I had never been to a flatland contest before, so when Boost Mobile and Es shoes presented their Game of Skate at the ASR Trade Show last weekend I took my camera and drove the San Diego Convention Center to watch it. Like Adelmo Junior told me, “It’s a cool event because it goes back to skateboardings roots and what it was when it started. All you need is a flat surface and anybody can do it.”
As it turned out, this also means that anybody with enough skills and dedication can be really good at it, since you can probably find a flat surface to practice almost everywhere in the world. So it shouldn’t be unusual to see unknown skaters doing well at this type of event, but it’s unlikely some of the competitors and fans were expecting the surprises that laid ahead.
The first unusual thing I noticed was old school freestyler Darryl Grogan advancing through the rounds competing against modern street skaters. Some of his tricks were hard to match and gave some younger skaters a quick reminder of the origins of technical skating. Some of the longest battles happened between PJ Ladd and Dylan Gardner, Sierra Fellers and Danny Cerezini. Other standouts included Chico Brenes, Torey Pudwill, Marquis Preston and Jimmy Carlin, who seemed to do his tricks with more speed than most.
But the real surprise was an 18 year old amateur from Germany called Alex Mizurov. He earned his entry to the contest by winning the amateur contest they had earlier that day and throughout the pro contest it became apparent that his deep bag of tricks and consistency were going to be efficient against any kind of skater. He met Chris Cole in the final, who had also been advancing through the rounds in a confident and relaxed manner. I imagine the event organizers couldn’t have been happier with the way things turned out as these two matched each others tricks for a long time producing “the most exciting Game of Skate final I’ve ever seen” according to Fabrizio Santos. Alex seemed amazed at Cole’s tricks, but he never failed to duplicate every single one of them. Double 360 flips and triple kickflips performed by both skaters were some of the finals highlights. In the end Alex won the game with a switch backside 180 late flip and got the 10 000 dollar prize check.
This year the event was open to the public, which allowed a lot more people to see it. It was also harder to capture with photos than I thought it would be. Double and triple flips on flat ground are too fast for your standard 8 frames per second photo sequences. I’ll know not to try this again until Canon comes out with a camera that can do at least 20 frames per second.
For more information and video clips of what happened check out