Three contests into the European stage of world skateboarding and things are beginning to boil in the kitchen. In the two previous comps (Austria and Prague) the American contingent has been limited, most of the pros have either been travelling, filming, or on tour. This weekend, however, saw them all in one hall at the side of the peaceful Lake Geneva in the Swiss town of Lausanne.
A contest with a difference: the skaters actually loved the street course. This can be put down to the fact that Kareem Campbell, Eric Koston, (and others) had some input on the floor plan. The course had a lot of ledges, minimum transitions, and let a lot of the real street skaters shine. From Friday’s practice it was easy to see who’d be in the finals—Girl skater Rick McCrank was definitely laying it down with ease, highlights included a 180 switch crooked grind from bank to box. Later Rick took it to the main handrail where all the media converged to document a 270 backside lipslide plus a host of other tricks. Brian Anderson and Koston were also being talked about.
Saturday saw the main four heats get underway. Colt Cannon looked good as did some of the new Brazilian crew; the standout being a new kid named Fabrizio Santos. Put this name in the back of your head because this kid is going to cause some major stirs. It was his Cabellerial backside tailslide that got one of the biggest cheers of the day (he also goes by the nick name of Cara De Sapo which roughly translated means “he with face of frog”).
Slam of the day (and eventually the weekend) went to Ed Templeton who locked on a boardslide and flew to a dome skidder (which took out a chunk of hair the size of a ping pong ball). They say bad things happen in threes, poor Ed has taken three bad injuries in Europe within as many years. The stitches and neck brace say it all, even so, Ed seemed in good spirits, and was more worried about his hair growing back than anything else.
The day of the finals seemed to go on forever. It ended up having way too many skaters in the finals. The two runs seemed to go on until the cows came home. In amongst all this were the three skaters I mentioned before, all of who were laying down some shit. Fabrizio put in a run that just managed to beat Koston’s previous effort and would have been insane had he landed a 180 frontside flip to revert.
Results were being announced as the skaters finished and it didn’t take long to see who that was going to be. Rick McCrank had been the main threat all weekend, it was just a matter of time. Within his forty-five second run Rick sent shivers down everyone’s spines with the highest ever-recorded score in the history of skateboarding-99.67.
The line went 50-50 on a bump to ledge, kickflip up a bank to platform, switch frontside boardslide on the main rail, hardflip over the funbox, half cab kickflip, backside tailsllde, and 180 tailslide and to finish a 270 backside lipslide on the main rail. All breathtaking stuff, done with the ease of and afternoons stroll in the park. The best man won.
After the street contest, the vert comp was a real let down. In the semis Bob Burnquist and Rune Glifberg had been ripping, so had Max Schaaf. The finals saw Bob and then Rune fall, which let the gate open for the others. Buster was skating rad as was Renton Miller who came in with a suspect tenth position which should have been much higher. It was real close with only one point dividing the top three.
Everyone went there separate ways until meeting once again next weekend at Dortmund.
1. Rick McCrank
2. Carlos De Andrade
3. Fabrizio Santos
4. Eric Koston
5. Chris Senn
1. Pierre Luc Gagnon
2. Sandria Dia
3. Max Dufour
4. Max Schaaf
5. Buster Halterman