Vans Downtown Showdown 2007: Day 1 – Practice & Hanging Out

Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2007 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

How would you like some snaps like that? Alex Olson - ollie up at Girl Gonz Wild
Who dat? I don't know who this is yet, but he rips. Nollie big at Girl Gonz Wild
Peter Raffin - backside 360 at Girl Gonz Wild
The first ollie down the EMB Girl Gonz Wild obstacle was Matix Team Manager Tony Evjenth
Rick Howard and Rick McCrank are trying to figure out the Foundation obstacle
Alex Olson ollies up on the giant skateboard Foundation obstacle. This thing is pretty scary
Who dat? It's the Creature guy again. I'll find out who he is later today. That's the Creature obstacle he's doing a backside 270 on over the hip. The way you hit it is to duck through the tunnel coming from your left then go up a bank on your right that you can't see in the photo
Every year I look at the crazy obstacles and think, "What the hell are people going to do on this thing?" And it always turns out that everyone figures it out and rips it to pieces. This is Slash doing a frontside feeble over the cave
Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, and Sam Smyth - teamwork obstacle tagging
What does Koston got for the Gonz Gap?
There's another one you don't see everyday. Stu Graham ollieing the Gonz Gap while Street Navs waits in the background for his turn
OG EMB locals recreate the scene
So now I'm at the Birdhouse premiere with Schaefer and I moustache this emo guy a question
Bad aim on this quad fisting shot of Greg Lutzka
That's Mark Vallero. He's a new Fallen flow guy. He rips and you'll be seeing more of him soon
Barak is out here because Vans flew out some Buyers from a few shops around the country. That's Cindy, Riley Hawk's mom
A mish-mash of the finest fetishes in life - foot fetish with Justin Brock, phone fetish with Braydon, and smoke fetish with a crew I can't remember. While we were getting on the plane, some random non-skater guy from Delta said he checks out the foot fetish and phone fetish photos on the site. I guess the sneaker heads like those
It's always nice to see Active Erica. Erica, do you have a boyfriend you're hiding from us? I think she's holding out for Schaefer. Get in line, girl
The plane landed in LA very late on Thursday evening, which means that it was actually Friday morning to our bodies. The scenic drive from LAX led us through Beverly Hills to the rather seedy corner of La Brea and Sunset. We passed Rodeo Drive, the Hustler store, and Bill Cosby’s house. It was too dark to be full-on tourists, but it was cool nonetheless.

After a few hours of sleep, next thing you know we’re out front of Paramount Pictures, the site of the 3rd Annual Vans Downtown Showdown. Security was tight, but more polite than you could have ever imagined. We got in and checked out some of the most unique obstacles to date. I don’t know if the ideas are running out or what, but it was definitely interesting.

You’ve got to remember, this whole event takes place on a movie set. It’s really a cool environment. The buildings that you see in the pics are actually all empty inside. The cement and mortar on the outside is fake, too. Even the sidewalks and streets are artistically designed to resemble the worn streets of NYC.

We spent the rest of the day checking in the skaters, hanging out, and watching some ripping. It was a mellow scene and everyone seemed to be having an enjoyable time. We left at about 9pm and I dropped Rob and Brian off at the Birdhouse Premiere. I skipped due to catching a cold on the plane on the way out here (awesome), but the drive down Hollywood Blvd. was cool regardless.

Ryan

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