|Photo Fred Ferand|
This past Friday and Saturday in Malmö, Sweden skaters from across the globe gathered for the 6th Annual Vert Attack skate competition, a contest hosted by John Magnusson and his crew. With a vert ramp extension nicknamed The Exterminator and tons of talent on tap; it was one heck of a show. Vert skaters young and old, coming from various European contries (and even the US of A) got together (some veterans where padless) to mix it up indoors in front of fans and take home some good times for their efforts. After the qualifications took place the ramp was on fire with Ben Hatchell, Jake Anderson, Sean Goff, Wingy,
All pictures and story by Fred Ferand
« You should have been there! »
I know, I'm saying this way too often, but this time I mean it.
John Magnusson and his crew have started something that has quickly become un-missable.
|Bruno Rouland Photo Fred Ferand|
It seems simple, you organize a good old backyard contest with a sweet mix of ripping kids, top pros and seasoned veterans in one of the most welcoming place in the skateboarding world and you'll get the picture of what happened after the 6th edition.
I won't recall every trick from every heat, but a few moments are emerging from my mind...
A 12 year's old kid from Japan blew everybody's mind away with his style and tricks going back to the home of the rising sun with a well earned title.
A 51 year's old punker gave goosebumps to the audience just by appearing on the platform.
|Duane Peters FS Tailblock Photo Fred Ferand|
At the end of the master's final, after fifteen minutes of intense session, Stan, the announcer, was calling the countdown. Mike Vallely was standing on the highest platform (called the exterminator) he flipped the bird to the jurys and yelled and ordered to get 5 more minutes. There was no way this final could end like this, everybody wanted more. They got more !
|Jake Olson Photo Fred Ferand|
Jake Anderson won it all last year, he shook the pressure away in the last 5 minutes of the pro final by doing crazy runs but it was a bit too late to claim his title back from Ben Hatchell. This kid is smiling all the time; he stayed on the platform to watch all the heats and made every one of his padless tricks seem so easy, surely a crowd favorite. But the judges had a hard time to decide whereas Ben was the winner or not, Andy Scott,
|Justin Lynch Photo Fred Ferand|
One last recall: the smile of Jeff Heges. This Santa Cruz icon had made so many friends last year that they all pitched in some money to book him a flight and allow him to come back this year. He sure made it worth it by riding with a sore shoulder, even doing his classic gymnast plant.
|Mike Vallely finished in 5th place. Vallely has had an eventful 2012 thus far. He started his own company|
(Elephant Skateboards) and got back on the ice with the Danbury Whalers. Photo Fred Ferand
Also known as "El Gato Negro", Fred Ferand was born in Paris but lives in Bordeaux, France. He has covered the European skate scene with his fisheye and flashes for the past 30 years. He usually cites MoFo and Glen Friedman as references and inspiration. Fred is known to exhibit his pictures in art galleries and placed pictures with Freestyler Mag, Thrasher Mag, sk8.net le mag, SOMA, Confusion and Old Man Army zine.
|Nicky Guerrero (DK) #1 reigned on the ramp. He shared the winner's podium|
with Justin Lynch (US), Paul Atkins (UK) and Sean Goff (UK).
Photo Fred Ferand
1. Ben Hatchell USA
2. Andy Scott UK
3. Jussi Korhonen SWE
4. Jake Anderson UK
5. Brad McClain USA
6. Mike Crum USA
1. Nicky Guerrero DK
2. Justin Lynch USA
3. Paul Atkins UK
4. Sean Goff UK
5. Mike Vallely USA
6. Jeff Hedges USA
1. Yuto Horigome JPN
2. Simon Karlsson SWE
3. Bjorn Lillesoe DK
4. Reiss Johnsson UK
5. Zak Kutz UK
6. Andreas Laurtsen DK
You can catch a rebroadcast of the entire event on the Skate Malmo website.
All pictures by Fred Ferand, used by permission only.