Photos by Fred Ferand & Eddie Think
Words by Eddie Think
Additional photos by Mary Sweet & Emma Gustavsson
“Every year around April, I get the itch about wanting to go to Malmö for the next Vert Attack edition. In April? Yes in April, the ambiance, the brotherhood, the parties, and foremost the insane skateboarding that occurs every year, makes it that I get homesick just a couple of weeks after the last air landed, the prizes given away, and the hangover cleared from the afterparty. Vert Attack for me is easily the best contest I have ever been to, and this year, once again, it didn’t let me down. I will not bore you with the details of every run, but the skating this year was again great to watch. The level seems to increase every year, and when you see a 14 year old prodigy like Cory Juneau skate, you know that the future of vert skating is set in gold. His peers like Matty Carlisle, Ivan Frederico, and Junior division winner Mats Hatlem, make you wonder how far this part of skateboarding can still grow.
At their incredible young age they show so much talent, and that makes the Juniors finals just real candy to the eye. One of the best parts of the juniors though was to see Alana Smith come in fourth. This young lady has some serious skills and attacks the ramp with such fury you immediately wonder where she’s going to be in a couple of years. Best thing about it is she does it with an everlasting smile on her face. That goes for all the ladies though, and in the first girl competition, Franziska Stolz finally hade some ladies to skate with. It was definitely a pleasure to watch seeing these girls rip up the ramp. My personal favorite was Allysha Bergado. This little powerhouse has a load of tricks up her sleeve and gave Alana Smith a good run for her money. Mad respect to all the ladies that came out to skate, ’cause skateboarding could use more ladies to shred things to pieces. Hopefully Alana, Julz, Mimi, Allysha, Silvia, Mimmi, and Franziska have more ladies to compete with next year.
As is every year, the Masters competition is one to watch out for. With rippers like Kevin Staab, Henry Gutierrez, Neal Hendrix, Rich Lopes, Nicky Guerrero, Espen Roed and winner Mathias Sernklo in the finals you knew it was going to be a spectacle, and they sure as hell did not disappoint. The crowd always goes wild when they start skating and the mayhem doesn’t stop when the last rider stops skating. Unfortunatly I missed all the qualifiers due to a severe hangover and only got in at the semi-finals, after a night out with Tim “Bombdrop” Bijsterveld and Szymon Stachon. I am sure like every year it was a lot of fun to watch. It’s where all the dinosaurs of skating come together to just have a great time and these legends radiate an immense love for skateboarding. Without the Masters competition Vert Attack wouldn’t be what it is.
Well… The pro/am finals. What is there to say? I am still blown away by what I saw. Some went against the roof, some wanted to go through the roof, and they all tore the roof off. Faster, higher, and harder seem to be the key words for this finals, where the semi’s were already incredibly high level. Alex Perelson, Giorgio Zattoni, Jake Anderson, Sam Beckett, Cory Juneau, Jimmy Wilkins and Paul-Luc Ronchetti blew everyone’s head off. The jury must have had an incredibly hard time to get a good verdict on this final, but Paul Luc walked a way with a well deserved first place. He didn’t seem to believe it himself for a pretty long time, murmuring something like “I can’t believe it” and it took him a good fifteen minutes to smile after that , when it all sunk in a little. Lets hope he comes back next year to defend his title, Hell… let’s hope all of these rippers come back next year to again make this the best event in skateboarding.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Stan did an exceptional feat again with the hosting, and with a little back up of the almighty Sean Goff. He lost his voice but that means it will be nice and quiet here in Amsterdam for a few days. Macki rules at afterparties. it started a little slow but he made a real show of it in the moshpit. I think multiple people felt sore the next day from rolling on the ground. I know I did.
Thanks to J-Mag, Kami, and all who were involved in getting this together once again. Vert Attack rules.” – Eddie Think
Bonus photos © Mary Sweet:
Extra Bonus photos by Emma Gustavssson:
Want more Vert Attack action, here is a Confusion video from VERT ATTACK 6.
Vert Attack 8 – Juniors Finals
Vert Attack 8 – Girls Finals
Vert Attack 8 – Pro Finals