This year’s Freestyle Contest is looking to be one of the most diverse in it’s history, with riders from at least 8 different nations heading over for an epic weekend of skating.
The History of Paderborn Freestyle
The Paderborn Skateboarding Contest has been running for over 10 years, attracting the finest freestyle skaters from across the globe and producing some of the best contest runs you could ever expect to see.
Reading through the names of former competitors reads like a “who’s who” of modern day legends: Gunter Mokulys, Rene Shigueto, Stefan “Lillis” Akesson, Kilian Martin, Yoyo Schulz, Jesse Whalen and Sebastian Heupel to name just a few! Paderborn has also seen plenty of amateurs working their way up to professional level contests: Albert Kuncz, Mario Steinemann and Felix Jonsson all starting out in the amateur contest.
For the last 4 years, the unstoppable Sebastian Heupel from Never Enough Skateboards has taken the top spot in the professional contest, with previous winners including Kilian Martin, Gunter Mokulys and Yoyo Schulz. In the amateur contest, Marius Constantin stormed to victory last year, preceded by Felix Jonnson, Erwin Schuijtvlot and Matthias Adam across the previous years.
Which Professional Freestylers will be at the contest.
Although the rider list on the official Paderborn Skate Contest website is not complete, rumblings in the F-Forum on Facebook suggest this year’s event will have an incredible line up.
We anticipate an intense battle for the top spot this year, with Sebastian Heupel returning to defend his title with his flawless technical skating. Having missed out on last year’s contest, Gunter Mokulys is on an incredible hot streak at the moment, winning both the Big Rio Freestyle Contest and World Round Up already this year, making him one to watch.
The battle for the top spot doesn’t end with these two: three time UK Champion Tony Gale is ending his 7 year contest hiatus and making the trip over to Paderborn. Having seen the run he’s been working on, it’s safe to say he’s a serious competitor for the number 1 spot. Last year’s runner up Marco Sassi will also be back for 2015 after narrowly missing the top spot last year. A flawless run from Marco, with his effortless footwork and tech truck transfers, could see him walk away with the win.
Fresh from solid performances at the World Round Up, we anticipate seeing amazing runs from Christian Heise and the rookie pro competitor Felix Jonsson. And of course, it would be crazy to rule out the incredible technical and lightning fast freestyle you can expect from Turi Zoltan and Denham Hill. Turi has placed very well in professional contests consistently and Denham’s routine will feature some tricks that will absolutely stun you!
Which Amateur Freestylers will be at the contest?
Last year’s champion Marius Constantin will be back at this year’s Paderborn Contest. Anyone who has been checking out his YouTube channel will have seen that Marius is improving on an almost daily basis, so it wouldn’t be a great surprise if Marius were to enter the Professional Contest instead!
We hear that the 2012 amateur champion, Erwin Schuijtvlot, will also be returning for this year’s contest. Erwin’s smooth style and perfect hang ten wheelies have helped him to victory in the past, so there’s no reason to doubt him this year! We also expect to see the return of runners up Paul Brunninkhuis and Robert Wagner, both of whom will put together very difficult, contrasting runs.
In addition to returning amateurs, such as Alexandru Lilea, Peter Eysink and Danny Klahold, we also anticipate seeing a fantastic mix of fresh amateur freestylers! Up and coming Moldavian freestyler Boris Staver will be joining this year’s contest, along with British freestylers James Fairbrother and Michael Erskine.
Which Legends will be at the contest
At the time of writing, there are only two registered riders in the Legends category, but they are both certainly befitting of the title. Joachim “Yoyo” Schulz will be back, bringing an eclectic mix of Yoyo plants, traditional freestyle and beautiful one footed spins. Bob Loftin, founder of the Bob’s Trick Tips website, will be heading over from the USA, bringing his smooth style and fluent footwork with him.
The British Freestyle Roadtrip
Over the years, British freestylers gracing the Paderborn contest have been few and far between, with Byron Lawrence, Callum Bowran and Alex Foster (myself) being the only competitors: with “Dr. Tech” Darran Nolan on hand in 2013 as a judge. This year, that all changes!
Piling into 2 cars in the UK will be the fantastic Tony Gale, Simon Mrozinski, Denham Hill, James “Fairbro” Fairbrother, Michael Erskine, Nathan Pseuzan and my good self for an epic trip across Europe to the Paderborn Contest. We’re planning on filming our skating exploits throughout the trip, so stay posted to LateTricks after the event for some of the finest moments from our journey!
Tips for Paderborn Competitors
Based on last year’s event, we have picked out four of the most important criteria we expect to be important for placing well at this year’s contest. Firstly, consistency is key! Every time you step off the board, points are deducted from your score, so no matter how technically difficult your run may be, consistency can be the killer. Try not to get hung up on one trick and possibly consider taking one “safe” run.
Secondly, handstand tricks are big crowd pleasers and tend to get everyone, including the judges, fired up. If you have a handstand or two in your repertoire, consider busting them out! Thirdly, technical tricks are a must have in your routine. Freestyle is considered one of the most technical disciplines in skateboarding, so don’t be afraid to throw in a few combos. If you mess up the last part of a long combo, you will be marked down on consistency, but the rest of the combo will still contribute to your overall score.
Finally, the most important recommendation we can make is to have a great time and just enjoy the experience! As freestylers, we have so few opportunities to just hang out and goof around with so many like-minded individuals. Don’t get hung up on the contest and just enjoy skating and relaxing with friends; you’ll find your run will come a lot easier.
If you’re new to contests, make sure you take a look at our full piece on how to do well in freestyle contests.
This year’s contest will most likely be too close to call: we feel very sorry for the judges! This may be the most open and unpredictable Paderborn contests in it’s history and we’re thrilled that we’ll be out there to watch the whole thing!
As with last year, we will be recording all the runs in full, along with a few extra clips and interviews, posting the results online as soon as they come in and posting updates on our Facebook Page across the weekend, so if you spot us, make sure you head over and say hi! Looking forward to seeing you all there soon.