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Gatorade Free Flow tour lands in Encinitas, CA!

Last Sunday, June 13th, The Gatorade Free Flow Tour made it's stop in Encinitas at the Ecke YMCA. GFFT tours our nation looking for the nest generation of skateboarders and BMXers.  At this stop they had Vert and Street events.  I was able to attend the vert contest and was stoked at the level of riding I witnessed.

The event was held on a giant vert ramp that was first used in the 2003 X Games and then donated to the Y.  Danny Mayer, Adam Taylor, Josh Strafford, and Paul-Luc Ronchetti were the judges and they are seriously qualified.  If you are not familiar with any of the names I just mentioned, do yourself a favor and look them up.

There were roughly 18 skaters under 21 broken into 2 heats.  Each and every skater shredded the immense ramp.  It was awesome to see kids less than 4 feet tall flying above the coping of a 13' deep ramp.  Some of the skaters were close to 6 feet above the deck.  540s, great lip tricks, flip tricks, and amplitude were all here as these riders threw down every thing they had for their chance at the finals.  Judging was difficult, I am sure, but five finalists were chosen. Tom Shaar, Joey Hamlisch, Jesse McDonald, Cory Juneao, and Jimmy Wilkins.

In the finals the riding only continued to impress.  Tom Shaar and Cory Juneao were the smaller skaters in the final, but that didn't stop them from flyin out of the ramp with style!  Jesse had airs, inverts, and boardslides that blew me away.  Joey had varials and kickflips mixed in with his airs and lip tricks.  Jimmy threw 3 different 540s in his run!  It was hard to imagine before going to this contest that the riding would be at this level.  Who said vert is dead?  These kids are proving that vert is alive, and I am excited for the future of vert riding knowing they are out there shreddin it up!  The final reults were 1)Jimmy Wilkins 2)Tom Shaar 3)Joey Hamlisch 4)Jesse McDonald 5)Cory Juneau.

For coverage of the street contest, which I unfortunately could not attend, click  here

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