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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Girls Combi Pool Classic at Vans: the contest

The Niñas of Vans…

Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Lizzie Armanto
The winner: Lizzie Armanto

I have read somewhere that the weather pattern affecting Southern California (also known as the ENSO –El Niño Southern Oscillation) is changing again. As of mid-September 2010, we are seeing a definite transition from the El Nino conditions that we experienced in the late 2009 and early 2010 to the La Niña conditions …. La Niña is characterized by a strong high-pressure system in the northern Pacific, which forces the storm track to take a more northernly route over coolers waters, resulting in weaker storms…

This is so theoretical, of course, because, as usual, weather forecasting is a far cry from reality: yesterday, Southern California was totally locked under a blanket of gray clouds and the rain was pouring hard. Too bad for skaters, right? Because, who’s gonna skate under this deluge? Well, the girls at Vans would and they had several reasons to do so:

1) They were unjustly kicked off the Vans Protec Pool Party that originally took place on May 23rd at Vans skatepark. Some say the reason was that there were a lot of changes at Vans, both structural and organizational and the girls got shorthanded. But this injustice is now repaired thanks, in part, to Steve Van Doren and Cara Beth Burnside who were instrumental in successfully carrying out the event…

2) Vans at The Block was the only place in Southern California where you could skate this week-end, again, because of, you know, the torrent of rain…

So even if the weather pattern from El Niño or La Niña should have brought less rain, the main factor affecting Southern California this winter is the return of the Niñas, both on the climate side and the skateboarding side. Actually, I’m usually upset when I read DVD reviews in the skateboarding press with negative comment equating vert to the “Flash Forward” button. I’m equally upset when I hear street people saying that if a vert event is not worth an ABEC 1, a girls’ vert event is even less worth…
Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Lizzie Armanto
"I'm so proud of you!!! You're gnarly, Lizzie. Teach me how to skateboard!". Sky Siljeg Via FB
The reality at Vans yesterday reflected, in part, that attitude. In the couple of emails I exchanged with Kristy Van Doren before the event, she explained that there would be no bleachers for the girls’ events. No bleachers, are you kidding me? What are you gonna do with the hordes of vertical hungry skaters, ready to destroy the metal curtain doors like white knights destroying castle’s doors 100 years ago? Kristy was right: the knights did not materialize and we were just a few hundred camarades around the big pit to celebrate another Vans vert event. For the ones that did not come on purpose, you don’t know what you missed, too bad for you. For the others that would have paid in skin, those pictures below are the proof of what I’m saying.
For those who care, the Combi was not only filled with a lot of cheering and applause but also with fastplants, B.S. Disasters, FS lipslides, inverts, big airs. 
Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Lizzie Armanto
Lizzie Armanto
The Combi was crammed with a lot of combativeness, energy, speed, style and fluidity, everything you are looking for in vert skateboarding.

Take Lauren Callahan for example. Lauren and I are working together, so I see her every day. She only finished 20thof the Pro Division, but I could see how much she enjoyed every minute of the day. After a couple of runs, she knew she wouldn’t be #1, but, what the heck; her face was filled with more delight as she realized what was happening and she was definitely overjoyed by the magic of the moment. And it was like this for a lot of us. Definitely, that will be a day to remember…
Of course, our congrats go first to Lizzie Armanto: she was the big winner of the Girls Combi Pool Classic yesterday. She brought back home $3,500 in cash and the stunning Vans Gibson! The Queen of the Cove is from Santa Monica, California and she has won so many of the bowl events this year! Lizzie has that smooth style that only a couple of vert skaters have. And in vert riding, style and flawless lines are still the essence. What good does it make to have a lot of tricks under the wheels with a crapy style? Not good, really… Lizzie uses all parts of the Combi, the square bowl and the round pool; she flies over the coping like a new Tinker Belle and sprinkles her consistent runs with big backside airs, 50-50's, long rock-n-roll boardslides,backside disasters, stalefish f/s air, tuck-knee inverts, corner airs, feeble-to- fakies and much more.
Lizzie Armanto, Flying into a 1st place. Ph. Julian Bleecker.
Lizzie Armanto. Photo Julian Bleecker.
Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Allysha Bergado
Allysha Bergado
During the heats, I talked with Tho, Allysha’s mom. “Allysha’s going to be in the top three” I told her. “I’m not sure” she replied. “People like a lot Lyn-Z, she’s the one that will win”. 

Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Allysha Bergado
"2nd place!! $1,800, Nixon Watch, a deck, apparel, and so much more! I'm super stoked.
Thanks to everyone who put on the event. And congrats to all the girls!" Allysha

Photo Julian Bleecker.
Yes, people like a lot Lyn-Z, but the wheels are turning. .

Tho is coming a lot to Vans with Allysha and she also stays a lot behind the fence. Guess what? Efforts and hours of driving around and waiting outside the park and consistent training is now paying big time. All this was worth it and the well deserved second place went to 14 year old

On the amateur's side, congratulations to 13 year old Jordan Abraham of San Clemente for winning, she was so stocked with her trophy…
The Girls Combi Pool Classic was definitely one of the most exciting contests ever for the girls. Everyone enjoyed watching the 40 amazing girls in Pro and Amateur divisions rip up the Combi in the jam sesh! Thanks to All Girl Skate Jam, Vans, ProTec, Skatera, Nixon watches, Silly girl designs, and Gibson guitars for their support!
January 29th 2011 is the new date for the upcoming Amateur Division Combi Pool Comp. This time, we hope to see you there.

Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Lizzie Armanto
"I'm Judging this event today from 12-5PM along side Sasha Steinhorst and Christian Hosoi! All I have to say is I watched the girls/women practicing yesterday and they were all ripping:) I'm so stoked to see where their level of skating has came from and it's only gonna get better
and better! Congrat's ladies... this is your day, have fun."
Steve Caballero. Ph. X. Lannes
Leticia Bufoni at the Girls Combi Pool Classic
Leticia Bufoni entertaining the fans and telling them what her secret is...

Lyn-Z Adams
Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Leticia Bufoni
Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Leticia Bufoni

Leticia S Bufoni going to skate combi pool...Yeah Yeah!!Leticia S Bufoni Via facebook Ph. X. Lannes

Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Lizzie Armanto
Lizzie Armanto: very happy with her guitar...
Steve Van Doren: very, very, very happy with his party...

Mimi Knoop (left) and Julie Westfall (right) Photos Julian Bleecker

Girls Combi Pool Classic contest at Vans. Lizzie Armanto

The Results for the Pro:

6Cara BethBurnside$400
The results for the Girls Combi Pool Classic Pro: a $3,500 check for Lizzie Armanto...
Photos X. Lannes and Julian Bleecker. Used by permission.  To see more pictures of Julian, log on to:

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Sunday, November 21, 2010 


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