For the last three years, freestylers from around the world flock to Vancouver, Canada, for the spectacular Cloverdale Rodeo & County Fair. Whilst primarily visiting for good old fashioned family fun and exciting rodeo action, the freestylers even managed to find some time for one of the biggest freestyle contests seen in recent history – and the World Round Up was born!
Now into it’s fourth year, the World Round Up still attracts an incredible array of freestyle skateboarding talent from across the globe. This year, there will be over 34 freestylers from 9 different countries in attendance, making it one of the most popular and fiercely contested years so far.
What’s special about the World Round Up?
The World Round Up brought 1 minute contest runs to the main stage, ousting the traditionally recognised 2 minute run format. Breaking the contest down into several blocks of 1 minute runs is designed to make freestyle skateboarding more palatable to the everyday rodeo attendee, showing them a wide variety of styles and skillsets in short concentrated bursts.
Another fantastic reason to skate in the World Round Up is the prize money. There’s a whopping $10,000 up for grabs, making this the most lucrative freestyle contest in the world right now. The event also honours the late, great Henry Candioti with the ‘Skate 4 Fun’ award, awarded to the freestyler who best embodies the fun & creativity of freestyle skateboarding.
This year, the event will also welcome Kilian Martin for another demo. Kilian will be joined by freestyle film-maker extraordinaire Brett Novak for the debut of their latest skateboarding video ‘Searching Sirocco’.
Last year’s World Round Up
If you were lucky enough to be at the World Round Up last year, or caught the live stream online, you were in for a real treat. Both the Professional and Amateur contests were incredibly close with plenty of the riders sticking several perfect runs.
In the amateur contest, 2013′s runners up Kaue Araujo and Andy Anderson were both pushing for the top spot, however it wasn’t to be, as the sensational Isamu Yamamoto made the trip over from Japan to clean up with an incredible routine.
In the professional contest, Rene Shigueto, Per Canguru and Jesse Whalen all stuck perfect runs, but the real race for the top spot was between Mike Osterman and returning champion Gunter Mokulys. Gunter’s run was absolutely brilliant, building upon his winning run from the previous year, however with the final run of the day, Mike Osterman came through with a flawless run to take the top spot.
Who’s Coming this Year
With one of the most diverse line ups in the freestyle calendar this year, there’s plenty of reasons you’ll want to watch this years event.
Previous champions Mike Osterman and Gunter Mokulys will both be returning this year to fierce competition. Jesse, Per and Rene will all be back, undoubtedly looking for their first World Round Up victory. Plus, the amateur champion Isamu Yamamoto has also been bumped up into the pro contest, so it’s going to be incredibly open!
Joining them in the pro contest will be two more of last year’s amateurs; Felix Jonnson and Jacob Whitt. Joining the contest for the first time will be Satoshi Ohashi from Japan, competing in the Pro division, along with American Derek Elliott and Brazilian Diego Pires Afonso in the Amateur division,
Who’s Missing this Year
When you have a contest with such an incredible line up, you know you’re in for a visual treat, but there’s always a few faces you’d hope to see at a contest like this!
2013 Amateur champion Ryan Brynelson and Brazilian Rogerio Antigo are both absent from this years professional line up; however all other Professionals from last year will be returning. Although it has been some time since they last attended, 2012 champion Darryl Grogan, 2013 runner up Seya Nakano and Japanese freestyle legends Masahiro and Toshiaki Fujii will also be absent this year; hopefully we’ll see them return for 2016!
After turning Pro in 2014, it’s a shame that Pete Betti won’t be at this years event either; especially after he stuck 3 carousels in a single combo last time! In terms of freestylers who we’d like to see at the event next year, it would be brilliant to see more riders making the trip over from Europe. Sebastian Heupel, Tony Gale, Marco Sassi, Callum Bowran and Marius Constantin would be great additions to the contest; maybe next year guys!
Freestyle Fans thoughts on the World Round Up
We checked in with a couple of UK freestylers for their thoughts on the World Round Up, who they’re looking forward to seeing at this year’s event and their predictions for the top spots:
Denham Hill – NASS Freestyle Demo Skater
I always look forward to seeing such a wide demographic in a freestyle contest. You’ve got skaters like Gunter and Bert skating in the same contest as Mike Osterman and younger competitors like Isamu. It brings with it a great deal of diversity and a variety of styles, from the more traditional aspects to the more “new school” approach.
It’s the coming together of freestylers from so many generations that makes for an amazing contest, and will showcase the progression of our sport, while providing an important opportunity for freestylers of every background to network and strengthen our community.
Or summat like that. Mike will probably win anyways.
Simon Mrozinski – Photographer for Broken Fingers
Mike Osterman, Derek Elliott and Jesse Whalen
Chris Garnham – LateTricks camera guy and freestyle fanatic
Let me start by saying thank you for visiting the site! I’d recommended keeping a look out for Gunter Mokulys as he’s been on a real roll this year, and Lillis, well, because he’s just plain Lillis, thats why! We will have up to date coverage of the World Round Up for you to enjoy. Plus a whole host of information, videos and reports right here.
For me, Nass 2015 is the next big thing and I’m excited as all Hell So if you see us there come over and say hi.
Tony Gale – 3 Time UK Freestyle Champion
The smart money’s on Mike Osterman; not only is he coming back from last year’s win, but every single piece of footage he posts on the internet looks even stronger and cleaner than the last. He’s got a good chance of getting first place again, but his closest competition is probably going to be Rene Shigueto, who consistently places highly in every event he attends.
And, of course, the one I really want to see is Takashi Suzuki. Mullen once said that Harris was the “freestyler’s freestyler”; I think Takashi now takes that role. It’s amazing just watching him move, never mind the tricks.
LateTricks World Round Up Ones to Watch
Although the whole contest is sure to be a treat, here are a few of our top picks for riders to watch. Lynn Cooper is currently the only registered competitor in the Legends Freestyle Classic, so he’s definitely our top pick for that division. Lynn always skates brilliantly anyway, so his run is sure to be something special.
The top spot for the amateur contest will be exciting this year with both Andy Anderson and Kaue Araujo taking 3rd and 2nd respectively for the last 2 years running. However, they are also being joined by Diego Pires Afonso, who recently took the top spot in the Amateur contest at the Big Rio Freestyle Contest. It’ll also be worth watching out for newcomer Derek Elliott and our 2015 One to Watch Dillanger Kane.
For smooth fluid routines, make sure you check out Christian Heise, Stefan “Lillis” Akesson, Mic Murayama and Takashi Suzuki. Our picks for new riders breaking into the top 10 Professionals this year are Isamu Yamamoto and Dan Garb, but there’s such an incredible array of talent, it’s impossible to tell!
We will be watching the entire World Round Up livestream and live tweeting along, so if you’re there, watching along with us or just fancy a chat, join in with #worldroundup.
Good luck to everyone out there, have a great contest!
(Photography taken from the Official Cloverdale Rodeo & County Fair website)