The 2012 World Championships 2012 was held in Paderborn, Germany. Here is a report by Hans Lucas:
As usual Paderborn did their best to pull off the best event they could, despite the partly sunny and partly rainy weather.
Skaters from as far as Australia, USA, Brazil, but also from "nearby" Romania welcomed eachother like they were one big reunited family.
On Saturday, the freestylers were welcomed by a raging talented Türi Zoltán, who apparently skated like his life depended on landing each of his tricks. Even though I already knew many of his tricks through the video links he shared with us, I still was surprised watching him skate, fully focused on the things he is very good at.
As the clouds gathered and rain started to spoil the skating, Asphaltsurfer member Ralf "Ratzi" Loser assured me that he was going to arrange a large tent for the event on Sunday. And so he did. To my surprise Ratzi even took some time to ask me if the skaters liked the contest.
To accomodate the skaters that had come from far, they were able to use the free tents near the freestyle area also on Sunday night. I feel that the organizers bend over backwards to make this event another succesful one - for the 13th time.
The Dutch Amateur Erwin "Shuv-it" Schuijtvlot was extremely relaxed, and proved that he completely mastered the extremely difficult but stylish tricks 2-foot nosewheelie spacewalk and the pumping frontside 360 nose manual. A very talented freestyler can present tricks like if they are very easy, instead of barely landing and then having to correct the balance. The best of both the Pros and Ams truly made that clear.
Warming up, Sebastian Heupel and Günter Mokulys already showed some of their amazing tricks and even warmed up the crowd because many started to clap watching them.
Marco Sassi was also skating with some unique tricks. Looking at Marco, Günter and Sebastian I could not help but wonder who would stay the master of his nerves during the runs.
In the end, Sebastians and Günters contest experience, together with more consistent and fluid runs by Christian and Albert, moved Marco to the 5th place.
For the WFSA, one of the highlights was the ceremony during which I handed over the 2012 WFSA Bob Staton Award for exceptional services to the international freestyle community(a trophee) to the organizing team.
Former pro Eli, a female freestyler from Belgium surprised everyone with her spacewalks, and made many spectators even cheer. She proved that someone from 50 can still skate, and skate well. Some of you may have a 1979 magazine that shows her name at an Oceanside contest. Eli used to be sponsored by Banzai, and later by Bad Co.
As a bonus, all contest skaters received free "Mönster" drinks.
I was surprised how quiet the public was while a skater performed an excellent 180 kickflip during his run. And also when the winner of the Amateurs did pumping nosewheelies. Do spectators understand how very hard it is to perform these tricks? Or is everyone spoiled by the nollie fingerflips, the carousels and the railflips to rail? Or... does this indicate the high level of the skaters, who make it look like any rookie skater could perform these tricks?
Results and photos of World championships 2012 >
To commemorate the WFSA founder Bob Staton who passed away in February 2011, the WFSA decided to arrange the WFSA Bob Staton Award.
This Award is a way to show our gratitude to one or more persons who over a period of many years has/have put a lot of effort in organizing freestyle skateboard events, just like Bob did.
The first WFSA Bob Staton Award was handed over on 8th July to the organizers of the 15th Paderborner BBQ Contest, which this year gained the status of World Championships.
It consists of a 30 cm high trophee with the text "2012 WFSA Bob Staton Award for exceptional services to the freestyle community". Another detail of the trophee are 2 hands that shake eachother, which represent the required cooperation between volunteers to achieve the common goal.
The Paderborn BBQ Contest organizing team consists – among others – of the following persons:
Ralf "Ratzi" Loser
The World Round-Up in Canada was a huge success! The goal the organizers of the event Kevin harris, Monty Little and Kai Dunkel had was to take freestyle to higher levels, and not only with pricemoney but also the level of fun. It was not only a contest, but also demos and sessions, and very much like a freestyle skateboard camp.
The pros judged the ams and the ams judges the pros. Plans are to make this an annual event, and thisfirst year was very much an experiement with different formats and judging.
Legendary freestyler Russ Howell was the announcer together with Kevin Harris. Kevin joined the demos and so did Kilian Martin. Another legend at the event was skateboard photographer Jim Goodrich, that documented skateboarding on film in the 1970's and early 1980's.
