For the fourth round Official Qualifier in the 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series, Vans decided that Huntington Beach, California would make the perfect locale. One of the most extraordinary aspects of the fourth round Huntington Beach event was that the park was actually a custom build park created right on the beautiful sands of Huntington Beach. Being right next to the ocean and one of the best surf spots on the southern California coastline definitely helped to create the tone of the event as a classic, sun-soaked return to the roots of skateboarding’s colorful history.
A park design heavily focused on basic vert features and conventional bowl construction, the Huntington Beach custom skatepark is surrounded on all sides by small-scale bowl-style quarter pipe. Two major park features include a large spine transfer and a small pocket bowl as well, which all of the competitors managed to use in different and innovative ways. Another great design aspect of the Huntington Beach custom park for the 2016 Vans Pro Park Series is that it accomplishes the goal of incorporating a large amount of different transition opportunities for riders in the competition. With plenty of seating for the crowd, the Huntington Beach qualifier was a massive success with a full house in attendance.
At the Huntington Beach fourth round Official Qualifier, the United States representatives in the competition showed extreme effort and determination on their home turf. This determination paid off, since 4 of the 5 top qualifiers in the Huntington Beach event turned out to be American skateboarders. With Chris Russell being the superstar of this event, it is starting to look like his chances are quite good for winning the overall title in the 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series. This wouldn’t be such an easy prediction to make if Russell hadn’t put up a staggering 91.99 for his Top Run scoring, with some expert trick executions putting him at the top of the pack in the Huntington Beach Official Qualifier.
With an amazing 91.99 Top Run score, Chris Russell was truly on point at the Huntington Beach fourth round qualifier. With a near perfect run, Russell was able to stick every one of his landings without failure, which definitely impressed the crowd and the judges too. With expert control on the vert features at the Huntington Beach custom build park, Chris was able to achieve great hang time over the coping on several tricks, and he also hit massive transition grinds and slides which helped to improve the overall flow of his Top Run performance.
In second place at the fourth round Official Qualifier was American skateboarder Ben Hatchell, a fierce competitor who has remained consistent and a true contender throughout the entire 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series. His ability to engage the many transition implements in the custom Huntington Beach park so smoothly and confidently have allowed him to execute the level of tricks necessary to excel in this 2016 Vans Pro Park competition. Earning an 89.10 for his Top Run scoring was definitely an impressive feat for Hatchell, and a necessary act if he intends to have a shot at winning it all in the finals on August 20th.
Hailing from Sweden, Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg took the third place spot at the Huntington Beach custom skatepark with a sense of style in his riding which was definitely an above and beyond performance from the Swedish competitor. Being able to incorporate a sense of true fluidity and personality in one’s riding is an important aspect of being a top-rate competitor, and this is something that Hallberg is able to do quite successfully. Whether he was flying and spinning above the coping or sticking a technical flip trick over the lip, Hallberg managed to do it in style at Huntington Beach earning an 86.24 for his Top Run score.
With his consistent, constant, almost conservative, yet always innovative type of skateboarding, Tom Schaar was able to work his way into fourth place at the fourth round Official Qualifier by putting up a solid yet safely earned 84.45 Top Run scoring. Tom Schaar’s performance at the Huntington Beach custom park was completely characteristic of the American skateboarder in the sense that he was able to wow the crowd and the judges, without appearing to ever truly leave his comfort zone of riding. After the fourth round Huntington Beach qualifier, it is clear that Tom Schaar is definitely still in the running to place highly in the final round of the 2016 Vans Pro Skate Park Series.
In fifth place at the Huntington Beach Official Qualifier was American skateboarder Tristan Rennie who managed to turn in an impressive 82.74 for his Top Run scoring performance. It is fairly safe to say that Rennie is definitely a type of wild card competitor, who can be volatile at times but can also produce outstanding runs like the one we witnessed at the Huntington Beach park. With this being the case, it makes sense to say that Rennie is going to be very exciting to watch as we move into the final round. Tristan skates with a kind of wild style that is sort of unpredictable and seemingly dangerous at times, but this tactic seems to gain him some major payoffs when he lands massive tricks.