For over ten years now, freestylers from across the globe have travelled to a small skatepark in the middle of nowhere to watch and compete in one of the most important contests in freestyle skateboarding. In 2014, the LateTricks team joined so many others in making the trip to Paderborn for the 17th Annual BBQ Skateboard Contest.
I don’t speak German particularly well. My partner and travelling companion, Natasha Andrews, speaks absolutely no German whatsoever. You might have thought this would pose something of a problem in navigating our way across the country, however, as it transpires, every single person we encountered in Germany appeared to speak better English than we could. So, with surprisingly little difficulty, on Sunday 22nd June, we made our way out to Im Goldgrund skatepark, Paderborn.
Arriving at the park led to a peculiar sensation. Having watched every single run I could find from the Paderborn events over the last 10 years, this park immediately felt familiar. As we had spent the last few days exploring Germany, discovering new places and meeting new people, it was odd to feel at home whilst out in the middle of nowhere.
This years event welcomed professional and amateur freestylers from eight countries across Europe, providing a great opportunity to meet an even wider international community of freestylers. Of course, one big plus point for me personally was getting to skate with so many of the freestylers I met last year during the World Championships at the NASS Festival, such as 2013 Professional World Champion Sebastian Heupel, 2013 Amateur World Champion Felix Jonnson, Christian Heise, Marius Constantin and fellow UK freestyler Callum Bowran.
Despite a light drizzle that persisted throughout the afternoon, the contest went off without a hitch! The amateur contest welcomed an incredibly high standard of international riders, with every rider putting together at least one solid run. Paderborn veterans and previous top ranking amateurs Felix Jonnson, Robert Wagner and Paul Brunninkhuis threw down incredible runs but were ultimately not enough to stop the rising Romanian freestyle star Marius Constantin taking his first contest victory! Highlights from Marius’ run included a perfectly executed coco wheelie and the first rail handstand flip I have ever seen him make.
The professional riders were really in their own league this year, each of them putting together strong and varied technical routines. Freestyle machine Turi Zoltan pulled off a 720 railflip first try in both of his contest runs, combining tech combos with rolling “new wave” flatland flips to take third place.
Fan favourite Marco Sassi mixed his truly unique footwork with an array of complex truck-to-truck combos to take the number two spot. However, despite their best efforts, it was Sebastian Heupel who took the win in this year’s contest, landing absolutely everything absolutely perfectly! Generally, it was agreed that the judging at this contest (often a cause of concern for this sort of event) was fair and just; thanks to the excellent organising team and 10 time World Champion Gunter Mokulys; who stepped in when an injury ruled him out of this year’s event.
If you’ve never made the trip out to Paderborn, I whole-heartedly recommend it. In addition to being one of the finest and most closely fought freestyle contests you’ll ever see, the riders themselves are amongst the most passionate and talented freestylers in the world. We hope to see you all there next year!