Where to start to tell you about this mind blowing weekend at the So You Can Longboard Dance? 2016 contest…
Bianca Kersten together with Spots n Locals and Flowprovider invited the whole longboard community one more time to the beautiful city of Eindhoven, Netherlands for a weekend of fun, stoke and flow. The city became once more the center of the longboard dance and freestyle universe.
Bianca managed it to host the event in the Klokgebouw again. But this time we had the whole venue for two full days. Which was a novelty to this event. With almost 180! riders who participated it was a well thought decision.
On Saturday at noon the gates opened for riders and spectators from all over the world. People flew, drove or pushed hundreds and thousands of kilometers to meet, show their skills and to share the stoke.
On day one of the event the best G-turn, the Hippie Jump contest and the mixed non-sponsored dance competition took part. In the non-sponsored contest 72 internationals riders ran for the podium and great prizes. After the qualification round and the semi-finals four contestants made it to the final. The second place went to Giacomo Gally from Italy and Julius Everard became third. Yoath Loenders became fourth place and missed the podium closely. But the new sponsorship of Crownboards is possibly a nice upside of the contest. The deserved winner was Gabriel de la Tour, aka La Baguette, from France who showed a really nice flow, cool manuals and very consistent heats. With the win of the mixed non-sponsored contest Gabriel won a sponsorship and became flow rider in the Timber Boards team.
In the best G-turn contest the riders showed great balance and crazy tricks. In the end the three winners were identified. The third place stayed in the Netherlands. Our AWHOU! friend and Soma Boards rider Roderick van Dijken showed us an insane reversed One-Foot G-turn. Second became a dear friend who we haven’t seen on the competition ground for quite a time. The founder and owner of Simple Longboards, Luutse Brouwer from the Netherlands showed to the crowd a complex trick. It was a switch No-Comply that he landed super clean on one truck and continued in a backside G-turn and ended with a switch No-Comply out. Super stylish and original. Both dutchies were only beaten by young gun from AWHOU! and Dasilva Boards, Mr. Sebastian Eberlein from Germany landed in his first try a backside G-turn Double Rainbow out – what seemed just from physical reasons almost impossible.
In the Hippie Jump contest we did not experience any surprises, but we’ve seen a comeback. After missing last year the podium the Spanish rider Chano Sebastian Perales from Dasilva Boards became second. The first place stayed in the Netherlands. With a height of 135 cm the Timber Boards rider Gijs Schalks won the contest. This is his second time in a row he wins the hippie jump contest in Eindhoven.
After the award ceremony an eventful day went to an end and the community gathered to enjoy some beers and to share the highlights of the day. It is so great to see how the community grows more and more together regardless of where the people come from. When the campfire had gone out and the last round of beverages were served the people took a nap to regain forces for day two.
The second day was full of expectations. People were tense to see the best trick contest, the mixed sponsored and the female competition. The crowd wanted to see the flow of Jeff Ellis and Giulia Alfeo, the grab tricks by Lotfi Lamaali, the speedy dancing of DoYoung Gwon, the sweet manuals by the Bosma twins, the freestyle tricks by Fabio Martinez or the combinations by Jongbin Jo… I could go on for ages now to tell you about the other riders. But let’s start with the qualifications of both contests. In the girls competition almost 40 contestants took part which was a new high. The judges, in person of Andrei Churakov, Sam Holding (both Original Skateboards), Werner Duude Junior (Simple Longboards), Wolf Naumann (Bastl Boards), Thomas Tiel Groenestege (Soma Boards) and me, Simon Arsenidis (Dasilva Boards), identified eleven finalists among them known female riders but also newcomers like Kate Voynova from Russia who in the end scratched the podium. She was defeated by three girls who everyone knows in our community. The third place went to Femke Bosma. She impressed with her flow in dancing and the super steady G-turn variations. Another medal, hand-made by Jelle from Crownboards, was given to the Bastl Board rider Giulia Alfeo who became second. Currently there is no second women in longboard dancing who performs longboard dancing in competitions at such high level with an extreme flow combined with fluidly performed grab tricks and an everlasting smile on her face. The last year’s winner of SYCLD was only defeated by the German Deborah Keser from Simple Longboards. She impressed the judges during the whole contest. She combined complex dancing moves, with nice freestyle tricks and G-turn variations. This was her recipe to get on top of the podium.
The best trick was presumably the contest with the most contestants. Each rider had two tries to show a single trick and it counted only if the trick was landed. We saw some fresh and super complex tricks. It was again quite a hard decision for the judges. They saw a nice earlygrab Big spin by Jongbin Jo and many other difficult tricks. The third place went to the Belgian young gun Hans Wouters from Crownboards with a smooth FS 180 No-Comply to Double Rainbow out. The Dutch Simpel Longboard rider Marijn Floris Smit did a nice flip on his tiny little Simpel YuSuf. But there was one person who impressed the judges most. Our own AWHOU! brother Mor Wolf Max did a powerful No-comply huge spin (720) and got #1 in the best trick contest.
Now let’s come to the sponsored competition where over 60 international contestants registered. Right from the beginning of the first round the riders started with an insane level of skating and the judges had their difficulties to hold the pace with all those different styles. The best 30 riders progressed to the semi-final. The semi-final contained of a mix of well-known riders and newcomer competitors. It is awesome to see how the groms keep pushing from behind to the very top and the number of very good riders increase steadily. Nevertheless, in the finals of the best eight riders only one young gun who landed almost every freestyle trick, the Spaniard Nil Bellmut, was awarded with the fourth place. The third place went to a very well-known Loaded Boards rider from France. The crowd went wild to see his style, his signature tricks and the unbelievable balance. Lotfi Lamaali came once more back to compete and impressed both judges and spectators. The second place went to a man who came all the way from Korea. He is also known as Speedy Gonzalez, the fastest longboard dancer in the world. DoYoung Gwon from the Bastl Boards team showed his insane speedy dance tricks, fluid pirouettes and ladykillers (crossed-legged 180 slide). In his final run he landed even a 720 pirouette which caused that the judges went wild. The only man who defeated the Korean talent was a young man who came all the way from the other side of the world. The Brazilian fellow got to the Netherlands by plane of course. His sponsors for the trip? The crowd. The Brasil Boards team rider started a crowd funding campaign to realize his dream to take part at the SYCLD 2016 to show his skills. Brenno Brélvis impressed us all from the beginning. The flow, the originality of his tricks and the style was the right mix to become the winner of the So..You Can Longboard Dance? 2016 world cup.
What were my own personal highlights? It was great to see how the level of both men and women evolved to a new and never seen limit. The diverse styles from the different continents mixed again in the Klokgebouw so that our sport develops further. To judge the competitions with such a cool team was great – but it was also one of the harder task I’ve had so far. The level was mind blowing! In between of judging I could enjoy some nice games of skate. And a situation I will never forget is when after a game of skate with my Spanish buddies we tried to take a small group picture of maybe four or five people. Every time the photographer wanted to hit the trigger he was interrupted by more and more and more people joining the group picture. Thus, in the end we were around 70 people or so on the pic. People were freaking out, sharing their stoke and totally happy to be there. I still get goosebumps when I think about that…
Thank you Bianca, Spots n Locals, Flowprovider and Klokgebouw for making this happen! I think that I speak in the name of all of us when I say, I am looking forward to see you again at SYCLD 2017!
Written by: Simon