Vans Downtown Showdown 2013 – A Triomphe in Paris


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.

Vans Downtown Showdown, Paris 2013.

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 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!

Palace Obstacle
1st – Luan Oliveria // 2nd – Louie Lopez // 3rd – Yuri Facchini

Element Obstacle
1st – Pedro Barros // 2nd Sylvain Tognelli // 3rd – Louie Lopez

Cliché Obstacle
1st – Josef Scott Jatta // 2nd – Luan Oliveira // 3rd – Louie Lopez

Flip Obstacle
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!

Vans Downtown Showdown brought to you live from Paris


Stuck on a boat? Missed your Eurostar? Whatever the excuse, if you’re not able to make it to the Vans Downtown Showdown in Paris this Saturday, never fear! Vans are pleased to announce that this unique event of epic proportions will be streamed LIVE across the internet! Available to view at as well as through the Vans Live app (available from Apple’s App Store), you need not miss a trick.

With coverage starting at 12:40CEST (Central European Summer Time), we’ll be delivering all the action from the best seats in the house. We kick things off with a peek behind the scenes, then all eyes turn to the skaters and the obstacles, as we begin the competition! First up are the masterful creations of Palace Skateboards; in the words of Lev Tanju, “some really expensive luggage you can grind”. We then session Flip’s fully skateable Tricolour, followed by Cliche’s take on the infamous ponds found beneath the city’s most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower. This brings us to Paris’ pièce de résistance itself, brought to you in shreddable format by Element Skateboards. A truly epic set up!

Throughout the broadcast we’ll be bringing you exclusive interviews with some of skateboarding’s most legendary characters, including Tony Alva, Steve Caballero, Dustin Dollin and Steve Van Doren himself. We’ll also be touring the venue, checking out the live art, speaking to the teams and giving recap of the days events. As the day draws to a close, we present the prizes and crown the champions of the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown! Wherever you are, don’t miss it!

tune in at

Vans Downtown Showdown presents A.skate Foundation

Vans are proud to bring the A.skate Foundation to Europe, where at the Vans Downtown Showdown, they’ll be holding an Autism Friendly Skate Session

12:00noon, August 31st
La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris


As a non-profit charitable foundation, A.skate aims to channel the energies of young people living with autism through skateboarding. Through the provision of one-on-one skateboarding lessons, A.skate gives these kids the opportunity to learn at their own pace, without pressure. Introducing the concept to Paris for the first time, we are pleased to announce that A.skate will be holding an Autism Friendly Skate Session from 12:00noon on August 31st, at La Grande Halle de la Villette. Local skatepark, Cosanostra, will be kindly supplying ramps where the session will take place. This temporary park will also be open for the public to skate throughout the day.

“Autism, like skateboarding, can be unpredictable and at times, unruly.

A.skate embraces the parts of autism that are hard to understand, providing these kids with an outlet that is free of rules or judgment.”
Crys Worley, A.Skate Founder

As Peter Karvonen of the foundation explains, the benefits these sessions offer, provide the kids with more than just a new sport to enjoy;

“Skateboarding is so much more than just skateboarding when we introduce it to the kids. They are working on skills similar to those found in Occupational Therapy, yet they don’t even realise it. Skateboarding helps us work with the kids on vestibular, proprioceptive, and motor skills, as well as social skills. It’s more than just a ‘fun day at the skatepark’.”

Vans x A.Skate Foundation_1

A.skate’s presence at this year’s Vans Downtown Showdown marks a significant step in their European expansion. With a French Chapter currently being established, A.skate will be able to reach more kids, continuing to provide invaluable support, education, and helping to raise awareness. As a continuation of an already long-standing relationship, Vans are extremely proud to be working with the foundation at the Vans Downtown Showdown, and beyond. As such, in the wake of the event, Vans will host an online auction of Live Art from the Vans Downtown Showdown, with all proceeds going to A.skate. The auction will include works from the likes of Rich Jacobs, Mambo, French and Jay Croft. Keep an eye on and for announcements.

Vans x A.Skate Foundation 5

What’s more, Vans will be announcing a very special Vans x A.skate collaboration, due to drop early next year…watch this space!

Vans Downtown Showdown History

The Vans Downtown Showdown concept was created for skateboarders by skateboarders and has been running globally for the last 8 years, each time creating unique OFF THE WALL ideas to be skated.
With Torino, Hamburg, London and Paris the previous settings for the European Vans Downtown Showdown, and the infamous Paramount Studious in Hollywood, Los Angeles being the birthplace of this unique event, expectations this year are higher than ever before as Vans and the competitors push hard to surpass the already extremely high standard of the contest.

