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The Flip Skateboards obstacle.
For the past eight years, the Vans Downtown Showdown has pitted teams of skateboarders against each other in a unique obstacle-driven contest environment. Specific team of skaters (in this case, Flip, Blueprint, Palace and Antiz) create their own obstacle which is skated by competitors in the contest. This year, the Vans Downtown Showdown presented by Monster Energy headed to the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, and the teams competing included Flip Skateboards, Palace, Blueprint, Jart, Element, Spitfire, Toy Machine, Yama, Death and Antiz.
Participating brands competed with four person teams, with two skaters sessioning each obstacle and competing for the 50,000 euro prize purse.
But first, the obstacle concept needs some explanation. Flip went huge, constructing a multi-sided eight-foot tall contraption, featuring steep quarters with a gap on one side, and banks to ledge (also with a gap) on the other side. The end of the obstacle was angled, so skaters could transfer from the quarter or bank, and the other end was a simple drop, which was also utilized. In the end, Dominik Dietrich set the bar with a wallie up and nollie heelflip down the ledge for first place on the Flip obstacle.
Meanwhile, Palace took more of an urban approach, constructing a Heineken-inspired replica of an empty rectangular-shaped fountain, with angled ledges for skaters to utilize on all sides. Inside the fountain, a polejam was constructed. Flip team rider Luan Oliveira, skated with remarkable consistency and smooth style to win the Palace Obstacle event.
Echoing Amsterdam's canals and barges, Blueprint's obstacle, a pyramid with ledges and rails on both sides, was thematically painted with a maritime theme, and again, Luan Oliveira walked away with the win. Billy Marks double flipped the gap to flat and walked away with 1,000 Euros for second place, and Dallas Rockvam took third place.
And finally, in tribute to the Dutch, Antiz's obstacle, a circular design with quarterpipes and banks of varying size, featured a windmill on top. Rob Smith took first place by skating every angle, while Ben Nordberg's backside noseblunt on the extension brought the crowd to its feet.
In the end, Luan Oliveira took home the overall Best Pro award, with wins on both the Palace and Blueprint obstacles. Best Overall Am was Element team rider Ross McGouran, who also took third place on the Flip obstacle. And in team rundowns, Flip took first overall, followed by Element in second, Antiz in third and Toy Machine in fourth place.
In addition to prize money, top finishers won custom made Charge bicycles and massive rounds of Gouda Cheese. And if that wasn't enough, Vans, known worldwide for their waffle tread soles, had waffle stands on hand throughout the day to keep the 8,000 plus Downtown Showdown attendees properly fed.
The Palace obstacle.
The Blueprint obstacle.
The ANTIZ obstacle.