So there’s this princess. She has this unbelievably natural beauty. She’s trapped in a tower in the middle of the desert – a real diamond amongst the rough. You come across this girl and you can’t believe your luck. She’s extremely hot, lonely, hardly touched and just waiting for you to take advantage of her… The catch being that she has a mild case of crabs.
This was the problem I was faced with when arriving at the Maloof park in Kimberley Thursday 28 February. 40 odd kids running around, sharing boards, not watching where they are going let alone where you are headed proves complicated to navigate. But thankfully the plaza was crab free during this past weekend’s Midway Mayhem contest so the 90+ skaters that were bussed and flown into Kimberley had the park pretty much to themselves. The crabs stood all around the edges watching as the best of SA skaters made hot, sweaty love to the perfect concrete, brick and marble obstacles.
Friday saw the JHB and CPT busses arrive – both having been smoked out at one point along their journey. The lights were on and the heat subdued enough for everyone to have a decent warm up. The Woolf brothers set about destroying the big section while SSS and 20sk8 repped a bit at the park, but more at the campsite – which was FREE to everyone who travelled up on the FREE bus thanks to Maloof and the NCTA.
Saturday dawned and the sun was unforgiving. The qualifiers kicked off at about 12h00 with 10 skaters in each of the 2 half hour heats going through to the main event. The top 10 from last year’s Am contest already having a pass in. It was an intense jam, both due to the sun and the skating. Dudes were going hard hoping to be told to sit down once they’d landed enough to qualify. Joubert van Staden and Shuaib Philander both narrowly missed making it in and Nkosi Dlamini managed to make it through but injured himself in the process and couldn’t skate the rest of the comp. Anthony de Mendonca blew everyone away by calmly putting down a Hardflip 50-50 on the big hubba securing his place in the top 30.
The main event saw the park split into 2 sections. 3 skaters had 4 minutes to make the most of the course in each heat. The judging was based on Style, Use of Park, Creativity, Technicality and Consistency. The first heat on the smaller side of the park produced some mad lines. Kanya’s first go fakie flip switch manual down the many pad blew everyone away. Justus skated much like the first Maloof, having more fun than anyone – except maybe Jansen van Staden – flowing all over the place and taking consistency to the next level. Local Warrick Delport stepped up and banged out a number of hammers to the delight of the KMB crowd. Homie killed it and definitely needs to go eat some street rails. Tooth pulled out his classic backside nosegrind and a solid backside lip on the handrail with Mitchell Rice, David Woolf and Marcel van der Walt owning the handrails too.
Marcel van der Walt – Crooked Grind. Photo AD(hiPhone)
Warrick delport – bluntslide fakie. Photo Chinner
The second round included the A-Frame and quarter pipe. A couple of guys were unlucky in the second round, fighting fatigue, cramps and dehydration. Moses injured himself straight out the gates but not before putting down a nollieflip lipslide on the 5 stair rail (see the edits for how he destroyed that rail in practice). Simon also came up short in the second round and Marcel van der Walt soldiered on with cramps in both his legs to finish his heat. Dlamini scored the highest run of the day on the second heat, bumping up his score considerably from the first round with a switch back 5-0 down the hubba and first go switch 270 backlip on the handrail. Kanya and Justus stayed on it; landing everything and making it all look easy. Justus’ crooked down the 5 stair ledge, to quick slappy backsmith up the kicker was definitely a highlight, as well as his first go backsmith down the hubba; Simon’s switch flip boardslide on the handrail; GVB’s huge FS Indy’s on the quarter; Tooth’s slam to flat trying a backside 5050 on the 5 stair hubba and Kanya’s wallie nose manual from the movable bank across the whole platform. The 3 judges – all being huge fans of wall riding – were too hyped on that.
