This weekend saw skaters from across Europe, the USA, Brazil and more descend on Berlin for the Nike SB Berlin Open. As expected the level of skating in the comp was incredible, and there were some fun events thrown in over the weekend too.
The 4th and final stop of the Nike SB European Series warmed up on Friday with a hectic session at Project DSS. Formerly a DIY spot created by Lennie Burmeister and friends, the forgotten wasteland in East Berlin has been remodelled into a really fun concrete skatepark by the good people at Yamato Living Ramps.
The Beginnings of DSS
"Well, first there were three really shitty benches/ledges with metal edges that some people liked because they were lower than the Warschauer Benches. Then the plaza above got re-done and some of the mini bench locals jumped at the chance, stole a bunch of bags of concrete and splattered it on the bank by the disabled ramp. Then Lennie and myself (Jan Kliewer) helped them out a bit here and there, like bringing in left-over concrete from the Shelter. At one point we built a few things too. That’s how the spot came about"
The familiar faces of Fernando Bramsmark, Karsten Kleppan and Kevin Baekkel took advantage of whatever room was available in the park to thread together lines, supported on the sidelines by heavy hitters Luan Oliveira and Sean Malto. Rain stopped play early on in the session, but not before everyone had a chance to witness the level skating that would continue over the weekend.
Saturday morning saw the start of the Berlin Open proper. A start list of 99 skaters from around the globe skated in a series of 2 man heats.
The Ironman award of the day was firmly pinned on the chest of Herman Stene, who dislocated his shoulder mid run, got it pushed back in and continued his line with BS nose blunt down the rail.
Another highlight was David Jakinda from Stockholm, his effortless quirky style saw a no-comply 360 flip taken down the stairs, a caveman nose grind on the rail and body varial to fakie back smith on the quarter. Karsten Kleppan was on fire as ever, skating fast and powerfully finding new lines around the park.
The always enjoyable Fox Track race returned for a another year, always a good time watching slightly worse for wear skaters to charge around the narrow figure of eight pathway complete with whoops, berms and bumps as fast as they can. Lennie Burmeister was on hand to direct proceedings, ensuring everyone had a good time. Congratulations to Tim Debauche, this year's proud winner of the head to head races.
The Nike SB Shelter was feeling the heat for the finals of the 2016 Berlin Open - 31 degrees in the shade of the beer garden where the crowd watched the live stream on the screen, boiling point inside the park where the 30 skaters battled it out for a part of the €20,000 prize purse.
With a 19 year age gap between the oldest and the youngest competitor, nothing seemed to faze 13 year old Herman Moeller out of Malmo who destroyed the park in the semis, dropping tricks that defied the generation gap. He straight no-complied the stair set, foot planted the wall and locked in grown man back-smith on the Hubba.
The day’s 30 got cut down to 16, and after 2 days of heavy skating in the heat was taking its toll on some of the competitors. Justin Sommer was charging in every round but couldn't link it all together at the crucial time, though his front 360 shuvit over the hubba was a crowd pleaser. Martin Pek proved that even under pressure you can still have fun with a smooth switch blunt on the handrail and nollie blunt on the A frame, but he also missed out on the big prizes.
The super final was looking like it was going to be epic one for Vincent Milou, a flawless 1 minute run was looking like a comp winner until a back smith flip out attempt left him clutching his ankle with his day over, get well soon mate. Gustavo Ribeiro, a 2nd place podium finisher at the Barcelona AM will be taking another silver trophy home to Portugal by way of a biggerspin flip to front board and a 360 flip to lipslide on the rail, both of which he had on lock all weekend. 1st place however was reserved for Brazilian Ivan Monteiro – who managed 360 flip noseslide down ledge, an ollie over the big gap from the vert platform and showed a level of consistency throughout the weekend that was well deserving of the winners cheque.