August 31st, saw the Vans Downtown Showdown take Paris by storm. Celebrating its 5th year in Europe, this unique event brought together the best of skateboarding, art and street culture. As 15,000 people descended upon La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris saw this favourite fixture of the skateboarding calendar grow to truly epic proportions.
With a ‘for skateboarders, by skateboarders’ approach to the design and flow of the course, with the board brands themselves submitting the plans, the level certainly stepped up for this year’s Vans Downtown Showdown. The contest’s reputation for never failing to push boundaries whilst seeing everyone having fun, brought the crème de la crème of world skateboarding to Paris for this unique event.
This relaxed format and the electric atmosphere inside the Grande Halle combined with a set up skaters dream of, saw the best from all riders, regardless of their preferred discipline. This clearly suited Luan Oliveira, who, free from the restraints of a traditional competition format, annihilated pretty much everything. This earned him 2nd Place in Cliché’s pool, and a frontside kickflip from the cigarette pack to switch 360 kickflip from the top, secured him 1st on Palace’s “expensive luggage”.
The Vans riders killed it. Nassim, solid as ever, Pfanner going huge over Flip’s tricolour and Pedro Barros pushing it on the Element’s Eiffel Tower, were amongst the stand out riders. Nassim took home ‘Best Amateur’ for his consistency across all obstacles, which included nailing a long lip-slide on the Flip handrail.
Winner of the Monster ‘Quasimodo’, a prize awarded not necessarily for the best trick, but for the line, slam, trick or attitude that impressed the judges the most. Evandro Martins from Brazil’s Dropdead team took this accolade, with a frontside 5-0 on the intimidating Eiffel Tower obstacle, bringing a little Brazilian flair to this iconic Parisian monument.
As a guest of the Dropdead team, Pfanner didn’t let the side down, keeping the crowd on edge with his relentless mission to clear Flip’s giant flag, getting closer and closer with every attempt, but finally had to call it a day when time ran out. The same spot saw Nisse Ingemarsson stomp a feeble, holding it for the full length of the massive rail, as well as Dominic Dietrich’s backside melon, clearing the entire width of the flag from the extension.
Getting things off to an impressive start, Sweet put up an high performance throughout their first appearance at the Vans Downtown Showdown. The team took on the course with creativity and throwing down some solid tricks, earning Josef Scott Jatta 1st place on Cliché’s pool. The Cliché obstacle itself was the scene of the best jam, seeing some fun thrown down with flowing lines and solid moves all round. Pedro Barros’ kickflip indy over the hip and TJ Rogers’ insane kickflip nose manual to nollie kickflip out added to the variety and the jaw dropping level of riding.
Reigning champs, Flip, undoubtedly impressed everyone, but were nudged from their top spot by an impressive performance from the Sweet team, and by Element too. Check the table below for the full list of results.
Vans would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all who joined us for the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown here in Paris. To all the teams; Palace, Element, Cliché and Flip, whose obstacles made the contest, as well as Antiz,
Blind, Death, Dropdead, Isle, Metropolitan, Radio and Sweet who all raised the bar, yet another year in a row. This should also be extended to all our partners in the Vans Downtown Showdown, the concessions, the A.skate Foundation and to Fiat and Monster Energy, too.
I think we can safely say that this little soiree has put the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown up there with the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower as a Parisian marvel that simply couldn’t be missed.
Keep an eye on www.downtownshowdown.eu for more news from the Vans Downtown Showdown, and for the online auction of the Live Art created during the event, with all proceeds going to the A.skate Foundation.
Don’t forget, if you’re in Paris and fancy trying your skills on the obstacles seen here, you can skate them at the Cosanostra Skatepark!
1st – Luan Oliveria // 2nd – Louie Lopez // 3rd – Yuri Facchini
1st – Pedro Barros // 2nd Sylvain Tognelli // 3rd – Louie Lopez
1st – Josef Scott Jatta // 2nd – Luan Oliveira // 3rd – Louie Lopez
1st – Nassim Guammaz // 2nd – Karsten Kleppan // 3rd – Chris Pfanner
Monster Quasimodo Evandro Martins
Best Amateur Nassim Guammaz
Best Pro Luan Oliveira
BEST TEAM 1st – Element 2nd – Sweet 3rd – Flip
4th – Dropdead
Click here for more pictures from the event!