Myself and [Dave Brumlow] were invited to the 3rd annual Shanghai Showdown this past weekend at the world’s largest skatepark (in Shanghai, China). This was my 2nd time at the event, so I already knew what to expect as far as how massive this place is, but regardless it’s still pretty overwhelming. Doesn’t really matter how skilled you are or aren’t—riding a 15 ft deep bowls is intimidating.
Even though the park is 90% transitions and very few of the walls are under 10 feet, the street contest was just that—a street contest. The course was primarily rails, banks, ledges, etc. Since I rarely ride street I had a couple hours to relearn all the tricks I used to do when I rode a lot of street about, well, 15 years ago. Fortunately for me, DMC rode sub-par for him and Koji Kraft mopped the place up—3rd place was mine.
The vert ramp was 15 ft tall and about 2 miles wide. Very few people in the world could ride a ramp that size, let alone 540 it, but Dave Brumlow did. 5th place money for Brumlow. A handful of Chinese riders showed up and had every line down in the park. They were all pretty excited I had some UGP shirts for them—something hard to come by in that part of the world.
When not at the event we spent a good amount of time buying DVDs from guys in alleys (all mine work fine, but if you speak Russian talk to Brumlow—he has a present for you), running from beggars on the streets, playing real life “Frogger” with traffic, and getting hour-long man-sages for $1 (I bowed out of this “fun”).
If you ever get a chance to go to China for any reason, don’t hesitiate. This was my 3rd time there and I can’t wait to go back again.