First held in 2009, Vans Shop Riot is all about recognising European skateboarding, independent skateshops and their teams through a series of original contests. It’s the perfect opportunity for European skateshops to show that they are an integral part of their local scene, and put themselves up against the rest.
Bristol’s Fifty Fifty skateshop won the national title in 2010, and claimed second place at the European finals in Switzerland, behind France’s ABS. The following year, Fifty Fifty again performed well, before losing out to Manchester’s The Black Sheep in a four-minute best trick session in the national final. The Black Sheep went on to win the overall 2011 European title in Paris.
For its fifth edition in 2013, the series toured the continent with a format that was bigger and better than ever, with the top shop teams from each country, including for the first time Estonia, Sweden and Russia, battling it out over one day on one of their best skateparks. The UK was given two dates in Redcar and Poole. Competition culminated in the European final in October at The Works Skatepark in Leeds, with a street section featuring an impressive set-up of driveways, quarter pipes, blocks, flat banks and hips.
True to its roots, the tour finale was a no-holds-barred skate-off, with The Black Sheep eventually taking the top prize for the second time. The shop’s team, including Rikk Fields, Eddie Belvedere and Rob Smith, took on Street Market skateshop from the Czech Republic in the final, and came home with the win.