Springtime is a busy time for riders skating the big park contests, they are traveling all over the world to be present at some of the biggest contests of the year. Just a few weeks ago, FISE Hiroshima kicked off the contest season, with Joe Atkinson taking the victory by only a fraction of a point.

Photos & Words: Thijs Tel

This month, the contests continue, with two major competitions just days apart. Last weekend Strasbourg was host to the 14th edition of the NL Contest (and Festival). A huge multi-sport event with over 50.000 visitors throughout the weekend.

And boy, what a weekend it was. With riders such as Yuto Goto (JPN), Nicolas Servy (FRA), Joe Atkinson (UK) and Jaro Frijn (NL) the crowd got the show they came for. Saturday started of with the qualifications for the Park contest, followed by the Spine Ramp contest only 30 minutes later.

The lovely weather and hyped crowd gave the Spine Ramp contest a great vibe. During qualifications, each rider had two runs which lasted as long as their legs lasted, and they sure tried their best to make the runs last. Young gun Valentin Rivasseau (who also won the amateur contest) was the big surprise, making it to the finals with established riders like Joe Atkinson and Adrien Anne.

The riders pushed out their last energy during the finals and gave a huge show. Diaby Diako doing flips left and right, Yuto Goto pushing style to the limit and Nicolas Servy throwing some insane combinations. In the end Joe Atkinson secured the win with solid lines and a killer last trick.

The next morning started cloudy, but by the time the Park contest finals were ready to kick off the sun was back out in full force. The crowd once again gathered and the surroundings of the park were packed with people wanting see the final. The riders definitely gave their everything to entertain them.

Joe Atkinson used his creativity to cruise around the park in ways many people had never seen before, jumping from obstacle to obstacle, sometimes shaking the live stream cameramen off by his surprising lines. He ended the show with a huge disaster kindgrind transfer from quarterpipe to miniramp.

While Joe used his creativity to impress the judges, Diaby Diako went for amplitude. He combined some of the highest airs we’ve seen with some solid grinds. Ending his run with a massive signature corkscrew 1080, making the crowd go wild.

Japanese style master Yuto Goto had two fantastic runs, combining flawless execution with creative lines through the park. He was well on the way to claim a spot on the podium, until he took a heavy fall during his last trick. Luckily Adrien Anne and Joe Atkinson were quick to the spot and managed to support Yuto to the first aid personnel ready to help.

Last up was French powerhouse Nicolas Servy. Who we’ve seen killing it in these competitions before. Starting the run with a massive grind on the highest “sub”box in the park, he continued to land trick after trick. After hyping up the crowd, Servy claimed his first place in the contest by landing a huge double backflip.

With all the international riders, huge tricks and lovely weather NL Contest was a perfect teaser for this weekend’s FISE Montpellier!

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