Being the 3rd year for this event there was a little more competitive spirit in the air but it still came down to everyone just being happy and excited to be present. The first year of The World Round Up was all about showcasing the best Freestyle Skateboarders in the world and setting a precedence for a new world-wide competition, the second year was a reunion of sorts which attracted even more competitors than year one and created a true family feel to this event, and the third year was even better. When these guys fly into town from other countries they are super excited to be in Canada and even more excited to show off what they dedicate their lives to for hundreds of people day after day. Interesting features this year was Shen Meng being the first skater from China to participate in a world-wide contest and little 11 year old Isamu Yamamoto coming all the way from Japan to try and prove that he could be the next biggest thing in Freestyle. Isamu dominated the Amateur competition all weekend and managed to squeeze out the win. Everyone will remember that forever.
So making the recap video was pretty amazing, I love being invited each year by Monty Little and Kevin Harris to film this event and create something special out of it. After getting to know all the competitors from the last 2 years I have made a bunch of great relationships and really respect these guys in a lot of ways. Freestyle skateboarding is such a rare entity and the people that name themselves true Freestylers are very strong people, and they all seem happy just to go skate. This year I really wanted to focus on the feelings and emotions that pass through all the competitors’ minds over the 4 day weekend. Everybody always talks about how awesome it is to be in a room with so many people that they consider family, and I think I know why they are so tight. Think back to when skateboarding was fully not accepted in society, this was when street skating just became a trend and pool skating was all trespassing. All skateboarders were shunned by the community, people judged us without ever knowing us and they put us down for being ourselves and doing something creative that made us feel good and accomplished inside. Now think of the way that the skateboard community feels about Freestyle Skaters, a lot of it seems like we treat them the way that the whole world used to treat us. People diss freestyle but what are they actually dissing? Just other human beings that found something they love to do and dedicate their lives to. I’ll tell you why I love these guys – because no matter how many times they have been pushed down they keep on standing strong, they do what they love and they do it to the best of their ability, and no matter where they are it’s always about promoting skateboarding in a positive way. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
After 3 years at this event I feel blessed to know all of these guys and appreciate that they accept me into their family. With less than 300 freestyle skaters in the world, you know that you are meeting the best of the best, and every single one of them is the most humble, most appreciative, and most supportive person you will ever meet. So sit back and check out this recap video of The 2014 World Round Up Freestyle Championships and feel the love…
Another amazing day at the World Round Up 2014 as the best of the best Freestyle Skateboarders in the world competed for the top places in the Finals of this 3 day event. The atmosphere was positive and everyone was having fun, but you could feel the want of the win in the air. Being the 3rd year for this event it is beginning to become more important to try to win but all in all it is still about having fun and showing off skateboarding in a positive way to crowds of people that might not know much about skateboarding in general, and they were all loving it all day long. Every competitor was on their game today and there was a ton of flawless runs in both the Amateur and Professional divisions. Talk of the event was around 11 year old Isamu Yamamoto in the Am category and whether or not he could maintain top position and take 1st place at his first ever world event. Kaue Araujo and Andy Anderson were battling hard to try to take that opportunity away from the little dude but just couldn’t quite do it. Isamu held on with amazing skills and won his first international Gold Medal!! Way to go dude!
In the Pros it was insanity all the way from 15th right to top qualifying positions but the top 5 owned it and stayed the top 5 at the end. All 5 had at least one flawless run each and it must have been super hard to judge. Rene Shigueto, Per Cangaru, Mike Osterman, Jesse Whalen and Guenter Mokulys laid it down for the audience and blew away the other competitors. It came down to 1 point separating the 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place spots and ended in a great way with Mike Osterman from the USA taking Gold over Guenter, and leaving Jesse with the Bronze. What a way for Mike to celebrate his 21st birthday!! Tears were shed, hugs were happening and everyone was stoked. This was another great example of how tight the freestyle world is and how much these guys love eachother. Mike Osterman took home $3,000 for placing on top but he was more excited about the fact that he skated his best and somehow beat the machine.
With demos all day, presentations by Constable Troy Derrick, and plenty of awesome contest runs, the crowd of spectators was constant and all went home with a story to tell. This event is growing and it is great to be a part of it.
After the first 2 days of the 3rd annual World Round Up Freestyle Championships it is no doubt that this year has the craziest skating going on. With a flock of new Amateurs and a couple old time Pros showing up it is definitely different from last year. All the competitors are stoked to be in Canada again, or for the first time for some, and the positive vibes fill the room. This year’s highlights include a barely 11 year old prodigy child from Japan named Isamu Yamamoto who so far has been blowing away the audience as well as the judges with his pure skills and straight confidence, he is a natural skateboarder and showman for sure. He will be heading into the Finals in 1st place position and will be trying his hardest to continue his successful runs and finish on top of the Amateur division. Right on his tail though is local boy Andy Anderson who is trying a little harder in this his 3rd year at the event. Last year he finished 3rd in Amateur and I’m sure he wants to keep it in the top 3 again. Andy’s skill level, creativity and consistency is awesome and gets all the other competitors excited, especially the Pros.
Another cool factor is that lasts year’s Amateur winner Ryan Brynelson has moved up to the Pro division for his first Pro contest, and so far he’s sitting in 6th Place against some true legends of Freestyle. A good chunk of the Pro division riders are in their 40’s and 50’s and are fully trained to never miss a trick. With guys like Guenter Mokulys,Lucio Lima, Rogerio Antigo, Per Cangaru, AJ Kohn & Stefan Akesson on the floor the crazy lines never stop.This year’s Finals is going to be amazing and right now it is anyone’s chance – top 15 are in there with 20 year old Mike Osterman and 50 year old Guenter Mokulys battling out first and second place by 1 point. Right now the reigning champion from last year Guenter is in 1st but Osterman really wants his chance to be the champ at the2014 World Round Up.
Below are some photos from the first 2 days.
Finals happen Sunday May 18th 11am- 5:30pm inside the Curling Rink at The Cloverdale Rodeo
Mike Faux, better known as Hippie Mike of Protest Skateboards, will be covering the entire 3rd annual World Freestyle Round-Up through articles and videos. Until then, you can read up on last years competition, plus some pre-event news here.
Darryl Grogan, the 2012 First Place winner of the World Freestyle Round-Up Pro Division, brings his talents as a freestyle skater and video producer to this year’s Contest Trailer. In this 2 1/2 minute fast-paced video Darryl has featured highlights from both the 2012 and 2013 contests capturing the action, professionalism and excitement of this world-class freestyle contest.