By Morgan Campbell (SbA Head Judge)

After a ten week assault of Australia’s states and territories the qualifiers for the SbA Dew Series had been selected and the list for the final had been established. As per usual the crew met up early on the Saturday morning. Big days start with a coffee or two and boy did our crusty bunch need some caffeinated bevs to get the sleep biscuits out of our eyelids. Half the crew were staying in Richmond, and the other half in Fitzroy. The Richmond sector swung by the Fitzroy massif and then we hightailed it into Brunswick Street in search of some magic bean juice, then it was off to the halls of Cranbourne.

The Shed is like an indoor skatepark on steroids. You will see it on the clip. There are obstacles galore and some of the terrain is on the distinctively gnar side of the burl fence. Despite some of the stature of the obstacles Australia’s finest up and comers shredded it to splinters on Saturday. My judging squadron consisted of the talent sensitive eye-balls of Cale Nuske, Mike Martin and Dix. We had this little grandstand contraption that had to be built so we could see the course in entirety.



The fourteen and under section was amazing. There is something epic about seeing a tiny little unit flipping a board that is twice their size, catching it perfectly and then floating out some kind of magic carpet ride. Small people are a bit like large ones when it comes to skateboarding. When they have a good style, it is just epic. It is also nice to get a glimpse of who might well be dominating our local and potentially international mags and videos in five or ten years time. 

In sixth place was Victorian Sam Atkins who got busy with front boards down the rail and kickflips and nollie biggies up the Euros. Grasping fifth was Matty Dee aka Matt D’Ambrosio who had a seriously powerful demeanour for a fourteen and under and talked the hubbas with confident five-0s and fifties. In at fourth was Dean Johnston who had no qualms about backside flipping and tre-flipping everything in his wake. Snatching third was the nicest young tacker in the biz: Mikey Mendoza. Learn that name, learn the face that goes with it and stay tuned for ripping! Mikey nailed kickflip manuals up the Euro, and fine spinach and flippage all over the shop including picture perfect big spins, big spin flips, hard flips and backside flips. 


In second was Dani Campbell who we had met at the Sydney leg of qualification. Dani has a massive trick bag that includes several sections. He is no stranger to back threes, kickflips, three shuvs, nollie back heels and spur of the moment hardflips. Ryder Lawson was in first place, and it was pretty obvious that this would happen from square one. Total born natural, and what a trick selection: back smiths, back lips, wall bounce foot plants, three sixty shuv-its and he even threw a lateflip into the mix. Despite being only fourteen Ryder Lawson is the man. 

4-7 5-7

1st RYDER LAWSON (nsw)
2nd DANI CAMPBELL (nsw) 
6th SAM ATKINS (vic)
7th JAMEY FOXTON (nsw)
10th JACK O’GRADY (nsw)
13th LOUIS RILEY (qld)
14th KEANU PINA (qld)





The open section was absolutely mental. Practice dominator Pat Gemzik dislocated his elbow during qualification and first place qualifier Josh McMurray knocked himself out before his final run: hectic! Rob Kenworthy powered his way to sixth with nollie front boards, kickflip front boards and boltsy tre flips over the large fun box. 


In fifth was the polished Scott Hetherington who got busy with front feebles, back smiths, nollie front boards and lipslides. Scott is rad! In fourth was Josh McMurray who was still shaking the stars from his vision when he first dropped in. Despite concussion he nailed massive backside flips up the Euro, gaps to smith over the fun box down the rail, and a double-hopped iceplant off the set back vert wall thingamee over a hubba into a bank. It was insane! If you haven’t seen Josh skate, when you do you are in for a shock! He rocks. In third was Waterloo powerhouse John Dykyj who double airwalked, tailslide big spun and big spin double flipped his way onto the podium. Knew he was going to kill it when we saw him at Waterloo and he came through with flying colours (and airwalks). 


In second place was the styler of the day: Bugs Fardell. I don’t know what these Fardell’s were packed up for lunch when they were grommets, but it sure did work. Bugs bugged out with massive wallrides with a rubber landing (see clip), backlips up the Euro, wallie back five-o’s and silky back smiths down the hubba: brilliant skateboarding indeed. 

11-2 12

Reece Warren. Reece Warren. Reece Warren. There I had to say it three times. He was that good. Reece Warren is a confident, magnificent, powerful skateboarder who has absolutely no idea how amazing he is. Isn’t that the best? Reece frolicked all over the shop melting coping and buckling ramps in his wake. A nose pick on top of the set back vert wall brought down the roof. People were winded by his gaps to lip and back lip. His kickflip 50/50s were firm, calculated and perfect. Reece Warren. There I said it again. Reece Warren rips. First was his. Peep the footage. 


1st REECE WARREN (nsw)
2nd BUGS FARDELL (qld)
3rd JOHN DYKYJ (nsw)
7th BRENDON HILL (tas) (tied)
9th BLAIR HOWARD (tas)
11th WILL HINE (vic)
12th PAT GEMZIK (qld)
13th MAT KINSMAN (vic)


Thanks so much to the SbA crew and everyone who was involved with the Dew Series. It was quite the arduous and laughter filled journey and was a very inspiring peep into the now and the future of Australian skateboarding. Keep an eye out for an up-coming issue of Slam magazine featuring an in-depth report and the best photos from the day. Congratulations to all the qualifiers and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2012.





Top End Photo Album

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