The Van Doren Invitational returns to Huntington Beach - boards, buns and bonelesses blazing!!!
Sun-soaked field of battle.
The fans assemble.
Borland, not boring, getting their while he can.
Murillo, steady air time.
Zach Miller, family tradition.
Most handplants seen at one event since the Trashmore contest in '88. Raney was leading the upside-down charge.
Forgotten moves, reborn. Raybourn on a Gatair.
Accidents here and there, nothing too devastating I don't think.
Bring yer coozie, if you got one.
And the competition begins!
Ronnie Sandoval. This is not the last frontal you'll be seeing.
Double R, closed knee.
Double M, saran to D.
Fastplant to fakie. I'm so glad these tricks are back.
Wow! If the Rhythm team could see us now!
Thanks TA, by the way.
Borden, oop the extension.
This was my first exposure to Chris Russell in person. He's got sort of a boy-meets-rhinocerous thing going on. This indy air was to disaster, as are most of his tricks. Simply incredible.
Seventeen-years-young, it should be noted.
The Thrashers were out in full force. Gilbert, sweating balls.
Meanwhile, up in the VIP zone, the fat cats eat their specialized extreme snack chips and discuss their imported European bearings ...
Plotting the course of the entire industry...
Back on deck - pogo axle.
WBD trampolined his Thrasher work into an actual paying gig for Vans, if you can believe that.
But can you call it work when it's this much fun?
'You gotta talk into the microphone,' says the boss. What a stickler.
Stu's back, nah sayin?
Prequalified Raven, cruising practice.
'But are there girls at Nyjah's, like, 24-7?'
Blair expands the line to the deck-side juker.
Handplant think tank.
Later, in the world of art ...
It was a who's who of Masterlensmen out there - though BK and Mofo would not approve of Acosta's no-look approach.
Kowalski, subbing the judo for a solid frigid kick.
Cody Lockwood, underground sensation.
J-Rod, frontal planting.
Invert revert, wrist about to turn.
Omar, slugging it out in the semis.
Patrick Ryan, airborne for Eswic.
Robbie was killing it all weekend - Pedro Style.
T-Funk is the reason, and then they kicked us all out.
Finals day. I decided to really huff the culture of this event so I headed for the center of HB arts - the pier.
'Push? Like with your foot? No, brotha. That's why I got the stick!'
A veritable city of stoke.
Madame, I salute you!
Just a people-watching paradise out there, really. I can see why it's the center of the central-Orange County art world.
Back in the bowl, Todd crosses over.
I asked Tony to shoot this and then jumped directly in front of him on the rideaway.
The Dunc put in more time in the bowl than some of the competitors.
Look at that grin! That's why Schmitty is the best - he LOVES it!
Curren's ok, too.
'How do I get a Down for Life??!!!'
Alex likes Madonna, he likes Sheila E, he likes Prince.
Are there some moves that should stay dead? Just asking ...
Back in the handplant zone: Russell.
And to fakie.
Press had a field day.
How much per sticker? Use this lein air to guess-timate Curren's income with your friends.Those claws gotta be worth a grip, right?!!
Hatchell's board hatcheting me in the shin.
Fuck no, Cam doesn't want a free hug.
Pedro was winning with the sky time.
And then Raven emerged with his jersey. Total game changer!
Though he had some stiff competition around there, shirt-wise.
Now we're talking!
Schroeder sighting. Deep cover.
Collin was pre-qualified. Goddamned right.
Bro style: a lifestyle.
It was a GD shredathon.
Handplanter's paradise out there.
Skreech, beverage rich.
Double up on them shits if you got to.
Look at these two perfectly-normal young people! Where are you guys going, church??!
Back in the bowl.
The Blair show is a solid one.
Sal flights, taking off daily.
Kowalski, krushing it!
Somehow this is my only photo of Marlon. Shit, you already seen the video.
Up the tombstone to sugarcane
Does this help?
Total fan favorite.
I'm comin', Phillips!
The Big Ragoo, regulating.
The finals were bonkers. It was a stoke overload.
Even the babies were over head high!!
And then, in the 1880s ...
'He's just using Photoshop, right Daddy?'
Best trick board breaker.
So glad it's over.
A flood of relied. Bird, on deck.
Head smacks of joy, I hope.
Congrats, dudes! Next time I'm getting up there with the crew.
Glad I wasn't a judge! Good job, everybody!
But the real prize: new skate fans.
Yep, just a chance to share the love of four-wheeled fun over here.
Dagger approved. Congrats Charlie!
But a storm was brewing below the grandstands. 'Are you all waiting for Curren?' I asked. 'Uh yeahhh!' they all yelled back, sarcastically.
Here we go ...
Ronnie accidentally enters the strawberry-scented fray.
This is no place for non-heartthrobs.
And then this dude tried to kiss him.
Felt like I might need a burka after all that. Thank you, Vans bros. See you next year, HB freaks!