The whole Paris Crew managed to get together for a quick shot in between the events.
"FOUR Paris Trucks riders in the FINALS?!"
You’re probably wondering what finals I'm talking about and we'll get to that, but first I want to explain what the “So.. You Can Longboard Dance” World Cup is.
Six years ago I heard about an indoor dance and freestyle contest with a silly name held in the Netherlands. The contest was one day, one hall, and mostly European riders. But even back then it was the best organized and most fun contest that I’ve ever been to. Over the years the event grew and now riders are blessed with two big indoor halls, one for competitions and another designated as a free skate area. Riders travel from around the globe to compete coming from Russia, Brazil, Korea, the U.S. and many other countries. And now what went from a small day afternoon event is a week long adventure for most.
During the previous years of SYCLD I competed making it to the podium several times. I also have been a judge for many of the competitions. But this year, for the 6th edition, I decided to experience the event in a new way and not compete or judge. Instead, I wanted to reconnect with friends, create media and most importantly...skate.
"KATE VOYNOVA IMPRESSED THE JUDGES WITH A BAREFOOT INFINITY G-TURN LANDING HER IN FIRST PLACE AND TAKING HOME THE WIN."
I arrived on Tuesday and skated with locals while the rest of the world slowly made their way to Eindhoven. Friday is especially fun because everyone has arrived and a massive session goes down at the Town Hall Square. With everyone skating it was the perfect opportunity to host a “Best Trick Contest” and have the Paris Crew as judges. Tricks were landed, smiles were shared and the winners were awarded fresh new trucks and a bunch of other goodies. People lingered late into the evening before heading in to rest and prepare for all the following days.On Saturday the official contests began. The non-sponsored category, hippy jump, and G-turn contests were all held making for an exciting day. Paris Team rider, Kate Voynova impressed the judges with a barefoot infinity G-turn landing her in first place and taking home the win. That evening a big party was held at a nearby bar. People shared drinks and food, but you could tell that most people were thinking about the coming day (skating with a hangover is never fun).
Pierre Daniels hopped his way to the top spot at the hippy jump contest.
The groms started Sunday off showing everyone what the next generation of longboarders has instore for them. Next were the preliminary rounds for the Sponsored and Women’s categories. From a judge's perspective, this is one of the hardest things to judge because the skill level is so high. It’s not a matter of who’s good, but more who’s better. Who’s the most stylish rider and who combines both technical tricks and smooth dancing the best. Right after the Best Trick competition, judges announced the top 10 riders moving onto the final round. Paris Trucks riders, Brenno Brelvis, Bum Seok, Aboubakry Seck and Eduardo Campos all made it to the finals in the sponsored category and Giulia Alfeo danced her way into the Women's final.
After a creative run by Brenno the crowd was amped. Then Abou came out dancing. Longboarders and non-longboarders alike were all moving to the sounds of “Suavemente” and to this day, just thinking about his run gives me goosebumps. With the energy bursting at its seems, Bum Seok was next up and showed everyone why he was crowned “Best Asian Rider” at SYCLD China. A combination of new dance combos and a clean big-spin at the end of his run blew everyone's minds. Then to wrap up the insane finals, Eduardo from Brazil showed off his perfect consistency and overall great vibes as he hyped the spectators during his run.
“ABOU CAME OUT DANCING. LONGBOARDERS AND NON-LONGBOARDERS ALIKE WERE ALL MOVING TO THE SOUNDS OF SUAVEMENTE”
Brenno had the moves on and off his board.
During the deliberations everyone was still processing what could’ve been the best finals in history. With all that energy stirring a big dance circle broke out in the middle of the hall but this time, not on a board!
The top riders were all Paris Kittens. Abou took home two medals, Best Trick and Sponsored, and was crowned the new World Champion. Bum Seok wound up in 2nd, Brenno 3rd. And Giulia's got on the podium as well taking third in the Women’s competition.
It’s hard to explain in words the feelings that are shared during “So.. You Can Longboard Dance.” The friendships that are made, the energy that is felt, and the progression that is witnessed first hand. This year was special and I surely won’t forget. Thanks to the event staff and everyone that shared their passion with the world. See ya next year in Eindhoven.