Nick Merlino $5,000
Vincent Alvarez $5,000