Skatepark and Competition Locale
On July 9th, 2016 the Vans Pro Skate Park Series headed on over to Hastings Skatepark in Vancouver, Canada for the third Official Qualifier round in the competition. Truly, Vans could not have selected a better Vancouver park for this event, as this Jim Barnum original design skatepark is one that changed the skateboarding landscape in Vancouver circa 2001. Barnum purposefully designed the Hastings park to fill in a wide range of gaps in the park scene at the time, which were primarily characterized by a severe lack of conventional bowl designs and coping bowls as well. While some stone and pool coping can be found at the Hastings park, it is very much dominated by conventional metal coping that is perfect for long and fast grinds and maintaining flow speed through the park.
The vert-centric Hastings park in Vancouver has got some serious depth to it, and for this reason it makes complete sense that the event organizers would choose this particular park for the third Official Qualifier in the 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series. It makes sense because the park locations in the earlier qualifying rounds tended towards having lower depth transitions and ramp builds, which made the stakes a bit lower overall. In the third qualifier at Hastings park, the ante has officially been upped and competitors certainly are forced to accommodate the increase in danger and risk involved. For some competitors, thriving on the higher stakes is the name of the game, while for others a sense of timidity can occasionally kick in when tricks are being forced out of 10-foot bowl depths and massive transitions. Hastings is a park with a relatively brief and yet quite rich local, professional, and amateur competition history. The 2016 third round Vans Pro Park Series official qualifier round held at Hastings is definitely no exception to that rich history.
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Competitor Performances and Scoring
Ivan Federico, the Italian Stallion of the bunch, had an outstanding performance at Hastings and managed to take the top spot. First place by a massive margin was a trend seen once more at the Vancouver qualifier, as Federico managed to take 1st by a margin of nearly five entire points. This trend of the front runner at each event taking 1st by an average margin of nearly five points has repeated three times in a row now, and this certainly casts an interesting light on the nature of this 2016 Vans Pro Park Series competitive field as well as the corresponding judges within each qualifier event. At any rate the Europeans took the top spots in the Vancouver event, with the Americans heavily stacked in the lower positioned finalists.
1st Place – Ivan Federico, Italy:
With a 1st place finish and a Top Run scoring of 89.98, Ivan Federico came dangerously close to that rounded out and coveted 90.00 scoring level. Displaying an expert control over the depths and wide transitions at Hastings park, Federico sailed his way into first with a couple incredible above coping spin-grabs and coping grind combos that obviously wowed the judges and the spectator crowd in entirety. Federico is on the top of his game right now, and there is nothing to suggest that he is not going to carry this meteoric momentum into the fourth round qualifier at Huntington Beach, California.
2nd Place – Robin Bolian, France:
Vancouver proved to be a stomping ground for the European skateboarders, as the Frenchman Robin Bolian had an absolute show-stopping performance at Hastings park. Considering that this was the third official qualifier in the 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series, he could not have pulled out the 2nd place finish at a better time to stay competitive through into the final round of the competition. Coming in with an 85.43 for his Top Run scoring, Robin was slamming big transition tricks and landing complex flip tricks over bank gaps with relative ease. While 2nd place was an awfully close call between Robin Bolian and Cory Juneau, Robin’s run was simply more trick-dense and his landings were a bit cleaner than Cory’s were so the 2nd place finish by Robin Bolian made complete sense in the end.
3rd Place – Cory Juneau, United States:
Coming in at 3rd place in the Vancouver qualifier event, Cory Juneau is certainly hanging in there at the top echelon of competition in this year’s Vans Pro Skate Park Series. He is another competitor that is contending for a top spot in the finals, and should be watched closely by everyone invested in the outcomes of this competition series. Putting up a rock solid 85.29 for his Top Run score, Cory Juneau is a competitor that uses massive ollies and extensive hang time in his runs in order to land tricks in a way that makes them more spectacular and fun for the audience to watch. His highflying riding style is likely to propel him into a solid finish in this Vans Pro Park series, if not perhaps the top spot.
4th Place – Chris Russell, United States:
At 4th place, the American Chris Russell once again exhibited a very strong performance, demonstrating his skateboarding prowess and ability for consistent trick execution. Watching Chris Russell is often very enjoyable, as it was at Hastings park in this third round qualifier, and this is due in large part to his high level of consistency when it comes to trying out big tricks. While some riders are prone to choking or making mistakes when trying out big or risky maneuvers, Chris Russell shows time and time again that he can handle this level of pressure and then some. Bringing in an 83.91 Top Run score at Hastings park in Vancouver was a necessary move to make if Chris wants to win the entire series, but he is going to need to step it up even more going into the fourth round qualifier if he wants a chance at winning this competition.
5th Place – Alex Sorgente, United States:
Another United States native, Alex Sorgente, brought a hell of a performance to the third round Official Qualifier event at Hastings park in Vancouver, Canada. His performance in Vancouver is certain to attract some more attention to himself as a skateboarder, as he pushed his personal envelope considerably at Hastings. Getting into 5th place is no easy feat, especially with the depth and experience base of the competitive field in the 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series. Additionally, Sorgente was able to put up an impressive score of 83.73 in his Top Run performance scoring. Using highly precise ledge and coping slides, Sorgente’s smooth and slippery skating style definitely came into play at Hastings park. He is one of the main underdog competitors to continue watching as we move into the fourth and final qualifier at this Vans Pro Park Series.