Comps and events.

Vans Downtown Showdown: The obstacles unveiled!

The Obstacles:

After months of researching, sketching and satirising, the world’s finest board brands have submitted their plans for the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown. Each presenting their unique spin on French and Parisian culture, their efforts included obstacles perhaps predictably inspired by the humble baguette, as well as truly inspired reworkings of some of the cities finest landmarks.

Alas, a chosen few must triomphe above the rest. Following much scrutiny from our panel of experts, we are pleased to announce…the obstacles!

The winning teams displayed inspired interpretations of the brief, presenting challenging designs and in doing so, ensuring the level of creativity and boundary-pushing riding the Vans Downtown Showdown has become synonymous with, is upheld.

The obstacles featured in the 2013 Vans Downtown Showdown are:

Cliché chose to reinterpret the pools beneath Paris’ most iconic monument, as Cliché founder Jeremie Daclin explains, “Video Days made this spot mythical, and Cliché brings back the magic.”. Expect some fast lines and creative use of the pyramid!

Element pulled no punches, and chose to take on the mighty Eiffel Tower itself. Utilising the structures transitioned sides, they created a monster that is sure to be the site of some of the contest’s heaviest tricks. Alex Deron, Element’s Marketing Manager, said “We never got the chance to skate the ponds, so what about the Eiffel Tower itself?!”.

Palace took things a step further, heading straight for the city’s famously chic citizens. When faced with the Parisienne setting, founder Lev Tanju’s “first idea, instead of making a skateable baguette, was to make a 3D rendering of Karl Lagerfeld’s head, with a really whippy transitioned ponytail that you could get air out of. Legal said they’d get sued though, so we had a last minute switch-up, and made some really expensive luggage you can grind”.

As Geoff Rowley explains, Flip’s obstacle “pays homage to the French flag. As various Flip riders have resided in cities across France, it seemed only fitting to honour these good times with a bold and brazen approach to the artwork. Hopefully ‘French Fred’ (Mortagne) approves? The design approach was simple; multiple-directional flow with a variety of street, bank and tranny terrain”.

Keep an eye on and #VansDTSD, as we’ll be dropping a few more insights behind the obstacles and the set up as the Vans Downtown Showdown draws closer.

The Vans Downtown Showdown comes to Paris on August 31st, and is a free event, open to all. Doors open at 12:00 noon and all the action will be live streamed from 12:40pm (CEST) on




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