Words and Photos: Matt McLeod
I got the call from my homie and manager of RDS Skate Supply in North Vancouver, Pryce Watkins, and he asked if I would be interested in shooting their Welcome To Summer Block Party on the 13th of June. He explained to me that it was an open invitation, best line contest that was going to be held on their street in North Van. Pryce also mentioned that the Coors Light bus would be there providing free beers, a Monster Energy Drink tent handing out free Monsters, a concession selling hot dogs, and music bumpin’ all day long. I was more than hyped to accept the offer and was I ever in for a bangin day!
I arrived at RDS around 11am to help with the set up and to get the day going. The Block Party had a huge section of the street in front of the RDS store blocked off. The skaters had the whole street to work with, and the sidewalks were taken over by the crowd, the various concession tents, and some artists spray-painting canvases. The course itself consisted of a 6-foot long box, a flat bar, and a kicker over a wooden barricade. Once everyone was signed up and had a warm-up skate, the sesh was set to start.
The comp was a 3-minute jam session, with 3 skaters in each heat. There was to be one winner of each heat that would move on to the quarter-finals, then the semis, followed by the top 2 battle. The crowd was definitely not disappointed with amazing trick after amazing trick being consistently thrown down. Arron Johnson also kept the crowd hyped the whole time with his hand on the megaphone. The final 2 boiled down to Micky Papa and Justin Allain. Basically it was them following each other around the course throwing down banger after banger consecutively. It was truly amazing and ended with Justin throwing down a long kickflip back lip on the box followed with Micky doing a buttery frontside flip to switch 5-0! It was truly amazing to watch. It was a hard one to judge, but Micky was labeled the champ with a crisp $500 in cash as the prize. Justin got a smooth $300 for second.
The most amazing thing about the Block Party is that it truly felt like a block party! The comp had a no stress vibe, sick skating went down, there was BBQ and beer, and a huge turn out. I want to give a huge thanks to RDS Skate Supply and Pryce Watkins for putting this all together! Also big thanks to all the sponsors, Coors Light, Nixon Watches, Electric Eyewear, DC Shoes, LRG Clothing, Supra Distribution, Monster Energy Drink and Informal Attire for everything they did. I don’t think the day could have been better and I hope there’s another RDS Welcome to Summer Block Party next year!