Wellington City Council, International Skateboarder’s Union, Redhead or Dead Events, Skateboarding New Zealand and Miryoku Agency staged the New Zealand 2017 Park / Bowl Skateboarding Championships with BOWLZILLA Wellington in the Nation’s Capital.
SBNZ and ISU combined to establish the first ever New Zealand National Skateboarding Park / Bowl competition series. It all culminated on the weekend with BOWLZILLA Wellington. Wellington maintained its reputation for inconvenient weather for the entire weekend but luckily the Open and Masters divisions could be held and winners chosen.
The National Champions crowned were; Masters 40+; Leigh McKenzie, Open; Shaun Boucher. With Competition title going to Australian RJ Barbaro. R.J and Shaun were both successful in maintaining their titles from 2016. The weather made it impossible in the end to run the Women’s and 16 & Under divisions. The fast-developing talent in both divisions left everyone disappointed they did not get to see and support these amazing skaters. SBNZ will be integrating the 16 & Under and Women’s National Championship 2017 ranking into a future event this year.
BOWLZILLA Wellington 2017 placings:
1 R.J Barbaro – BOWLZILLA Wellington 2017 Open Champion
2 Shaun Boucher – SBNZ National Open Park / Bowl Skating Champion 2017
3 Willy Lara
4 Bowman Hansen
5 Mike Bancroft
6 Josh Wilson
7 Chris Wood
8 George Richards
9 Luke Hayward
10 James McGuiness
11 Chris Curren
12 Patrick Ryan
1 Leigh McKenzie - BOWLZILLA Wellington 2017 and SBNZ National Masters Park / Bowl SkatingChampion 2017
2 Stephen Crump
3 Nick Bennett
4 Ramon Thackwell
5 Nic Couscouris
6 Lee Ralph
There was NZ$15,000 in prize money distributed amongst the Open and Masters divisions. There was also$2000 worth of prizes, donated by; Fusion Surf / Skate, Vans and Dickies, for the 16 & Under and Women’s divisions, which were equally distributed amongst all the competitors after the wash out.
“Park / Bowl skating is clearly on the rise in New Zealand as was evidenced by the new talent entering our competitions over summer and the rise in skill level of the current skaters. The new series we established here at SBNZ is a real boost for the local scene and is bringing out more riders from near and far. We have interest from a lot of organisations to help us find ways of funding and supporting skateboarding now and well into the future. With our involvement in assisting communities develop and build better skateparks, working with promoters to establish competitions for local talent to develop and providing a community and voice for New Zealand skaters, the future is looking great. Having BOWLZILLA Wellington be the series final gives us a great chance to cap each year and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.” Jesse Peters – Director, SBNZ.
Even with the challenging weather BOWLZILLA Wellington was a Capital success with the festival hosting; ARTZILLA – art show, which was produced by Manky Chops, Fusion Surf / Skate – welcome barbecue, the competition and wrapping it up with the Dive In - party at San Fran with the SUB:BASS crew raising the roof for the final celebration.
"This year BOWLZILLA Wellington was a real game changer for us, we managed to triple the prize purse, saw an increase in international competitors, more friends and fans at the festival events, far more support from a wider group of sponsors and the growing talent of the skaters. It means we have a long future in Wellington. Being able to integrate this all in with SBNZ so we can crown the National Championships for New Zealand makes it that little bit extra special for us. Thank you one and all for everything you did to contribute to such an amazing but wet week.” Chad Ford – Director, BOWLZILLA Wellington.
Without the very generous support of the sponsors none of BOWLZILLA Wellington would be possible, so a huge thank you goes to; Wellington City Council, Skateboarding New Zealand, International Skateboarder’s Union, Coffee Supreme, Fusion Surf/Skate, Manual Magazine, Manky Chops, Powerhaus European Vehicle Workshop, San Fran, The Cambridge Hotel, the generous prizes from Dickies and Vans and the organisational skills of Redhead or Dead Events and Miryoku Agency. With ongoing support like this the opportunities for New Zealand skating are awesome.
We would like to acknowledge and thank all of the international attending skaters for their support of the event and skateboarding in New Zealand; Louis Newman - Australia (16 & Under), Sari Simpson - Australia (Women), Nic Couscouris - USA (Masters), Sean Goff - UK (Masters), Willy Lara – USA (Open), Patrick Ryan - USA (Open). We'll get it next year!
Stay tuned for announcements about BOWLZILLA Wellington 2018.