Being the 3rd year for this event there was a little more competitive spirit in the air but it still came down to everyone just being happy and excited to be present. The first year of The World Round Up was all about showcasing the best Freestyle Skateboarders in the world and setting a precedence for a new world-wide competition, the second year was a reunion of sorts which attracted even more competitors than year one and created a true family feel to this event, and the third year was even better. When these guys fly into town from other countries they are super excited to be in Canada and even more excited to show off what they dedicate their lives to for hundreds of people day after day. Interesting features this year was Shen Meng being the first skater from China to participate in a world-wide contest and little 11 year old Isamu Yamamoto coming all the way from Japan to try and prove that he could be the next biggest thing in Freestyle. Isamu dominated the Amateur competition all weekend and managed to squeeze out the win. Everyone will remember that forever.
So making the recap video was pretty amazing, I love being invited each year by Monty Little and Kevin Harris to film this event and create something special out of it. After getting to know all the competitors from the last 2 years I have made a bunch of great relationships and really respect these guys in a lot of ways. Freestyle skateboarding is such a rare entity and the people that name themselves true Freestylers are very strong people, and they all seem happy just to go skate. This year I really wanted to focus on the feelings and emotions that pass through all the competitors’ minds over the 4 day weekend. Everybody always talks about how awesome it is to be in a room with so many people that they consider family, and I think I know why they are so tight. Think back to when skateboarding was fully not accepted in society, this was when street skating just became a trend and pool skating was all trespassing. All skateboarders were shunned by the community, people judged us without ever knowing us and they put us down for being ourselves and doing something creative that made us feel good and accomplished inside. Now think of the way that the skateboard community feels about Freestyle Skaters, a lot of it seems like we treat them the way that the whole world used to treat us. People diss freestyle but what are they actually dissing? Just other human beings that found something they love to do and dedicate their lives to. I’ll tell you why I love these guys – because no matter how many times they have been pushed down they keep on standing strong, they do what they love and they do it to the best of their ability, and no matter where they are it’s always about promoting skateboarding in a positive way. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
After 3 years at this event I feel blessed to know all of these guys and appreciate that they accept me into their family. With less than 300 freestyle skaters in the world, you know that you are meeting the best of the best, and every single one of them is the most humble, most appreciative, and most supportive person you will ever meet. So sit back and check out this recap video of The 2014 World Round Up Freestyle Championships and feel the love…
Awesome article, Mike. Thanks so much for sharing this.