As far as skateboarding coups go, this one has got to rank in the top five.
From what we heard, the backroom logistics behind this event took nearly a year but my word, it was worth every meeting.
Skateboarding at the Royal Albert Hall – with full permission, custom cast concrete obstacles winched in, complete with street signage and Kensington-specific architectural references….
You will no doubt be looking at the photos already so we’ll keep this brief.
May 28th and 29th saw Red Bull bring their long-established Hold the Line event to the courtyard of one of London’s most iconic places.
Skaters from all corners of the globe were invited and a two-day event, the likes of which we haven’t seen in the capital for a very, very long time, unfolded under perfectly blue skies.
The set up consisted of three bespoke obstacles, a handrail down the first set of stairs, a kicker/flat bar/ledge combo in the middle, and a chunky cement hubba that traversed the bottom set. The idea was simple – each skater had to link their lines using all three obstacles, with only completed three-trick lines counting.
There were seven qualifying heats, with ten people progressing from those into the eventual final. Trick highlights came thick and fast with differing approaches and styles befitting such a diverse crowd of rippers.
After three hours of blazing sunshine, the ten-man final was whittled down with skaters representing every country you could think of battling it out in front of hundreds of cheering spectators.
Judging this one must’ve been a nightmare but there can’t have been anybody in the crowd who could argue with the eventual victor, as Tommy Fynn was truly ridiculous in the finals – contest consistency is one thing, but landing a first try line, ending on a flip crook down a huge hubba as the horns blew for time on the final is showmanship and skill on a whole different level. The guy is insanely good.
Massive respect and praise to Louis, Bryony, Sophie, Benoit and everybody at Red Bull involved in making this happen. Truly spectacular stuff!
Full results as below.
Red Bull Hold the Line – Top ten
1st – Tommy Fynn
2nd – Douwe Macare
3rd – Aurelien Giraud
4th – Maxim Habanec
5th – Denny Pham
6th – Mark Frolich
7th – Nassim Guammaz
8th – Jarne Verbruggen
9th – Max Kruglov
10th – Thaynan Costa
Gav Coughlan – frontside feeble grind – Photo Horse
Douwe Macare – frontside nosegrind – Photo Horse
Eniz Fazliov – frontside bluntslide – Photo Horse
Jost Arens – backside nosebluntslide – Photo Horse
Chris Pfanner – ollie over to 5050 – Photo Horse