World Round Up Preview 2016The world’s largest freestyle contest returns to the Cloverdale Rodeo and County Fair for the fifth year and it’s set to be a big one!

This year’s World Round Up welcomes over 40 freestylers from 12 countries across the globe, with the highest ever number of amateur freestylers, including skaters entering their first international competitions, and an exceptionally diverse range of at least six national champions in the Professional contest.

So for those of you who are new to the Round Up and those of you who are just wondering what to expect from this year’s contest, we’ve put together some facts and thoughts about the contest, who’s going to be there, why you should be watching and just what you can expect to see!

About the Event

So if you haven’t heard about the World Round Up yet, here’s what you need to know. Having played an important part in the freestyle skateboarding contest calendar for several years now, the World Round Up is the biggest contest of the year, offering up $10,000 in prize funds and welcoming an incredibly diverse range of professional, amateur and legendary freestylers from across the globe.

Jesse Whalen - No handed 50/50
Jesse Whalen – No handed 50/50

Heats are broken down into groups of four to five freestylers, who are each given three one minute long runs. As soon as one rider’s run is finished, the next one jumps in and so on, until it reaches the first skater again; at which point, the cycle starts over again.

Taking place over four days at the Cloverdale Rodeo and County Fair, freestylers will skate through qualifying and semi-final rounds before reaching the final, with the top ten riders receiving a share of the prize fund.

In addition to the main contest, there are also several ‘bonus’ contests, including the 360 Spin Off, Best Trick, Best Handstand Trick, Longest Coco Wheelie, Worst Trick and the Henri Candiotti Skate 4 Fun award, in honour of the late great freestyler and master of style himself.

So now you’re all caught up, here’s a look at some of the incredible talent that will be joining in with this year’s contest:

Who’s going to the World Round Up?

So where better to start than with a look at some of the previous winners who will be returning to take another shot at the World Champion title. Two time winner Gunter Mokulys is expected to return to the event after a spectacular performance in 2015; taking the win at the Round Up and just about every other contest he entered!

Gunter Mokulys - Tucknee Spacewalk
Gunter Mokulys – Tucknee Spacewalk

The incredible Mike Osterman, 2014 Round Up winner, will also be back to try and reclaim the top spot after narrowly missing out in 2015. Both of these guys are undoubtedly ones to watch, but there’s more than a few newcomers and returning skaters that could cause an upset!

Joining the contest for the first time this year, the Round Up welcomes the American, Romanian and British national champions. Connor Burke, who you might have spotted on the Ride Channel a few months back, is a master of the one minute run with fast, powerful and stylish skateboarding. The people’s champion and hero of freestyle Marius Constantin will be competing as a professional for the first time after winning every amateur contest he entered for the last two years.

Rounding off the title champions there’s Tony Gale, the incredibly technical and powerful freestyler from the UK who triumphantly returned to competitive freestyle in 2015.

When it comes to returning pros, there’s no way we could get through this article without mentioning Isamu Yamamoto, a thirteen year old powerhouse who has won every pro contest he has entered this year. Any of the top ranking pros, including Per Cangeru, Lillis, Rene Shigueto and Jesse Whalen, are also highly seeded and sure to perform incredibly.

In the most hotly contested amateur contest for many years, over 20 freestylers will be aiming to take the win and, with Andy Anderson, the 2015 champion, returning to defend his title, its sure to be an intense final!

Brazilian amateurs Kaue Aroujo and Diego Pires Afonso are undoubtedly expected to perform well, after taking the second and third spots in 2015 and are sure to be pushing for the win this year. High ranking amateurs Derek Elliott and Dillanger Kane will also be returning to the event and could well climb even higher up the ranks this year.

Andy Anderson - Kickflip to Rail
Andy Anderson – Kickflip to Rail

There are too many newcomers to the contest to name them all but we couldn’t not mention Lalnunkima “Kima” Ralte from India and Josh Dunstone from Australia; two young newcomers entering their first freestyle contests who are definitely worth watching out for!

In addition to the contest skaters, it’s worth a quick mention that this year’s event will welcome several true legends of freestyle. Joining Kevin Harris, Russ Howell and Monty Little will be none other than Per Welinder, member of the Bones Brigade, stunt double in Back to the Future and the only man to beat Rodney Mullen in a contest!

We could write for hours about the level at talent at this year’s contest but for now, just make sure you check out all of the latest rider biographies and videos on the World Round Up website!

Your Thoughts on the Round Up

As always, we’re looking forward to this year’s Round Up and, were we not attending ourselves, we would definitely be watching the livestream throughout the weekend!

Will you be attending or watching this year’s Round Up? Who do you think is going to win? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, so please feel free to join the discussion on the LateTricks Facebook page or on Twitter @FSLateTricks.

We look forward to seeing you there!

*All pictures have been screengrabbed from the Protest Skateboard’s World Round Up video, make sure you check it out in full at the top of the page and visit their website!

World Round Up Preview 2016