The 7th stop of Volcom Stone’s 2011 Wild in the Parks tour found us under blue skies at Portland’s Ed Benedict skatepark Saturday July 30!
The unfortunate and untimely demise of the city’s legendary “Department of Skateboarding” meant the Wild in the Parks would need to find a new home in Portland. Thankfully, an impressive new park was recently completed and has garnered a significant amount of favorable attention from the area’s talent.
Ben Sauer, f/s bigspin front board in zone 3
Ed Benedict skatepark is an oval-shaped plaza-style beast with a unique flow. After consulting some locals and a healthy amount of internal conversation, we settled on three areas that the WITP would focus on. Each of these contained multiple obstacles of varying size and difficulty. Zone 1 consisted of a three-set and down-rail, zone 2 was a 5-set, handrail and the hubbas on both sides, whilst the big-three block, flat-bar, bank and ledge made up zone 3!
Our old buddy Tyler Keup was hard at work. Switch hardflip down the 5-set in zone 2
The 14 & Under division got things started at a breakneck pace and didn’t take their foot off the gas until the last second had ticked away. The incredible level of talent blew most spectators away and left the rest in a state of shock! Austin Thangvivong Ben Sauer and Mason Coletti led the charge from A to Z and forced the rest of the group to step-up and put it on the line.
Vancouver BC's Kyu Tae making things happen with a b/s krooked grind on the flat bar in zone 3
It was amazing to see how competitive, yet positive everyone was. Knowing that only the top 7 would receive invitations to this year’s $25,000 Wild in the Parks Championships (Sat Oct 15, Austin TX) raised the stakes and provided even more inspiration! After a seesaw affair that had several skaters vying for top honors, the scores were tallied and we couldn’t believe how close they were! To thunderous applause, Austin Thangvivong claimed 1st while Mason Coletti and Ben Sauer were hot on his heels in 2nd and 3rd respectively!
"SNAX" getting his f/s 180 switch nosegrind on the zone 2 hubba
The 15 & Over division was the second group to skate and had no difficulty picking up where the younger rippers had left off! After the Vancouver WITP was rained out a few weeks ago several skaters made the drive down to Oregon to skate alongside their WITP brethren. Thankfully they remembered to pack their bags o’ tricks because they’d be needed in order to skate alongside the Oregonians.
Colin Crespino, b/s krooked grind pop over
The skating was fast and furious from A to Z with trick after trick being hammered out in rapid-fire succession. None of the three zones was spared as these guys put on their hard hats and went to work!
Anthony Grant was on patrol all day. Here’s a kickflip b/s tailslide
The variety of tricks and intensity of skating stood out as it quickly became clear that no prisoners would be taken this day! One of the aforementioned Vancouver WITP rain victims, “Qyu Tae”, landed on top of the podium, Chris Hernandez’s double-heelflip helped him into 2nd and WITP veteran Ben Campbell rounded out the top three! Well played gents!
5-O f/s shuv out in zone 2
With the sun headed westward and mid-afternoon turning to late afternoon, the Open/Pro-Am division took center stage and the insanity was off and skating! Reflecting as I write this, I find it difficult to draw a parallel to another group of skaters as that was as well rounded and equally talented as this one.
Rob Oldham was busy grilling up some hot dog delicacies for the crowd
Gabe Luna getting himself a nollie flip noseslide in zone 2
Simply stated, this was one of the best and at the same time most diverse skating spectacles we’ve encountered on the North American Wild in the Parks Tour! Everyone’s style was distinct and that resulted in a plethora of different tricks being thrown down.
Zach Bird slapping a switch f/s bluntslide on the small rail in zone 1
None of the WITP contest areas were spared and it appeared as if the park had wronged them in a past life. Needless to say, scores needed to be settled! If this was the case, then you can now consider them even. It’s not often we see such a wide spectrum of talent throw down such a formidable range of tricks!
When the skills are so eclectic it seems a shame to name winners but it wouldn’t be much of a contest unless we did so. Perched triumphantly atop the podium was Zach Bird, who apparently only likes to skate switch. The Electric “Hype of the Day” winner, Tyson Reynolds also grabbed 2nd place and our old buddy Anthony Grant locked down 3rd! Incredible work all around!
Thanks to Dory Stuart at the City of Portland for all her support putting the event together. Thanks also to Pat McGee, Brandon Nemire, and Connor Kelly for judging as well as Volcom’s own Cheyne Shoultz for his help from start to finish. Thanks also to Rob “Cinnamon Bear” Oldham, Ryan “Beavis” Oldham and our bearded buddy “Fro” for scaring kids and helping us hold things down! Thanks to all our WITP sponsors below for all the support!