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 Final Results

TOP 4 teams:

1 ELEMENT (Ross McGouran, Phil Zwijsen, Nassim Guammaz, Karsten Kleppan)
2 SWEET ( Gustav Tönneson, Josef Scott Jatta, Jonas Skröder, Nisse Ingemarsson)
3 FLIP ( Geoff Rowley, Ben Nordberg, Luan Oliveira, Louie Lopez)
4 DROPDEAD (Pedro Barros, Rodolfo Ramos, Evandro Martins, Guilherme Guimarães)+ guest Chris Pfanner


Palace Obstacle
1 Luan Oliveira
2 Louie Lopez
3 Yuri Facchini

Element Obstacle
1 Pedro Barros
2 Sylvain Tognelli
3 Louie Lopez

Cliché Obstacle
1 Josef Scott Jatta
2 Luan Oliveira
3 Louie Lopez

Flip Obstacle
1 Nassim Guammaz
2 Karsten Kleppan
3 Chris Pfanner

Monster Quasimodo Prize: Evandro Martins
Best AM: Nassim Guammaz
Best Pro: Luan Oliveira

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 unveils The Obstacles

After months of researching, sketching and satirising, the world’s finest board brands have submitted their plans for the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown.  Each presenting their unique spin on French and Parisian culture, their efforts included obstacles perhaps predictably inspired by the humble baguette, as well as truly inspired reworkings of some of the cities finest landmarks.

Alas, a chosen few must triomphe above the rest.  Following much scrutiny from our panel of experts, we are pleased to announce…the obstacles!

The winning teams displayed inspired interpretations of the brief, presenting challenging designs and in doing so, ensuring the level of creativity and boundary-pushing riding the Vans Downtown Showdown has become synonymous with, is upheld.

The obstacles featuring in the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown are:


Cliché chose to reinterpret the pools beneath Paris’ most iconic monument, as Cliché founder Jeremie Daclin explains, “Video Days made this spot mythical, and Cliché brings back the magic.”.  Expect some fast lines and creative use of the pyramid!

Element pulled no punches, and chose to take on the mighty Eiffel Tower itself.  Utilising the structures transitioned sides, they created a monster that is sure to be the site of some of the contest’s heaviest tricks.  Alex Deron, Element’s Marketing Manager, said “We never got the chance to skate the ponds, so what about the Eiffel Tower itself?!”.

Palace took things a step further, heading straight for the city’s famously chic citizens.  When faced with the Parisienne setting, founder Lev Tanju’s “first idea, instead of making a skateable baguette, was to make a 3D rendering of Karl Lagerfeld’s head, with a really whippy transitioned ponytail that you could get air out of.  Legal said they’d get sued though, so we had a last minute switch-up, and made some really expensive luggage you can grind”.

As Geoff Rowley explains, Flip’s obstacle “pays homage to the French flag.  As various Flip riders have resided in cities across France, it seemed only fitting to honour these good times with a bold and brazen approach to the artwork. Hopefully ‘French Fred’ (Mortagne) approves? The design approach was simple; multiple-directional flow with a variety of street, bank and tranny terrain”.

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.

The Vans Downtown Showdown Presents: The Giant Half Cab Tour

As the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown draws closer, we are pleased to introduce the Giant Half Cab Tour.  A unique tour that quite literally travels the road to Paris, via some of France’s most inspiring cities.

Showing our support for the next generation of skateboard photographers, the Giant Half Cab Tour pairs tomorrow’s stars from behind the lens with a team of Vans’ European riders as they travel the nation in search of spots to ride with this very special obstacle. Encouraged by Loïc Benoit, Vans France skate team manager and passionate skate photographer himself three uprising French photography talents, Jo DEZECOT from Tours, Benoit RENAUX from Paris and Manu SCHENCK from Bordeaux will showcase their artistic approach on the iconic Vans Half Cab.

Having already hit Lyon (July 22-25), Paris (July 25-28) and currently causing havoc in Tours, the Giant Half Cab and its entourage of skaters and snappers will move on to its final destination of Bordeaux, before eventually winding up back in Paris, in time for the infamous Vans Downtown Showdown.

Once back in Paris, the Giant Half Cab tour will be presented as a photographic exhibition, especially curated 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 this giant shoe, the exhibition displays the fruits of the labours and represents a new generation of skateboarding, and this time, from both sides of the camera.

The exhibition will be on display at La Grande Halle de la Villette throughout the Vans Downtown Showdown.

The exhibition will be on display at La Grande Halle de la Villette throughout the Vans Downtown Showdown.

July 28th – July 31st
Riders: Victor Pellegrin, Sam Partaix, Josh Young, Ignacio Morata

July 31st – August 2nd
Riders: Alex Richard, Josh Young, Ignacio Morata


For more pics, click here