Vans Downtown Showdown – a celebration of Skateboarding, Art and Music

With just seven weeks to go before the crème de la crème of the Global skateboard community descend upon Paris, the Eiffel Tower is being polished and the Grande Halle de la Villette transformed in preparation for the arrival of the infamous Vans Downtown Showdown.

As a city renowned for its iconic sites, as a home to poets, fashionistas, hunchbacks and artists, Paris sets the perfect scene for an event of epic proportions, and plenty of inspiration for the Vans Downtown Showdown as it celebrates its 5th anniversary. Expect anything and everything, from live art and creative workshops, to a pop-up barbershop and an awesome public skatepark featuring reimagined Parisian icons, that whilst strangely familiar, will surely have never been skated before.

The motto shared by both skateboarders and the nation’s boulangers, “no pain, no gain” rings true for the Vans Downtown Showdown, as 12 teams go tête a tête on a truly unique course, designed by themselves, and set to put their skills and creativity to the test. The European front will be upheld by teams such as Element, Palace, Sweet and Death, whilst from the USA come Flip and Dwindle, and we welcome the suitably morbid Dropdead team from Brazil. You’ll find a full list of teams and riders at the end of this announcement. Amongst the invited teams, legends such as Steve ‘Cab’ Caballero, Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi will be present, and with a line-up like this, it’s an event Dame well Notre be missed.

In keeping with the city’s past, art plays a prominent role in this year’s Vans Downtown Showdown. Former Paris resident and graphic artist Mambo not only designed the event artwork, but will be joining other internationally respected artists such as Rich Jacobs, Kev Grey, Nicolas Thomas, Jay Howell and French, amongst others, as they apply their signature style to the iconic Vans “Off The Wall” logo in a show of style and creativity, and in celebration of Vans’ 47 years of skateboarding and street culture. A full list of artists can be found attached to this email, along with their biographies.

Elsewhere, Lovenskate will be hosting a creative workshop, where kids of all ages can try their hand at screen-printing, or even lean how to customise their own Vans! Inspiration can be drawn directly from the archives, as a display of original product from Vans’ “Off The Wall’ heritage will be on display.

In addition, we’ll be showing our support for the next generation of skateboard photographers in an exhibition curated especially for the Vans Downtown Showdown by Vans skater and bona fide Frenchman, Sam Partaix. Having spent the months prior to the event touring his great nation with little but a giant Half Cab and a select team of skaters, Monsieur Partaix set about meeting some of tomorrow’s stars of skateboard photography, as they set about documenting the teams antics on our giant skatable Half Cab. The fruits of their labour will be on display at La Grande Halle de la Villette throughout the event.

With the live art beginning whilst the skaters warm up and get used to the course on Friday, followed by a full bill of skating, creativity and music on Saturday, Paris’ Vans Downtown Showdown is set to be a Triomphe.



Vans Downtown Showdown comes to Paris

Finish your croissant, don your best beret and sidestep the Moulin Rouge, as all eyes turn to the city’s Grande Halle as Paris prepares to host to a truly unique skateboarding competition. On August 31st, the infamous Vans Downtown Showdown will take over the vast Grande Halle de la Villette.

Now in its 5th year, the event brings together the best of skateboarding, art, music and street culture, making Vans Downtown Showdown one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the skateboarding calendar. Pitching the crème of the world’s skateboarding teams against each other in not only a battle of skill, but also one of creativity, the Vans Downtown Showdown goes a little “off the wall” as it invites these very teams to design the obstacles themselves. The result is a competition like no other, as the teams go head to head to thrash it out over an unconventional course, ensuring the riding is as creative as the minds of the designers, who are currently busy dreaming up their own obstacles, from peculiar Parisian cliches, to reimagined relics of this chicest of cities.

Bringing his artistic flair to the Vans Downtown Showdown, former Paris resident and graphic artist Mambo, creator of the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown posters, will be painting one of his signature pieces on a grand scale, live at the Grande Halle. Elsewhere, creative workshops will entertain and inspire, whilst an “off the wall” take on Paris’ traditional markets will keep you away from the Champs Elysees…

With the Vans Downtown Showdown having previously created a scene in cities such as Amsterdam, London and Hamburg, the 2013 edition promises to bring a new level of skateboarding, creativity and camaraderie, as well as a healthy dose of satire to the streets Paris.