This year has been a crazy year for the northwest for rollerblading contests. What has been amazing about 2008 for Seattle is that we’ve gotten two contests this year featuring world class skaters...
This year has been a crazy year for the northwest for rollerblading contests. What has been amazing about 2008 for Seattle is that we’ve gotten two contests this year featuring world class skaters. A marker for the opening of the contest season is the Annual Barn Burner, and what many consider to be the closer of the contest season is the LG Actionsports World Championship. Its nice that Seattle has gotten to play host to both the opening and closing of this years contest season. Seattle is pretty remote from the rest of the industry, its nice for us to rub elbows with industry people and reconnect with friends we’ve met in our travels. When I discovered that LG would be hosting the World Finals at Key Arena in Seattle, I jumped at the opportunity to do some event coverage at a venue that is litterally across the street from where I live. So here I am writing this tid-bit for the folks at Be-mag, its a week late, and my memory of the event is quite foggy. But in actuality, its really the proper amount of time to fully recover from a weekend of partying and drinking with rollerblading and industry people.
With that said, I’m used to covering events that are run with a bit more chaos but allow photographers a much wider range of freedom to move around the course and take photos. Upon arriving at the inline practice session I’m greeted by media relations personel, I get my press pass and I’m allowed onto the lower paddock area where they have the street course. After several scoldings by my PR escort I get a good idea of where I can and can’t go to take photos. I imagined the course to be a lot larger and after seeing many edits of previous years World Finals, I’m slightly dissapointed at the amount of space that Key Arena provided. Not much in the selection of obstacles, and the ramps appeared to be pushed together closely, limiting the amount of speed that skaters could get. This years format followed what was to be a jam session contest than the typical one minute run that most of us are accustomed to seeing. Skaters would be broken up into 5 person heats. During a heat, each skater would get a turn at either one trick or a line of tricks. Heats lasted between 5-7 minutes allowing for each skater to get multiple attempts at tricks or lines of increasing difficulty. The women’s division of the contest remained in the best of 2, 1 minute run format.
After a year of shooting jam session style contests, it was the women’s street contest that brought back what seems to be the lost art of line skating. First place Jenna Downing, second place Fallon Heffernan, and third place Fabiola da Silva.Shown here is your 2008 Women’s Street Champion, Jenna Downing
The first day of competion whittled the invited group of 27 down to 12. Perhaps one of the biggest dissapointments of the day was the previous world champions inability to qualify for the semi-finals. In a fit of frustration, returning champion Chris Haffey is shown here throwing his skates after a dissapointing preliminary round.
Jeff Stockwell mistrial transferChaz Sands corkscrew 720 over the launch box
The semifinals heated up as skaters stepped up their game with increasingly difficult tricks. More difficult and creative lines were being used as competitors fought their way into the final heat.CJ Wellsmore utilizing the different lines and angles of the launch box with this 180 transfer.Brian Aragon hurricane topsoulRian Arnold 270 back farv
As exciting as the semifinals were to watch. The true spectacle fo the event was the finals. Skaters let out a barrage of craziness in this final round. Exitement builded with each passing trick.Brian Shima true top soul Franky Morales epic 540
Franky Morales fakie 720
When the dust settled it was Frankie Marales taking the first spot, Stefan Alfano in second, and David Sizemore rounding out the thirds spot. Honorable mentions include Brian Aragon for 4th place, Chaz Sands in 5th, and Brian Shima in 6th.David SizemoreStefan Alfano after pouring out his water on the podium and flipping off the judgesFranky Morales
The LG World finals is the last of the large commercial skate contests. Its rumored that after this year, ASA Entertainment will be cutting aggressive in-line out of the contest season all together. Meaning that there will no longer be a large commercial event where rollerblading will be showcased. I long for the day when rollerblading will take center stage amongst the rest of action sports, that the world will see the amazing athleticism, skill and creativity that defines our sport. Text and photos by Eric Allas
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April 18th, 2012 @ 01:20 - by aavymgda
April 17th, 2012 @ 18:10 - by Marija
I think the feature reads rellay well and I love the pictures. You have a gorgeous family and I'm so happy that you were able to recover from such a dreadful illness. Hopefully your story will inspire and provide comfort for all the women out there who suffer in silence from PND.
November 17th, 2008 @ 15:45 - by mish
Inline vert was also in the contest. I'm surprised it wasn't even mentioned in this story. It was a good contest too. Marco De Santi won, first time the Yasutoko's weren't at a World Championship so it's been like 7 years since we had a new world champion on vert.
November 16th, 2008 @ 12:28 - by jahveli13
Alfano killed rollerblading