Dlamini Dlamini performs a Fakie Kickflip during the Red Bull Unlocked 2016 in Durban, South Africa, on December 18.
Image credit: / Kevin Sawyer/Red Bull Content Pool
The 62 invited skaters from all over South Africa were whittled down to five on a specially-built course at People’s Park.
The Best Trick went to Durban’s Simon Stipcich while the final was a fiercely-fought contest between Dlamini Dlamini, Gavin ‘Moses’ Adams (Cape Town), Brandon Valjalo (Jozi), Braxton Haynes (Durban) and Jeremy Stone (Jozi) each pushing each other to lay it all down on the course.
“There were good skaters out there,” said Dlamini. “We all know each other so it doesn’t feel like a competition, it’s just good fun with good vibes.”
Of his line, he said: “I didn’t really plan my moves. The course was really quick, so as soon as you landed, the next obstacle was there waiting for you. You had to create your own run and think out of the box. It’s an art.”
Tasked with the tough job of judging the country’s best skaters were Luke Jackson of Session Magazine, Riaan Van Biljoen of the NSA and Brendan Body of The Shred Skateboard Park and Session Magazine, each integral roleplayers in South Africa’s skateboarding scene.
“It was a really great event, the level of skating was so high and the weather was perfect, if a bit hot,” said Jackson, editor of Session Magazine. “The course was really interesting. There aren’t a lot of events that are designed around a feature as such, it’s usually just at a skate park. But today’s Red Bull Unlocked was at one of the most iconic venues in South Africa.”
Jackson said openness of the venue really gave the skaters more freedom and options, encouraging creativity which was appreciated by some 500 spectators.
“There’s nothing else like this in the country,” he continued. “The Best Trick event was definitely a highlight. They had designed a kicker up to the water feature in the centre of People’s Park which the skaters had to shoot over. It was great how the existing structures had been incorporated into the contest.”
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