While known for its mountain ranges and big sky, the Colorado beauty was dealt an extra royal flush this weekend. The Zumiez Best Foot Forward Am contest hammered into town with the force of an avalanche. A crowd of hundreds snowballed onto the Zumiez Couch Tour grounds at Denver’s Flatiron Crossing.
The elevation in Denver is way up there. Don’t expect to breathe well if you’re trekking across the mountains. These skateboard enthusiasts wouldn’t let the thin air hold them back though. Another story was the heat. On a beautiful Saturday with the sun blazing above, the temperature on the masonite reached a sultry 103 degrees.
“This might get bad,” we heard from one of the EMT technicians as the skaters began practicing. “With this kind of heat, those kids are going to be dropping like flies.” She went on to say, “I’ve seen harsh cases of dehydration in my line of work, you’d better keep them drinking water.” No problem we thought, Zumiez’s staff was on with all the H2O they could handle.
As the rounds began and the shredding commenced, we saw dudes like Aaron Lee and Devin Lanahan killing it. Also advancing to the invitational round was the Pullol brothers, Quentin and Jude.
The invitational rounds went off with mind-boggling, hammer-dropping reality. The BFF judges almost weren’t ready for the supercharged mayhem. There were so many tricks and heavy-hitting maneuvers, it was like watching 40 ping pong matches at once–dudes and boards flying every which way.
The final five came down to Julian Christianson, John Hererra, Dave Mull, Phil Hansen and Trent McQueen.
Taking home the Zumiez Destroyer Award was John Hererra. John ripped the handrail and rocked out on the bump-to-ledge like none other.
Coming in third with clean kickflip back lips on the bump-to-ledge was Phil Hansen. Second place was taken home by Best Foot Forward staple and a homie who has earned himself the moniker, “The Working Man,” Dave Mull. He was literally jumping off the Couch Tour RV and into the big bank ramp. Dave killed absolutely killed the course. Despite the sweltering heat, Dave Mull managed to pull off dozens of eye-gouging maneuvers on the masonite course.
The star of the day was Denver’s own, Julian Christianson. When it comes to solid clean landings, you can tell Julian has been in the game for a long time. His patented switch tail 270 outs may never be matched on this BFF course. Along with a bevy of flip tricks down the double set and off the loading dock, Julian stacked up the tricks and rocked himself into first place. Having won the BFF contest for the fourth year in a row, Julian was still not satisfied.
Perhaps he is just some supernatural being descending upon us mere mortals to toy with our emotions. For fun, Julian decided to throw down switch front 270 lipslides down the handrail during the best trick contest. It was all just a game to him. Amongst 180 nosegrinds and attempted 360 double flips, Julian walked away with the TransWorld Best Trick award.
The finals in Minneapolis are shaping up to be some sort of an eagerly anticipated free for all with the nation’s ripping ams ready to shred. We can only wait and see what madness the rest of the Best Foot Forwward contests have in store for us as the summer heat continues to climb.