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01pm // 01.03.2017

RonnieSandoval LienToTail Acosta 950
Ronnie Sandoval, Lien to tail. Photo: Anthony Acosta

Words by Nat Kassel.

The likes of Grant Taylor, Ronnie Sandoval, Raven Tershy and ’Straya’s own Jack Fardell will be shredding a hunk of custom built concrete at Manly Beach.

After a whole mob of international pros destroyed St. Kilda skatepark in Melbourne last year, the Vans Park Series is hitting Australia for a second round of mayhem. This year Vans have built a custom concrete course smack bang in the middle of Manly Beach in Sydney for the annual VPS global qualifier event.

The course was designed and built by California Skateparks and it’s got some appropriately hefty features. There’s a 10.5-foot extension, a deep end bowl with pool coping, some massive hipped banks and a concrete kerb spine that runs perpendicular out of the bowl (and looks hectic to gap up to and hit).

RomanPabich Boneless Acosta 950
Roman Pabich, boneless. Photo: Anthony Acosta

A bunch of the internationals have already been sighted shredding the beachfront park, including Raven Tershy, Pedro Barros, Alex Sorgente, Greyson Fletcher, Chris Russell, Ivan Federico and Ronnie Sandoval. Plus there’s a whole heap of other big names who’ll be rocking up before this Friday. As far as Aussies go, we’ve got Queanbeyan’s own Jack Fardell, young Keegan Palmer from Currumbin in Queensland and in the women’s division, Poppy Starr Olsen from Newy.

The vibe of the comp is to showcase park skating, rather than a vert event or something like Bowl-A-Rama. Justin Regan, one of the organisers from Vans, told Slam last year, “We have three unwritten rules: no pads, no dabs, and no 540 grabs.” So it’s an event designed for the Grant Taylors of the world, rather than the Bob Burnquists. But Regan also clarified that the rules are unwritten, “so people can do whatever they want.”

SYD17 ChrisRussell Tailgrab Acosta 2 950
Chris Russell, frontside tailgrab. Photo: Anthony Acosta

Whatever happens, there’ll be some mind-blowing (and hopefully padless) skateboarding happening at Manly Beach this weekend. With a $20,000 first prize, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third, there’s a fair bit of bank at stake. It will be well worth a look.

If you can’t make it down to Sydney, or you just don’t fancy crossing over to the wrong side of the bridge, there’s a live webcast that you can watch at the VPS website.

SYD17 PedroBarros LowToHighBSSmith Acosta 2 950
Pedro Barros, low to high back Smith. Photo: Anthony Acosta

Event Schedule

Qualifiers Live
March 3, 2017 (AEST)
From 11am (AEST)

Semi-Finals & Finals Live
March 4, 2017 (AEST)
From 11am (AEST)

RonnieSandoval FsLosiGrind VPS Mapstone 950
Ronnie Sandoval, frontside Losi grind. Photo: Andrew Mapstone

Here’s the tentative list of 2017 competitors:

Select Pros:
• Alex Sorgente
• Ben Hatchell
• Cory Juneau
• Grant Taylor
• Ivan Federico
• Jack Fardell (Australia)
• Kevin Kowalski
• Pedro Barros

Tour Wildcards:
• Chris Russell
• Curren Caples
• Greyson Fletcher
• Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg
• Raven Tershy
• Ronnie Sandoval

Tour Challengers:
• CJ Collins
• Cody Lockwood
• Collin Graham
• Daan Van Der Linden
• Josh Borden
• Kalle Berglind
• Keegan Palmer (Australia)
• Murilo Peres
• Patrick Ryan
• Robin Bolian
• Roman Pabich
• Tom Schaar
• Trey Wood
• Tristan Rennie
• Vinicius Kakinho
• Willy Lara
• Zion Wright

Women's Tour Challengers:
• Alana Smith
• Allysha Le
• Arianna Carmona
• Bryce Wettstein
• Fabiana Delfino
• Grace Marhoefer
• Hanna Zanzi
• Hunter Long
• Julz Lynn Kindstrand
• Kody Tamanaha
• Lizzie Armanto
• Nicole Hause
• Nora Vasconcellos
• Poppy Starr Olsen (Australia)
• Yndiara Asp

Women's Select Pros:
• Brighton Zeuner
• Jordyn Barratt
• Kisa Nakamura

Practice Session MitchellTomlinson 950 2
Jack Fardell gets ready to rip. Photo: Mitchell Tomlinson

To see daily galleries of photos and footage go to: www.vansparkseries.com