Kanya Spani – Noseblunt. Photo Martin Kotze
Dlamini Dlamini – Switch backside 5-0. Photo Martin Kotze
Dlamini Dlamini – Switch 270 Backlip. Photo Martin Kotze
At the end of all the heats, and with Maanda throwing down some raps, the judges had the intense job of adding the points and working out the top 8 places – all receiving cash prizes. In the end, the difference in the top 3 was determined by fractions. All scored 93.something out of 100, but at the end of it, Kanya took first with his consistency, style and use of the park; Dlamini second for landing shit most people haven’t seen landed in person and Justus came in third for skating the park more fluidly than anyone else.
As twilight emerged and the floodlights came on, the best trick contest got under way on the big section. A lot of the guys were tired but somehow found the energy to throw themselves down the hubba and rails. Dlamini threw his switch 270 backlip 2nd try and for a while that’s all that got put down. Pieter Retief, fresh from his trip to Asia, ate so much shit trying to Texas flip the super narrow gap over the handrail, missing the footplant and rolling away on a kickflip. Adam Woolf stuck a flip down the big four and his brother David put down a long frontside salad on the rail. Shaun Burger, having tried to nollie hardflip just about everything, contest landed a solid one first go to take 5th place. The JHB and PTS locals went batshit. Khule Ngubane pulled out a stylish nollie noseslide bigspin to take fourth despite his growing number of injuries. Anthony de Mendnca came through with another hardflip backside 50-50 in the dying minutes of overtime to take third. After locking into switch flip bluntslides too many times, Simon rolled away from his second switch flip boardslide to take 2nd. As if the switch 270 backlip wasn’t enough, Dlamini threw down a huge switch double flip down the 4 easily taking first place in best trick. Joubert van Staden almost stuck a backside flip over the rail and Khulu Dlamini bolted a massive hardflip down the 4 as time eventually ran out.
With the contest down, the cash awarded and the kids having fought enough over the product being tossed out, we all congregated at the Occidental Bar at the guest house. I will be hard pressed to forget the moment that a crew of 40 skaters rocked up, full on mobbing the establishment. They got over it and stopped serving us so with the suggestion of next bar we headed out on Kimberley’s streets. Unfortunately, the nearest bar was closed which left a huge number of skaters chilling on the sidewalk, too tired to make the 4km trek to the nearest open bar. It wasn’t going to dampen anyone’s spirits but the day was definitely quite done.
Sidewalk chilling. Photo Pinkhard
All in all, the contest was uber fun. Having everyone from SA skating together outside of any international event was something we have been missing for a while now and thanks to Chinner, Maloof and the NCTA we were able to do exactly that. Their decision to provide free transport and accommodation to all the travellers – a LARGE expense – shows their commitment to support skateboarding in SA. Look out for more of their events building up to Maloof 2013, ignore the bullshit, and come skate with your brothers.
Check out the links below for more of the Midway Mayhem coverage.
Main Event Final Results
1) Kanya Spani- R8000
2) Dlamini Dlamini- R5000
3) Justus Kotze- R3500
4) Khule Ngubane- R2000
5) Moses Adams- R1500
6) Mitchell Rice- R1000
7) Jean Marc Johannes- R1000
8) Simon Stipcich- R1000
9) Wesley ‘Tooth’ Schroeder
10) Anthony De Mendonca
11) Jansen Van Staden
12) George Van Blerk
13) Adam Woolf
14) Warrick Delport
15) Ryan Naidoo
16) Alan Marola
17) Byron Rhoda
18) Ofentse Ramakanye
19) David Woolf
20) Brendan Jack Dyamond
21) Khulu Dlamini
22) Pieter Retief
23) Dyllan Wright
24) Anton Roux
25) Marcel Van der Walt
26) Damon DeClercq
27) Reamo Leluma
28) Roedolf Odendaal
29) Jean Gerber
29) Nkosi Dlamini
Big 4 Best Trick Jam
1) Dlamini Dlamini – R4000 (Switch Double Flip)
2) Simon Stipcich – R2500 (Switch Kickflip Boardslide)
3) Anthony De Mendonca – R1500 (Hardflip BS 50-50)
4) Khule Ngubane – R1000 (Nollie Noseslide Bigspin)
5) Shaun Berger – R750 (Nollie Hardflip)