There's one thing that needs to be said about contests: They always seem to be the same one way or another. Oh, you'll get a great street course once in a while, but they're few and far in between. Take the Downtown Showdown contest that happened over this past weekend, for example. It was not actually held in downtown Los Angeles, but instead a fake downtown constructed inside the world famous Universal Studios tourist trap in Hollywood. And boy, was it different!
What made this contest unique was the fact that the competitors, divided up into board company teams, got to design the obstacle course, which was a great idea, as it made for some unique contraptions like the Foundation Big Six, the Girl Torture Totter, the Zero Bank / Stair, the Tylenol Street Gap and the Scion Bank to Bank. Yep, that's right! Foundation, Girl, Zero, Tylenol and Scion each sponsored an obstacle! Kids, don't try this at home. If you build your own rail, quarterpipe or fun box, don't try to get it sponsored.
Also, it's worthy to note that the audience was comprised mostly of invited industry heads, and the whole event was filmed for TV! There was also a bunch of prize money being offered up to the Best Pro, Best Am, Best Team, etc. That was also a great idea. The éS team held it down pretty well. Contest vets Eric Koston and Rick McCrank, plus newcomers Antwuan Dixon and éS flow rider Nyjah Huston were all there getting their shred on.
Koston was just as smooth as always. McCrank cranked things up on the Torture Totter, which should have won Best Obstacle Design. After kicking it with his homies, Antwuan treated the Zero rail to a nice nollie heel crooks. And that Nyjah...what a young little whippersnapper. He can skate anything!
Although the éS team turned it up to 11, they still couldn't quite muster up enough moxie to oust team Toy Machine, who took home the Best Team honors. Maybe next time. Thanks to everyone who put on the contest.
More coverage at the Skatepark of Tampa.