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On Saturday, skateboarders, chili cooks and a hungry crowd filled San Francisco's Potrero Del Sol skatepark to watch Toad and Salmon's eighth annual Chili Bowl contest. With constant shredding, high speed collisions, wild crowds and chili cooking, this year might have been the best yet.
When I arrived, the Kids division had just began. All these mini skaters were flying around the bowl giving it everything they had in hopes of bringing home that first place title. Koa Cortina is a little powerhouse, with fast lines, frontside airs and ollies. Dominating his heat with Andrechts, backside airs and fakie thrusters, 11-year-old Seth Sanders ended up bringing home the Kids title.
Up next was the Women's division. Great to see that there are still contests for the girls. They all skated well, but it was one of SoCal's finest, Mimi Knoop, that came out strong right from the beginning. Fast plants, frontside ollies and eggplants earned her the top spot in the Women's group.
Now the Master's were up. Jason Richardson and Chris Cook had the crowds all riled up. Jason is great to watch skate, you can tell he's just having a blast by the ear-to-ear grin and his crowd interaction. From powerful Smith grinds and rock-n-roll slides through the corners to hands behind the head frontside 50-50's in the shallow end, he was shredding. It was pretty clear that Jeff Hedges would be grabbing the 1st place spot. Laybacks, backside boneless' and a variety of inverts were just a few of the many tricks Jeff put down.
A 20 minute intermission began after the Master's and the judges directed their attention to the chili. The judges sampled each of the eight entries with the help of a few local kids as guest judges. They made the rounds, tasted each chili, chose the winner and then it was back to the skating.
The day had already been filled with amazing skating so just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it was time for the open Men's finals. Everyone would take a first run and then it became a 10 minute jam format. It was quite a scene and things got heated. Ben Raybourn, Shaun Ross, Jerry Gurney, Chris Russell and Robbie Russo were a few of the names that skated the finals. Split into 2 heats, the complete annihilation of the bowl began.
Long time Chili Bowl competitor Chris Russell put on a show with his big bag of tricks like feeble-to-fakie around the corner, massive mute and tweaked frontside airs and high speed frontside rock slides to name a few (my personal favorite was the unexpected judo disaster). Last year's winner, Eddie Moreno, came to defend his title by unleashing an arsenal of tricks all over the bowl. I'm almost convinced he is both regular and goofy stance, he skates both ways so well. But in the end, it was the fast, aggressive lines, huge lien and method airs, one footed inverts and all around domination of the bowl that gave Raney Beres the claim to the 1st place prize.
Good times, good food, a high energy crowd and amazing skateboarding added up to yet another successful Chili Bowl. Thanks to Toad and Salmon and everyone that helped put on this event, we'll see you again next year.
1. Raney Beres
2. Eddie Moreno
3. Jerry Gurney
4. Chris Russell
1. Mimi Knoop
2. Katherine Folsom
3. Alex Harper
4. Evelyn Abad
1. Seth Sanders
2. Rowan Thunder
3. Koa Cortina
4. Harry Murphy
1. Jeff "Ffej" Hedges
2. Jason Richardson
3. Rodger Folsom
4. Tom Max
1. Ssippi -- Right Quick Chili
2. Josh Matlock -- Chili con Convict
3. Reija Collinson -- Kissin' Cousins Chili
4. Geoff Federoff -- Meat Mitts con Carne