Now in its fifth year, the Vans Downtown Showdown brings together the best of skateboarding, art, music and street culture. The event pitches the cream of the world’s skateboarding teams against each other in not only a battle of skill, but also of creativity – teams are invited to design the obstacles on which they compete themselves, creating a competition like no other.
Following its birth in 2009, the unique concept of the Vans Downtown Showdown has visited Turin, Hamburg, London and Amsterdam, with designers creating unique ideas to be skated each time. With free entry at each venue, huge crowds have been attracted to see some of the world’s best skaters in action.
In 2013, the event took over the vast Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, with 15,000 spectators crammed into the venue. 12 teams from Europe and the USA took part, with four riders on each team, all fighting it out for a share of the €50,000 prize money. The winning team was the Element crew of Ross McGouran, Phil Zwijsen, Nassim Guammaz and Karsten Kleppan.
Individual winners on the four obstacles – Palace’s ‘expensive luggage’, Element’s intimidating Eiffel Tower, Flip’s giant tricolour and Cliché’s pool – were Luan Oliveira, Pedro Barros, Josef Scott Jatta and Nassim, while Evandro Martins won the Monster ‘Quasimodo’ prize for a frontside 5-0 on the Eiffel Tower. The overall Best Pro prize went to Luan who, free from the restraints of a traditional competition format, annihilated pretty much everything on view.