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.
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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.