1999 Vans Am Championships

Shoe giant hosts world's top ams at new skatepark.

Vans' third skatepark was the site of its fifth amateur championships in February. The skate-shoe giant brought 77 ams from eleven countries to the Ontario, California Vans Skatepark for the 1999 Vans Amateur World Championships Of Skateboarding and crowned two new pros. NorCal's Colt Cannon and Florida's Daniel Ehara won the street and vert events, respectively, earning each of themselves a one-year pro contract with Vans and a spot on the 2000 Vans Warped Tour.

Both winners suggested that they're a little nervous about turning pro, despite the fact that at January's SkatePark Of Tampa's am contest Cannon took second in street, and Ehara was third in vert. They admit that it will take a lot of work to be competitive at the pro level, but Ehara says that, regardless of one's status, the point is to have fun.

The top three spots in the street event went to American skaters, but international competitors again proved that vert thrives abroad. Second and third-place finishers in street are P.J. Ladd (eighteen) from Massachusetts and New Jersey's Jason Blome (nineteen), and runners up in vert are Thomas Madsen (26) of Copenhagen, Denmark and Peter King (21) of Kent, England.

The 77 finalists competing in Ontario qualified by winning contests along the 1999 Vans Warped Tour, which earned them all-expenses-paid trips to the finals. In addition to the winners, who are awarded the Vans contracts, many competitors of previous Vans Amateur World Championships contests have since turned pro.

The 2000 Vans Warped Tour kicks off June 28 in San Diego and will again host the Vans Amateur Series to qualify skaters for this year's amateur championships. For more information, log on to the Vans Warped Tour Web site at: www.warpedtour.com.