The Vans Downtown Showdown: Pure Epicness



4 days of partying with skaters from all over the world, Seeing incredible skating, and an enormous afterbang at the Westerpark in Amsterdam.

Last year in London I was talking to Rick van Dijk from Vans, and he told me that he would love to get the Downtown Showdown to Amsterdam. I was immediatly stoked about the idea. Having the Showdown in Amsterdam would be so awesome. Finally at the start of the year the rumours that it was going to be held here in our hometown broke through which really got our stoke up. Last years event was epic, but having such an event taking place in your hometown is just a dream come true. It took a bit of patience to wait until the start of august for the event to begin, but with numerous of events being held in and near Amsterdam. we had something to keep our minds of it. 

Finally though last week the event started. On wednesday it all began with a party at the Soundgarden organized by Antiz and Death skateboards. The place closed at 1 AM though , and if I can give one tip, NEVER GO TO THE SOUNDGARDEN, don't have any parties there, just stay the fuck away from it. They close to early , they mess around with prizes, and are not particularly friendly. The only thing that was cool about it was that iI got to meet up with our British friend and filmer Phil Harvey who flew in that day. We went to The Minds after it closed but due to permits it also closed at 3 am (DAMN, on weekdays Amsterdam can be a real pussy), but at least we got to chill for a couple of hours.

On thursday  There was the 20 Year Half Cab Party  which I didn't get to go to since I was at work. I did get to go to the after in the minds since the SOUNDGARDEN had allready closed. To top it off I hit the Bloemenbar with Martijn and Jappie to get our drunk on.

Friday I Hooked up with Phil, and Alex to go to the media meeting, where we met up with Derk,got briefed, and  hatched the plan for the weekend. We were assigned a couple of skaters we requested for interviews, which started at four. We first had time to get something to eat so we headed to the first shop we came across for a Kapsalon. We fed the same thing to Phil Zwijasen and Rob Smith when we were doing our interviews with them. We  had Josh Young eat some other dutch snacks. We also tried to get some footage from the course but pretty much nobody was skating. At the end of the day we just went home and got ready for the evening, when there was a session at the Marnix bowl. There was some rad skating there but since we had been getting foorage and went home in between we missed out on most of it. That together with longest 50 contest makes it quite boring and it started raining as well. That was it for the marnix so we head over to the Soundgarden ( where you should never go again) , and started drinking. They tried to hussle with the prices of the drinks so after an hour or 2 we went over to the Minds again....

On the way back we had to pick up Tim Bijsterveld at the Soundgarden, but since he was stalling as ever and we didn't feel like waiting we took stefan who had no sleeping place and head for home.

The next Day it was competition day, which means getting out of bed in time, and hauling all your stuff over the course. Competitions like these are good fun though 'cause you get to meet a lot of the people you usually meet in the competion scene, and watcheng the pros walk around was great as well. The obstacles all looked great , though I had a preference for the Antiz one. The skating at all the obstacles was very god allthough I thought the Blueprint onewas maybe a bit onesided. The Flip one had really amazed me as I didn't think to much of it, but was skated really hard, with a great diversity of tricks. As a tranny lover though the Antiz obstacle to me was the best, It looked the most creative and did justice to our "culture" (whatever that means). Masses of people had come to watch the contest, which was of really high standard. The Skaters were tearing up the obstacles but I for one was really dissapointed that a lot of the pro's, like Grant Taylor, and Tony Trulio, didn't skate their runs but let it to others. It was cool to see Penny skate though, and all the others that ripped it up did everything they could to make it a show for the audience. It was no surprise the Flip team won, since they had ripped everywhere they skated, and  well deserved second place went to the Element team. Last years winners Antiz got in a very good 3rd place.

The after party that night was off the hook. No half full venue, but a tightly packed hall. Bad shit was tearing it up, and Suicidal Tendencies made it explode. For me from there it's all a blur of moshing drinking and dancing. I know I had a great time but how or what is a this point not comming back. It was mental I can say that. Both my elbows were blue and I was totally coverd in the lightbrown slush that was on the ground. 

All in all the vans Downtown Showdown was a big succes, a lot of fun, and very well organized.

Kudo's to Vans and Monster for that. Can't wait to see where it'll be next year, but if you lack ideas you're welcome to bring it back to Amsterdam ;)