Bastien Salabanzi Wins
adidas Skateboard Clash 2009
Creativity, top notch international skateboarding and relaxed moments – that was adidas clash, round 5, in a nutshell. It was a memorable weekend for both riders and spectators, with a creative new street course designed by Jan Kliewer, a freshly extended D.I.Y. concrete bowl, a highly anticipated premiere of the new adidas video “Diagonal” and perfect summer weather. The weekend was also a kind of comeback – that of a contest legend: a charging Bastien Salabanzi came in first. Prague’s Martin Jurasek won the “Death or Glory Bowl Jam”.
What happened on May 23rd and 24th was no business as usual. Just like last year, the sun was a special guest, but the street course was given a facelift by Berlin local and German Kingpin editor Jan Kliewer. Thanks to many new bank elements, a doubleset or a „Pier 7“ manual spot, the course was more versatile than ever and demanded some creative skills. The material used for the ledges was not only superb but historical: the granite stems from the old building of the “Palast der Republik” – photographer Adam Sello (Anzeigeberlin) helped to secure the sacred material.
The crowd of competitors was more international than ever. Riders like Klaus Bohms from Brazil, Benny Fairfax from England, Bastien Salabanzi from France or the American delegation aka Skater of the Year Silas Baxter-Neal, Tim O’Connor and Dennis Busenitz made for an incredible level of skating and demonstrates just how popular “the Clash” has become. The skating, the creative environment and the relaxed atmosphere in and around the hall – with sun chairs, catering, a bar and a cafe – attracted many people – over 3000 over the course of the weekend. The general good mood was raised even more with the premiere of the new adidas video „Diagonal“ in the crowded patio on Saturday night. From there, the crowd went straight to the aftershowparty in the Cassiopeia club.
The street course was dominated by creative skateboarders with fluid lines outside of the norm. The level of skating made yet another step, with serious bangers even in the runs. Hamburg’s Michi von Fintel nailed a first try switch treflip down the doubleset, Dennis Busenitz ollied up the doubleset and Klaus Bohms nollie frontside noseslid the hubba ledge with ease. The riders used the whole weekend to get to know and skate the versatile street course – because the new elements created so many new possibilities. The atmosphere was relaxed all weekend and even the best trick contest was mellow, spread out over three different sessions.
Between heats, many riders took the opportunity and went for a few sessions in the self-made concrete bowl at the back entrance of the hall. The bowl was beautiful, not only because of the summery weather. Over the course of a few weeks, the bowl had been extended by the locals – now it takes up almost the full space of the patio. It’s a unique piece of skateboard architecture that makes every trick a challenge – even just keeping enough speed to make it to the other side.
The atmosphere in the bowl was just like last year – filled with adrenalin. Like gladiators, the competitors went for the battle aka „Death or Glory Bowl Jam“ – people like Germany’s Anders Tellen, local ripper Jrgen Horrwarth, Martin Jurasek from Prague or Frenchman Seb Daurel. The crowd went nuts when the riders speeded through the corners and dropped in together in the jams, and they held their breath when two of them collided – Jrgen and Julian Dykmans. Most people expected broken ribs, but after a few minutes, both went away laughing. In the end, Martin Jurasek won with a huge transfer into the miniramp, high bs airs and switch wizardry.
The street competition’s winner was a surprise – but then again not. During the weekend, Bastien Salabanzi pushed his level higher and higher. In the end, he hammered precise halfcab flips down the doubleset, flip backlips on the uprail and switch 270 frontboards down the rail.
3000,- Euros of a total purse of 9000,- Euros went to Bastien. He was followed by Axel Cruysbergh, with shorter hair and more energy on his board. A well deserved third place went to Germany’s Thomas Weber, who nailed incredible bigflips down the doubleset. Another highlight came right after the final – Klaus Bohms’ smooth flip back noseblunt on the hubba ledge, which won best trick.
The adidas Skateboard Clash is a longtime cooperative effort by the “Skatehalle Berlin” and adidas. After five consecutive events, it keeps on going and growing. Thanks to a new lease contract, the location is now secured for the next decade. The contest and everything happening around the „Skatehalle Berlin“ is a direct product of Berlin’s active skate scene.
1. Bastien Salabanzi (FR)
2. Axel Cruysbergh (BE)
3. Thomas Weber (DE)
1. Martin Jurasek (CZ)
2. Jrgen Horrwarth (DE)
3. Anders Tellen (DE)
Best Trick Pier 7 Manual Pad
Helder Lima (P)
Best Trick China Banks
Andre Gerlich (D)
Best Trick Double Set, Rail, Ledge
Klaus Bohms (BRA)
Check www.skatehalle-berlin.de for the full package, or visit the media partners Kingpinmag.com and PLACE.TV.