MANS-E-RAMA SKATE & MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULE 2023
2nd-5th AUGUST 2023, TAMPERE, FINLAND
Words + photos by Nicolas Bouvy (@pool_fight_club)
If skateboarding as we know it originates from California, it would not have been possible without the contribution of one unique man. This man went by the name of Alvar Aalto, one of the most influential modernist architects. He came from the land of the thousand lakes. As he wanted to reproduce the beauty of his homeland lakes in the 1930s, he designed a swimming pool in the form of a kidney. This pool later inspired his US architect friends, who brought this unseen shape across the Atlantic Ocean. And some decades later, in 1975 local young kids made history as we know it.
Nowadays, Finland’s locals never give up on celebrating our favorite pastime on four wheels. Over the last years, one town took up a really a massive collective effort and created what to me is one of the most lovely “skate towns” in Northern Europe – and that town is Tampere! Their work led to the creation of the infamous Kenneli DIY Bowl, the Pirkanmaan Kaarikoirat ry association, the outdoor bowl of Iso Villunen, and plenty of cool skate spots all around town, culminating in the recently opened Muovitehdas indoor park.
Starting a few years back, they organize events every year, like the 2018 Trelogy contest, the Finnish national championships and of course, what brought us here this time, the Manserama skate and music festival. In their 2023 edition, the locals did not stay safely in their comfort zone, organizing the contest using the same style. Since the new Muovitehdas is blessed with what is maybe the only indoor Vert ramp in the country, they came up with a Vert contest. If one would compare such an event with the more than established Vert Attack, they would just be wrong. First of all, for starters, the cool events of the first days were held in the city Center. And serious matters started on Friday, as the unavoidable Kenneli DIY bowl jam was on fire as expected and ended up with a super fun jam in the outdoor bowl. Everybody shared their stock around the bowl until late in the night, as we were blessed with a nice long break from the summer rains. Public could appreciate their friends ripping next to the Creature’s Cody Lockwood and Danish Jonas “Ginger” Bünger, who came over with his buddy Bjørn Lillesøe. Our beloved British friends were not shy neither, as a bunch of them took the trip to Tampere. Sam Beckett, Jesse Thomas, Jim Langran and Jordan Thackeray brought us some promising young riders, Lilly Stratchan and George O’Neill. Bowl, curbs, sauna, music, all the fun, Finnish style, and you need to be prepared for the next day.
The main Sunday event was the Vert competition. Three categories were on the program: Juniors, Girls and 16+ aged. No need to linger on stats or tricks, the contest was just an amazing level of skateboarding and pure fun. The local young rippers were just giving us a taste of how bright Finland’s future in skateboarding is, just sick on delivery! The girls were not a few, as Lilly Stratchan was joined by German Anna-Maria Plewa and the local young girls, all on fire. They would not let her victory be an easy journey after all. In the men’s category, Finnish legends like Jussi Korhonen, Bob Joosten and Harri Puupponen did their job on charming any eyeballs open in the crowd. UK’s Sam Beckett did not climb on the first step of the podium without a good fight and Jesse Thomas and George O’Neill completed the winner’s list with some sick moves. For sure, any rider rolling their urethanes on the ramp shared their contagious pure joy with us in the crowd and adrenaline level went to the roof!
If you happened to miss the big party, it was such a big success, so be sure not to miss the one next year! The hospitality of Tampere locals is so heart warming that you might feel like dropping your suitcase there and staying. They gonna be more than happy to adopt you in their family, as they are such kind-hearted people. Thank you Pirkanmaan Kaarikoirat ry, you guys rule!! Cannot wait for my next visit!