Returning for it’s third year, the World Round Up is one of the biggest events in the freestyle calender. More so than any other contest, the World Round brings together freestylers from across the globe for one of the most hard fought and exciting contest series for decades.
One of the things that makes the contest so exciting is the introduction of the “battle format”, which was utilised in the first Round Up back in 2012 and continues to this day. This format sees the standard contest run time reduced from two minutes to one and the number of runs up from two to three. The contest is then broken down into heats comprised of five to six riders, who immediately jump in after one and other to take their runs. This makes for a quicker paced contest, ideal for those looking to catch their first glimpse of the variety on offer in a freestyle contest.
In 2013 Gunter Mokulys took his tenth world champion title, taking the World Round Up crown away from the 2012 winner Darryl Grogan. The amateur Japanese freestyler Seya Nakano took the contest by storm, snapping up second place, with the always magnificent Mike Osterman taking third. In the amateur division, native Canadian freestylers Ryan Brynelson and Andy Anderson took 1st and 3rd respectively, with Brazilian Kaue Arouja taking 2nd.
This years event has also introduced several new elements for a freestyle contest, the most interesting of which is the ‘Henry Candioti Skate 4 Fun’ award. Far away from the traditional ranking system, this award is given to the rider who, quite simply, demonstrates the most style in their skating: a fitting tribute for it’s namesake, the late, great Enrique “Henry” Candioti. Alongside a traditional best trick contest, this years contest also introduces the longest coco wheelie and best handstand trick disciplines.
A contest can have the greatest location, the most prize money or the perfect weather, but a strong contest needs to have an excellent mix of riders; which is something you can expect from this years Round Up.
With riders from eight different countries, some of whom skating in their first ever international contest, the 2014 World Round Up is looking to be a very interesting watch in both pro and am divisions.
The 2013 Champion Gunter Mokulys returns, as does 3rd place Mike Osterman, undoubtedly aiming for the top spot this year. However, by no means will this event be a two horse race, with high placing contest regulars Rene Shigueto, Per Cangeru, Stefan “Lillis” Akesson and Christian Heise also returning to the event.
Again, as this contest is completely open, any one of the professionals riding could take the title. After winning the best trick in 2013 and practising his run ever since, this could be the year for Dan Garb to push for the top spots. New entries to the professional category include last years amateur Round Up winner Ryan Brynelson and Chinese freestyler Shen “Dominick” Meng, who you may have previously seen performing in a demo with Rodney Mullen, so it will be interesting to see how well they place.
With Ryan Brynelson now competing as a professional, 2014 will see a new amateur Round Up champion. With second place Kaue Aroujo and third place Andy Anderson returning, will one of them take the top place? The title will be fiercely contested this year, with US amateur champion Pete Betti, in his final contest as an amateur, Felix Jonnson, the 2013 amateur World Champion, Isamu Yamamoto, with one contest win already this year, and many more with the title in their sights. Whatever happens, the amateur contest may be even closer to judge than the professionals this year!
The longest coco wheelie event should be an interesting watch, with the top competitors to watch in this field including Rene Shigueto, Daniel Trujillo and Mike Osterman. The best handstand trick should also be a good watch, with Bert Mathieson, Dan Garb and Jacob Whitt likely to place well.
By the time you’re reading this, the event will have already started, so make sure to check out the live stream of the event on the World Round Up website, and check coverage provider Protest Skateboards’ website for photos and information as it comes. As soon as we get the results, we’ll post them up, so make sure you keep an eye on the LateTricks facebook page too.
Who are you looking forward to watching? What are your predictions for the results? Join in the discussion on the LateTricks Facebook page or tweet us @fslatetricks. Best of luck to all of the riders out there competing, this years contest is certain to be a good one!
All photography in this article is from the Protest Skateboards website, make sure to check it out for many more and footage from the 2013 event!