Boipelo Awuah (Kimberley) and Ethan Cairns (Cape Town) claimed top honours at the first-ever Street Lines Skate Tournament held at Thrashers Skatepark in Pretoria over the weekend.
The Street Lines Skate Tournament presented by LW Mag and Dragon Energy Drink, in association with Dickies, Garmin and GoPro, witnessed 80 of the country’s top street skateboarders battle it out for top honours and their share of the R40 000 prize purse.
All the action went down at the infamous Thrashers Skatepark in Pretoria, Gauteng – a park that offers the competitors a variety of lines and obstacles to choose from and caters for the different styles and levels of skating, which resulted in an exciting and diverse tournament.
With a total of 20 athletes competing in the women’s division and 60 in the men’s division, the judges had their hands full as they took consistency, style, use-of-park and difficulty into account when making their selection of skaters to advance into the finals, and podium positions.
Through the qualifying rounds each competitor had two 45-second runs with the best run counting as their final score.
In the finals each had two 45-second runs and four tricks, with the best run and the two highest-scoring tricks accumulating as their final score.
The women’s division saw one of the biggest turnouts in local skateboarding competition, an exciting aspect for this growing division.
Olympic skater, Melissa Williams finished third with runs featuring frontside rocks on all the quarter-pipes, high ollie’s over the funbox and steezy tailslides across the slappy curve.
Natalie Bramley impressed the judges with her variation tricks like the nollie 360 shuv on the bank, frontside boardslide on the rail and noseslides on the ledges, to claim second place.
Another Olympian, Awuah, dominated the field throughout the qualifying and finals with super consistent skating, touching every obstacle in the park.
A strong field of men’s skaters went head-to-head in the qualifying rounds with the top 15 making it through the final.
It was a closely fought battle throughout the final heats as fans were left screaming for their favourites and big trick after big trick were landed.
The always-in-contention Khule Ngubane had solid runs and tricks which saw him bag third.
Devandre Galant was the most consistent skater throughout his runs, nailing trick after trick to the roars of the crowd, but was let down by the trick segment of his heats and had to settle for second place.
But ultimately it was Cairns who stepped it up in the finals and skated amazingly well through his run, which saw him rise to the top of the podium.
The tournament finished off with the Best Trick jam session down the GoPro Stair section.
Skaters threw down with a host of big and gnarly tricks being landed.
In the end it was Allan Adams’ flip-over-crook on the round rail that impressed the judges the most for the win.