Vans Downtown Showdown
Monday, September 5
Universal Studios Back Lot
The Vans Downtown Showdown, held Labor Day weekend on the Universal Studios Back Lot, was truly a one-of-a-kind event. Against a city backdrop more reminiscent of Brooklyn than Hollywood, streets and alleys covered with custom-built skating obstacles brought out the world’s top street skateboarders. Andrew Reynolds, Jamie Thomas, Eric Koston, and many other top pros who rarely, if ever, skate contests showed up for the Showdown to represent their skateboard teams.
Zero, Element, Birdhouse, Foundation, Toy Machine, Girl, Almost and Baker battled for more than $85,000 Labor Day at the first ever Downtown Showdown. With $50,000 up for the top skate team performance, and $10,000 for the top pro skater of the day, there was more than just board company honor on the line.
Each skateboard team was invited to submit designs for a custom obstacle. The top three were chosen and built to that team’s specifications. Along with two obstacles from two sponsors of the event, Tylenol and Scion, skateboard teams chose two riders to perform on each of the five highly original features.
When the dust settled, Toy Machine emerged as the top team of the day, edging Element, Girl and Baker. Making the top team title even more impressive was that injuries limited the Toy Machine team to Billy Marks, Josh Harmony and Matt Bennett so they were down a man all day long in the sweltering San Fernando Valley heat.
Here’s a break down of the best performances of the day:
Tylenol Street Gap -- Bryan Herman (kickflip nosegrind)
Scion Bank to Bank -- Andrew Reynolds (kickflip melon over the Scion)
Foundation Big Six -- Angel Ramirez (back smith, back lip)
Girl Torture Totter -- Ryan Sheckler (ollie on to the Totter, kickflip to flat)
Zero Stair Set/Bank -- Chris Cole (kickflip front blunt to fakie, 270 backside ollie to boardslide)
Top Am Performance -- Angel Ramirez (dominating Foundation Big Six)
Top Pro Performance -- Chris Cole (dominated the Zero and stood out all day)
Tylenol Special Award -- Andrew Reynolds (for going above and beyond the call all day long)
Overall Team Winner -- Toy Machine (only had 2 pros and an am)
Best Obstacle -- Foundation (Big Six -- functionality/artwork)
A big thanks to each of the teams that represented:
Zero: Jamie Thomas, Chris Cole, Keegan Sauder, Ryan Smith
Birdhouse: Brian Sumner, Aaron Suski, Steve Nesser, Jon Goeman
Baker: Andrew Reynolds, Kevin Long, Antwuan Dixon, Erik Ellington, Bryan Herman
Toy Machine: Billy Marks, Josh Harmony, Matt Bennett
Element: Mike Vallely, Jeremy Wray, Tosh Townend, Nyjah Huston
Girl: Eric Koston, Rick McCrank, Jereme Rogers, Sean Malto
Foundation: Cory Duffel, Gareth Stehr, Ethan Fowler, Angel Ramirez
Almost: Chris Haslam, Daewon Song, Ryan Sheckler, Cooper Wltt
Television: The Vans Downtown Showdown will air on Friday, September 30 during the Vans Off the Wall hour on Fox Sports Net at 3 -- 4 pm with subsequent airings on the FUEL action sports network.
Then look out for a special DVD release in time for the holidays.
The Vans Downtown Showdown is made possible by Tylenol, Scion and Epitaph.
For photos, video and more takes on the Vans Downtown Showdown, check out www.vans.com.
Their will be an upcoming benefit show being held October 8th at the Verizion Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California featuring some of the all time favorite bands of past Vans Warped tours and RockStar Energy Drinks Taste of Chaos tour. Line-up will be announced on Wednesday September 6th
The Dew Action Sports Tour, the first-ever, season-long professional multi-sport tour in action sports, begins four days of competition on Sept. 8 at the fourth stop on the Tour, the Toyota Challenge, at HP Pavilion. More than 150 of the top action sports athletes in the world will compete in skateboarding (vert and park), BMX (park, vert, and dirt), and freestyle motocross in pursuit of the Dew Cup and the largest prize purse in action sports.
Fans at the third stop on the Tour, the Vans Invitational, in Portland Aug. 18-21, witnessed some of the most heralded veterans in action sports battling it out against a bevy of talented newcomers for the top spots in the Tour’s standings. Highlights from the Vans® Invitational include:
Bucky Lasek of Baltimore, Md. fought off an upper respiratory illness to triumph over Andy Macdonald of Boston for the win in the Skateboard Vert Finals. Lasek claimed his second consecutive victory and remains first in the Skateboard Vert standings with 275 points. Macdonald placed second and sits 96 points behind Lasek in the standings. Brazil’s Sandro Dias finished third in Vans® Invitational action.
Skateboard Park competition saw Greg Lutzka of Milwaukee, Wis., narrowly edge current points leader Ryan Sheckler of San Clemente, Calif., with a wide array of technical tricks. Lutzka made one of the biggest jumps of the week, moving from 14th to fourth place in the Skateboard Park standings. Chad Fernandez of Los Angeles placed third and remains in second place in the standings with 201 points.