European Skateboard Championships 2008

The European Skateboard Championships 2008 moved into a new dimension as the sun came out in full force for the final day of competition in Basel.

Horrwath on top.  Copyright: Peter OrtmannWith just under 400 competitors from as young as 6 and from all corners of Europe, the 10 000 spectators over the four days were not disappointed. Throughout the weekend the excitement escalated from watching the skateboarders of tomorrow impressing in the Junior’s competition through the more seasoned pros battling it out in the miniramp final, to finally lifting the roof as new blood were giving the favourites in the street final.

One thing was soon clear to all: the level of skateboarding in Europe is just getting better and better. Thursday started with 70 skateboarders in the Junior Champs out of which 8 qualified straight into Saturday’s pro qualifications. Outstanding was Woody Hoogendyk from the Netherlands, who, in the end, made it through to the finals and successfully placed 6th over all. Friday the doors open early to welcome the next round of over 200 skateboarders for prequalification. With a higher level than ever before the fight for the 30 spots in the qualification challenged the judges.

Extraterrestrial guests appeared as well in the shape of a very green Dimitri Stathis, who come all the way from Berlin to visit his home country and skate the course built by IOU ramps Saturday started out with the street qualifications, where the 30 qualified skateboarders from Friday and the eight youngsters from the Junior Champs went head to head with Europe’s top 100 pre-invited skateboarders.

In the afternoon over 70 skateboarders came to skate the new 21m wide miniramp from IOU-Ramps. The miniramp had a lot of different features like roof top extension and the oververt section, just to mention a few. Jürgen Horrwarth from Germany closed down the contest with his first run and made the point, that he was the man to beat.

His run included a backside tail slide up the roof top extension, and an alley oop backside ollie into the roll in and placed Juergen first in the miniramp. Second place went to Micky Iglesias from Lausanne for his endless run with a combination of switch liptricks and long grinds. Julian Dykmans came third with his creative skating that took him all over the ramp.

Not to forget the appearance of commander Oli Bürgin from Basel and main organiser of the event, surprising everybody in his futuristic outfit in line to this year's theme ”science fiction”. Sunday the girls jam started as soon as the doors opened. The girls had the qualifications at 10.30 am and than the girls final was in the afternoon: Ianire Ellorriaga from Spain skated her run consistent and won the contest again for the 5th time, Evelien Bouillart from Belgium was doing some crazy handrail tricks and finished second, third place went out to Candy Jacobs from Holland.

In the street finals Phil Zwijsen from Belgium impressed already with his color matching outfit and perfect blunt fakies and switch blunt fakies on the big wall ride and a kickflip over the centre piece, one footed ollie over the centre piece and stylish switch kickflips, which awarded him the European Champion 08 title and top spot on the podium. Lem Villemin from Germany took second place with an amazing first stay on run including technically super advanced up to date skateboarding with a wide variety of tricks made to look ridiculously effortless.

13-Year old Axel Cruysberghs was definitely the crowd pleaser of the weekend. The crowd went mental when he was grinding, flying, flipping over the entire course to became third on the podium. Nabil Slimani from France finished of this weekend doing the Best Trick: Kickflip backside Nosegrind on hubba. Thanks to etnies and Carhartt, Red Bull, Element and the city of Basel for making this weekend an unforgettable one and thanks to all the skateboarders, volunteers, friends, families and aliens supporting the 8th edition of the European Skateboard Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

May the force be with us for the next dimension in 09. See you in Basel!

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