Sebo Walker took first place at this past weekend’s Redbull Manny Mania National Am series at Stoner Plaza in LA. It was a close decision due to Chris Mendes landing some insane manuals but everyone was pleased with the amount of great skating that went down. Sebo’s now headed to NYC for the World Am finals and a chance at the Pro Manny Mania August 21. Check out the wrap up photos below and a little video put together by Jason Rogers.
Photos: Phil Blair
OFFICIAL REDBULL PRESS RELEASE:
BEST OF THE BALANCING ACT:
SEBASTIAN WALKER WINS RED BULL MANNY MANIA U.S. AM NATIONAL FINAL
July 9, 2011 – (Los Angeles, CA) – On a typical day skateboarder Sebastian “Sebo” Walker goes to sleep in his van, but tonight he will go to bed a champion with a ticket to New York after winning the Red Bull Manny Mania U.S. National Final at Stoner Park. His creative skating earned his way to represent the United States at the Red Bull Manny Mania AM World Final on August 20th, 2011.
The estimated crowd of 1500 was treated to a two-wheel showdown, as Walker proved himself worthy of the title and a ticket to the Big Apple. He had to fight off strong competition from Chris Mendes and Cody Cepeda in the finals on a set of custom manny pad obstacles that allowed for creative lines and endless combinations. The field of 21 amateur skaters was made from winners of 12 local qualifiers around the country and a select group of wild cards. Walker won the Las Vegas stop earlier this summer.
Walker’s passion for skateboarding has taken him from his hometown of Salem, Oregon to Los Angeles, where he sleeps in his van in order to dedicate himself completely to the sport. “It’s expensive to live down here, just to save money I have a mattress in a van. It makes me productive. I have a gym membership so I can shower and clean up right around the corner and that’s all I need. I skate all day.” Today his sacrifice paid off in front of his home skatepark with a supportive crowd.
According to judge Steve Hernadez, the high level of technical skill among all the finalists made it difficult to pick a winner. “The skating is getting absolutely ridiculous. So tech, it’s getting so consistent – it’s really hard to judge actually. In the finals they were all only points away, literally one point away.” However, Walker gave himself the edge. “Sebo had a wider variety of tricks, His nollie 180 heel to switch manual on the big box was off the chain. He completely tore that thing apart. That trick alone put him in first.” It also earned him a nod for the Skateboarder Magazine “Box to Bump” best trick.
Perhaps the overall biggest trick of the day came from Chris Mendes with a 360 flip nose manual, nollie flip out. The difficult combo earned him “Berrics Best Trick” honors. The level of skateboarding not only impressed the crowd, but also last year’s U.S. champion Bert Wootton. “The contest today was amazing, everyone was killing it. The skateboarders were ripping way harder than last year. A lot of the guys were doing some of the craziest stuff I had ever seen.”
Next up for Sebastian Walker will be his first ever trip to New York, where he will skate for the U.S. carrying the hopes of world domination on his back wheels against skaters from around the globe. The winner of the Red Bull Manny Mania World Final gets a single, coveted spot in the Red Bull Manny Mania Pro contest, held on Sunday, August 21st.
The humble Walker is ready for the challenge. “Stoner was the perfect park for the finals. I’m representing for the U.S. so I’m going to do my best for everybody and hopefully I can do my best for all the people supporting me.” The Red Bull Manny Mania World Final will give him a chance at the skateboarding spotlight, and perhaps an upgrade from the van to a permanent place to rest his wheels.
Red Bull Manny Mania U.S Final Top 10:
1 Sebastian Walker (Santa Monica, CA)
2 Chris Mendes (Moreno Valley, CA)
3 Cody Cepeda (Croswell, MI)
4 George Barnett (Louisville, KY)
5 Ray Maldonado (La Puente, CA)
6 Carlos Lastra (Long Beach, CA)
7 Ben Fisher (Orange County, CA)
8 Bert Wootton (Orlando, FL)
9 Justin Schulte (Los Angeles, CA)
10 Spencer Brown (Baltimore, MD)
Berrics’ Best Trick: Chris Mendes – 360 Flip Nose Manual to Nollie Out
Skateboarder Magazine Bump to Box Best Trick: Sebastian Walker – Nollie 180 Heel Flip Fakie Manual
Red Bull Manny Mania World Am Final: Coleman Park, New York City, NY – August 20, 2011
Red Bull Manny Mania Pro Final: Coleman Park, New York City, NY – August 21, 2011