After several freestylers had nagged Lillis for quite some time about organizing the World Championships in Sweden, he realized he could no longer run away from it.. He teamed up with a few freestylers to organize the World Championships in Freestyle Skareboarding for the very first time in Sweden.
First the plan was to organize it in Stockholm and after some time of planning to make sure it would be possible, everything was pretty much set. The permit for the contest area was verbally approved and was about to be sent to Lillis when suddenly another party within the city stepped in and decided the concrete area (ice rink in the winter) that was going to be used as the freestyle area was going to be turned into a garden during the summer!
Fortunately the organizers of Ultra Bowl 3 in Malmö already had their eyes on freestyle. Two years ago Lillis did a demo there and last year Lillis and Kevin Harris did a very appreciated show there as well. So the contest got moved down to Malmö instead.
Being part of a huge event as Ultra Bowl required lots of detailed planning. Freestyle was not going to be a sideevent, so a detailed schedule took form during a few months to make sure there would be enough time for all the events. Ultra Bowl had three days of competition so Friday became the qualification, Saturday the semi finals and Sunday the finals. The timeslots were a bit short this time, and being guests at the Ultra Bowl, the freestyle event organizers wanted to adhere to their wishes for the schedule as much as possible, so only one run would be possible. This is not unheard of, it has happened before. It puts more pressure on the riders, but for the crowd it may feel less repetitive and for the Ultra Bowl as a whole it would be better if the freestyle event did not take too long time, especially on Sunday, the day for the finals. But being part of Ultra Bowl added so much more, like a big crowd that sat and watched throughout the whole freestyle event, live webcasting with 5000 viewers a day, a big screen over the skatepark, and 100% skateboarding energy during three days. And many days to go out for dinners and sightseeing!
As always a contest is for many an opportunity to meet, skate and hang out. The freestyle community is a rather tight community, but scattered all over the world, and a bigger contest like this brings many friends together. The competition aspect itself even becomes secondary for some.
The biggest problem was as always to find judges. The more traditional way is to have five judges when there is a 0-100 judging format, and the highest and lowest scores gets deleted. But finding even three judges was hard for the organizers and as it was three judges last year in Philly that had to do in Malmö as well, not ideal, but would do. New this time was that before the contest an email was sent out to all registered riders with different options for formats and judging, and based on the feedback formats and judging was decided.
Lillis herniated disc seemed to be better and after so many second places in the World Championships he took first on homeground. Greyson Asthon from Kentucky, who won the amateur division last year, entered the pro division and took second, and in third was Günter Mokulys.
In the amatuer division Shaun Gladwell from Australia took first, Matheus Navarro from Brazil came in second and Felix "Fleppo" Jonsson in third.
This time there were no womens division, so Yukiko "Mic" Murayama, the reigning womens World Champion, had to compete in the amatuer division and placed 6th.
Legendary freestyler Per Welinder made it back to homeground and joined the Friday afternoon show in central Malmö. He and Dave Duncan was also the announcers of the freestyle event.
Results World championships 2011 >
The tradition keeps on for the Paderborn contest, and next year they will celebrate the 15th anniversary. This year they showed their creativity and managed to run the contest despite the rain. Ams managed to do their two runs on the outdoor area, while the pros had to show thier ability to adapt to different areas and circumstances and had to do their second run in a small tent set up on the area.
Results, Paderborn World Cup 2011 >
Bob Staton, also known as SteelWheelBob, passed away at 10:45 on Tuesday, January 25th 2011.
In 2001, he was one of the founders of the WFSA.
His dreams and goals in life were all dedicated to Freestyle Skateboarding. He gave us contests, he gave us inspiration and passion. He would build trophies out of anything just so we freestylers can take something home with pride.
His heart and soul was built on skateboarding. Bob Staton showed us how much we really do care about our choice of skateboarding. We are the outcasts; Bob gave us a home and the inspiration to keep a roof over that home.
Last year he wanted to be less involved with the WFSA due to his health issue. But he never stopped coming with ideas and suggestions.
We will miss him.
His ashes will be scattered in the ocean near University Point in Santa Barbara, California at 2PM on Saturday April 2nd.
