October 10, 2022
The date is October 1, 2022. The Sovereign of Street scooter competition is soon to begin as 11 am approached hastily. The weather is hot and dry, 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Degrees Celsius) with not a cloud in sight. Riders from around the globe have gathered in Lake Havasu, Arizona to showcase their expertise and unique style while riding a street course.
Riding into the skatepark, I quickly realized that we were amongst the greatest scooter riders of this generation, as well as the following generations to come. The omnifarious moods are immediately displayed among each rider. The first riders I approached were Richard Zelinka, Matis Neyroud, and Juzzy Carter. Three different styles of riders with nothing but talent and unlimited capability on their scooters. The conversations proved to me that these guys were built to compete at the highest level of action sports. All are in good spirits and looking to simply have fun. Nothing stood in their way. Ten minutes had passed and it was time to begin the competition.
As the first rider is announced, tense energy flows like a river throughout the skatepark. There are five riders in each heat, bar none stacked with the best talent in our sport. Each rider was given two 45-second runs and a best trick at the end of each, averaging into their qualifying scores. Kristian Albrecht from the Czech Republic threw down a solid first run to start things off. The mood lightens as he thanks the crowd and sets the stage for a day of utter madness. The party feels undertaken when Joel Ingold and Devin Szydlowski display their skills. Joel hailing from Australia with his technical and undeniable cleanliness while cruising the park showed us all why he deserved to be there. A flawless and unforgettable run.
Up next was Devin Szydlowski. A clear crowd favorite and a genuine person to the core. Falling a few times and missing a few tricks did not keep Devin from smiling through it all. Continuing on, The Shop Proscooterlab team rider Nolan Shoemaker illustrates his devotion, style, and talent on a scooter. Thus confirming he is one of the greatest scooter riders to date. Nolan’s trick bag is deeper than the grand canyon and the diversity of the park and street tricks formed a spectacle. Nolan was not as consistent as he’d like, but that is completely okay. He did not stop cheesing while undergoing the pressure of what it takes to compete at this event surrounded by the best riders in our sport.
The competition kept on rolling and the bar continued to be pushed higher. The passion and love for scootering unveiled itself as the totality of riders competing in the Sovereign of Street showed each other comradery, respect, and love. No matter how each run went, good or bad, a smile was shown and hugs were passed around like presents on Christmas morning. This competition was a bright reminder of why I love this community. I am thankful to have begun riding a scooter nearly fourteen years ago.
As I’ve only listed a few names, I would like to state that every one of the competitors killed it. Austin Coates, from the United States of America, with his slappy bar-whip from the top of the park section into the street section was insanity. Roomet Saalik pulling off a 180-backflip over the main rail to flat still hasn’t sat right with me. An endless slew of unhinged scooter tricks ended the day on an unspeakable note. The sun was no longer raging which meant adult beverages were coursing and carefree competitors lurked amongst the skatepark plaza for the competition results.
A crowd gathers in the middle of the course and the hype rises. As everybody seemed tired and grateful to not have passed out due to heat exhaustion, the results were in.
Coming in third place was Joel Ingold. His runs were outstandingly consistent, technical, and stylish. His best trick had been a body varial off of the top bank down the main three block was easily notable as it shocked us all. He did this first try. Joel’s foot placement and immaculacy while stomping his runs are incalculable. At just nineteen years old, this kid is a force to be reckoned with.
Up next, in second place, another Australian scooter rider by the name of Kai Saunders, also known as “Saundezy”. With his insane full whip, rotor whip, and 50-50 rail combos, he did not quit giving the crowd a show. Linking technical rail tricks into drop manuals, it was like this kid was the epitome of balance and steeze. There is no other rider quite like Kai Saunders.
Last, and certainly not least, was Lucas Di Meglio. A French rider that has been on an unstoppable roll throughout the past year or two of competitions. Not skipping a beat by hitting tricks on every obstacle, having flawless runs, and making the hardest tricks look like a walk in the park. Lucas wields a type of modus operandi that is unforgiving and a pleasure to watch unfold. This man should have needed to pass the “Are you a robot?” test while receiving his trophy and check. Did he really know which box had a fire hydrant or was it all a ploy?
Congratulations to every single rider who competed. Your dedication and love for scootering cannot go unthanked. You all deserved this opportunity ten times over. It was an absolute ebullience to watch you all do what you do best.
Thank you, scootering.
- Ryland Smith
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September 27, 2022
September 27, 2022