Bringing a taste of California to the Italian Riviera, the 3rd annual Vans Off The Wall Spring Classic, firmly cemented its position as the premier International Miniramp contest. Over 45 riders, from as far away as Argentina, competed for a place in the final and a share of the €10'000 prize purse.
And it wasn't just the mini ramp exploits grabbing the crowd’s attention…DJ’s and live bands kept the Vans Off the Wall Music Stage rocking whilst a custom built stair set played host to a killer best trick comp.
The event's unique location further added to the Cali vibes as the Ingoramps designed Miniramp and the stage were situated in a prime location right in the middle of Varazze's famous coastline and short paddle away from the best Surf spot in Italy - perfect for those who prefer the real thing to sidewalk surfing.
Friday was the first day of the event and gave the local talent the option for 5 wildcard qualifying spots in Saturday’s invite only competition. As the sun went down, a roster of Italian hardcore acts including La Crisi and Dufresne hit the stage playing well in to the night to an appreciative audience, many of whom were arriving for the weekend party extravaganza.
Saturday came around all to quick and despite the blistering sun, a sizable audience left their sun beds to gather round and watch the crème de la crème of International Miniramp Skaters taking their turn in the qualifying sessions with 45 riders fighting for one of the 21 final spots of the big Sunday showdown.
The Qualifiers were followed by the best trick comp on the custom-built stair set testing the constants Street skating capabilities. The following riders got their fair share of the €2000 prize purse: Tobias Fleischer (Fs Feeble and Fs Tail 270), Filippo Baronello (Finger flip, Tre flip and 50/50 on the barrier), Fernando Bramsmark (Nosegrind on Hubba, Bs Ollie to Switch 50/50 and Fs Nose grind on the barrier) and Steffen Austenheim (Biggie board on rail).
As day turned into night, the crowds began to swell for an all out beach party starting with the electro mix of local heroes DJ Parro and the Saint Catherine Collective. The night culminated in a near riot caused by the electro house offerings of the UK DJ duo Jack Beats as over 5000 revelers danced the night away, in this unique location.
Still feeling the aftermath of the night before, Sunday’s finals were an intense affair with the 21 qualifiers pitted against each other for on of the 14 unique prizes on offer. Taking a new
approach to the old and rusty format, Vans decided to run the finals a little different. Instead of honouring the Top Skaters only, Vans decided to open up the opportunities and award the individual talent and potential of each contestant. As a result people walked away with their share of the €10000 Prize money for awards including the best line, the most creative, the most technical and the best switch Trick etc. The effect was that every finalist gave their best and the huge crowd was rewarded with some next level Miniramp wizardry.
Overlooked by Vans Vert Legend Jeff Grosso who honored the Vans Spring Classic with his presence and unique insight throughout the day, a special mention goes out to Greg Nowik who destroyed the ramp and defied all opinions of what is possible in a miniramp, Daan Vanderlinden who showed some of his older counterparts how it should be done as well as Jake Collins & Sam Beckett who collided so heavily that their Final runs were unfortunately cut short. A big thank you to all of the Riders who made their way to this amazing contest, the final results are as follows:
• The Air Freshener (Most Original tricks): David Sanchez (Spain)
• The Condor (Highest Air): Diego Doural (Spain)
• The Smooth Operator (Best Style): Josh Young (UK)
• The Surgeon & The Toe Mixer (Best technical rider & Best Switch trick/ Ride): Trevor Johnson (UK)
• The Bingo Winner (Luckiest move): Dani Leon (Spain)
• The Punisher & The Good Ol’Boy (Gnarliest trick/ride & Best oldskool tricks/ride: Greg Nowik (UK)
• The Easy Rider (Longest Rock or Lipslide): John Magnusson (Sweden)
• The Line Executor (Best line/combo): Julien Benoliel (France)
• The Innovator Best use of the ramp: Ross McGouran (UK)
• The Wheelchair Masters (Worst slam): Jake Collins & Sam Beckett (UK)
• The Cruising Gentlemen (Best attitude): Fernando Bramsmark (Sweden)
• The Tsunami (Overall best rider of the Weekend): Daan Vanderlinden (Holland)
• The Unlucky Friend (Last of Finals): Kris Vile (UK)
The Vans Off The Wall Spring Classic 2011, fuelled by Monster Energy and supported by the City of Varazze. Thanks to FIAT for providing the official event car as well as Epiphone and Spy Optics.