Finally some of the larger skateboard companies such as Powell have recognised freestyle and sponsored the event with the largest pricemoney for decades, maybe the largest since the 1970's. But what was most unique with this contest was not the pricemoney, the attendance of competitors from many different countries such as Brazil, Japan, Sweden, Germany, legendary Russ Howell showing up, Günther taking 1st place in the pro division again, Mic from Japan taking 1st in the womens division for the second year in a row, Lillis skating with only footworks and wheelies due to a bad herniated disc and sciatic pain, Sean Burke hammering tricks, Kevin Harris smooth stylish skating, Kilian Martin as Karate Kid, A.J and J.J driving the skaters around and making sure everyone had a great time. No. It was the friendliness between the skaters and the shared love for the sport and the appreciation of the freestyle community that really made this contest special. This has been building up throughout the years and it was very visible this time as so many showed up from different parts of the world.
Results, World Championships 2010 >
With one of the bigger contests in decades taking place on the east coast of the USA, it for sure need to be contests and events taking place where freestyle skateboarding was invented: the west coast of the USA. Unfortunately the freestyle scene in California is not that very big (but is growing), far from as big as the east coast and countries such as Brazil, Japan and Germany. But that is no reason to not organise events and make freestyle grow in California. And while in California, why not do more than a contest?
By inspiration from Bob Staton, Ben Farquar took the lead in the organisation and set up both a contest and a jam. Reverse Freestyle Skateboards partners Lynn Cooper and Lillis flew in from Colorado and Sweden to put on the Reverse video party, right after the jam and the contest. It was a very well received video party. Lillis and Lynn went and bought pizza for everyone, then told the story about how Reverse was founded and how it was the first freestyle based company in decades and what the purpose is and how they have survived for so many years. Then everyone's attention was on the TV screen. And 100% attention was needed, as Lynn had brought never before seen freestyle footage from the 1980's. Everyone was suprised to see tricks that have never seen before, tricks that they did not know existed.
Results, Venice Pro Am Contest and Jam 2010 >
The contest in Paderborn has been a tradition for many years now. The good freestyle area, the large crowds and the attendance of top freestylers from all over Europe makes this contest a must for many freestylers. This year Kilian Martin suprised everyone by taking first place.
Results, Paderborn World Cup 2010 >
Held at Lalaport, the biggest shopping mall in Tokyo, this contest set a landmark for freestyle contests. Not only one of the biggest contest in this decade, but according to some also one of the biggest and most well organised since 1986.
Results and videoclips, World Championships 2009 >
Once again a crew of happy freestylers met up on the near to perfect freestyle area in Glendale, California. This years event consisted of the 2009 West Coast Flatland Freestyle Championship, Flatland Battle, Team Game of SKATE and Hippie Jump.
Photo gallery >
A team of European freestylers toured the North America and dominated the contests. Here are the results of the CanAm, Vancouver BC, August 2, 2009.
The SkateBarn in Seattle hosted the 2009 US Open National Flatland Freestyle Championships.
It was all well planned with an outdoor fenced off freestyle area and a PA-system. All that was missing was the sun, and many of the events at this years NASS got rained off. Some ramps dried up, but the freestyle area stayed wet. The organisers of the freestyle event, Callum Bowran and Darran Nolan would however not let the rain cancel the freestyle event and have the freestylers from 5 nations just watch the indoor events. Instead they arranged a place inside the main hall on what some, like Lillis, considered be one of the best freestyle surfaces. Only problem was that there were contests in skateboarding, inline, BMX and more going on at the street course in the main hall all day and night, which made it difficult to have access to the PA-system. So we were faced with two options: cancel the freestyle event, or run it with only partial music. Of course no one wanted to cancel the freestyle event!
A huge success on all levels! Freestylers from 8 nations participated, and a crowd of 500+ came to watch the freestyle event.
"This site is suspended". That short message was what the visitors of the WFSA forum got in front of their eyes when visiting the WFSA forum. A hacker has placed a vicious file on our domain and now we are trying to solve the problem and upgrading the forum to protect from future attacks.
The World Championships 2009 is set to October 24–25 in Japan. More info at the events section.
As you can see we have re-designed the WFSA website. The structure and the content is pretty much the same so you will feel at home.
As F-Magazine no longer gets updated, the F-Forum will change name to WFSA forum. The purpose will still be the same, and both F-Magazine and F-Forum was produced by the WFSA. F-Magazine will however still be up there for some time.