To wrap up our not-so-live updates from China, here are our final thoughts on the FISE World event which took place last month in Chengdu. We rarely have a chance to take a step back and reflect on the significance of an event as a whole during the normal course of our live reports, and since we had one final batch of great photographs provided by Dominik Wagner to share with you, we took the opportunity to bring you back to China one more time!
Words: Freddy White Photography: Dominik Wagner
In collaboration with the city of Chengdu, the FISE has invested massively in this event and their team has succesfully managed to put together a much bigger & better show. In addition to bringing in new sports like wakeboarding this year, the location itself was also much nicer, and allowing for a more compact crowd and a lot more attendance than before. The intense foot traffic all weekend on the kilometer long site left little room to doubt it.
This strategy seems to pay off, and the most notable result would be how much the local bladers have progressed already. When most of them were struggling on the course last year, this time everyone was throwing flat 360’s on the spine and lofty 540’s on the massive jump box. As the construction of an extreme sports complex including several skateparks is soon to be underway in a neighbouring district, one can only imagine how fast the new Chinese generation will evolve!
Although they are not on the podium yet, these young guns can count on veterans Takeshi Yasutoko and Jeerasak Tassorn to represent Asian blading at its finest though. If it is no surprise Thai legend Jeereasak killed the park with powerful lines and big transfers, it is indeed quite rare to see Takeshi compete in this type of contests. And one might wonder why, as the latter’s smooth flow and signature high amplitude flips got him a well-deserved 5th place in the end!
The final top 3 was a perfect summary of this whole season of contests, as Joe Atkinson took first place in front of two of France’s best park skaters, namely Julien Cudot and Nicolas Servy. At this point, it is useless to discuss how the creative use of a park can counterbalance sheer technicality, as this question has clearly divided people in two distinct camps. When these are very unlikely to come to an agreement, it is great to see the FISE offer their own answer to that question.
Because in the end, what truly matters is to offer a platform to showcase these different types of blading, performed on the highest level in front of an unexperienced crowd. If the FISE World in Chengdu was a successful event for many reasons, its greatest sucess might very well be the ability to present all of blading’s diversity and infinite possibilities to the world. Now we can only hope they planted many seeds for the local youth to grow and develop as bladers themselves!