Vans’ Downtown Showdown is a unique event, pitching some of the world’s finest skateboarding teams against each other in not only a battle of skill, but also of creativity – the event features obstacles designed by the teams themselves. The result is a competition like no other, as the teams go head to head to thrash it out over an unconventional course.
In 2013, Downtown Showdown’s fifth year, the competition took over the vast Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, following previous events in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Old Spitalfields Market in the East End of London. Attracted by 50,000 euros in prize money, teams taking part included Antiz, Death, Isle, Metropolitan, Palace, Sweet, Dropdead and reigning champions Flip.
Obstacles chosen to feature on the course were Element’s Eiffel tower replica, the Arc de Triomphe covered by a French flag by Flip, luxury luggage and a pack of cigarettes by Palace, and Cliché’s Eiffel tower ponds. Luan Oliveira’s consistency and control were awarded with the best Pro prize, while Nassim Guammaz was crowned best Am. The team competition was won by Element Europe.
However, its not only the skateboarding that has made the Downtown Showdown one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the skateboarding calendar – the event also brings together the best of art, music and street culture. Former Paris resident and graphic artist Mambo created the posters for the 2013 edition, and he painted one of his signature pieces on a grand scale, live at the event.