Despite severely cut fingers Matt Cheney ripped all day: switch k over the love seat.

2013 Nike SbA Am Series Qualifiers
Stop #3 – Belco Skatepark
Saturday 26th of January
Words: Morgan Campbell
Photos: Matty Hooker (click pics to view larger)
Video: Shane Fowler + Leo Townsend (vid at bottom of page) 

After returning from Belco I was asked: “How big is it?” Not being the best judge of distances in metres or feet… I explained “Well it is longer than you can manual, it is way longer than you can throw a tennis ball… maybe, even longer than you can throw a frisbee”. I am surprised that visiting skaters are not given a GPS upon arrival. The word vast only covers a fraction of what we are talking about here. Belco is the biggest skatepark I have ever laid urethane on. Most parks are lucky to have one obstacle to suit everyone’s tastes. Meanwhile, Belco has at least ten tantalisers waiting for anyone who visits, no matter what their terrain disposition.

Cody Riley kickflip back tails a rusty outledge. <click for sequence

Our traditional site visit on the Friday arvo prior organically morphed turned into a multi-hour session. During the chaos of the shred, filmer Shane Fowler noticed that the scooter count was at an all-time low. From all our recent observations there has been a major drop in numbers in cities all over our isle. Brilliant news. Yes, rejoice as there may come a day soon when you won’t have to worry about helicoptic decapitation via a scooter blade.

Volcano contained judges: Reece, Boura and Morgs.

At each stop we induct a couple of local luminaries into the crew to help with the event. At Belco we sort the respective professionalisms of Christian Boura and 2011 Am Champ Reece Warren as judges and the voice of Mat ‘Rat’ Casey was the second MC. These guys ruled at their assigned tasks but also got involved on many levels. Christian was a nollie pioneer in the Oz Capital Territory and one of the first things he said to me was: “I’m offering more points for nollies” which is a totally fair call. During the final he was also heard yelling: “I want to see something off the nose”. Aside from demanding nasal action he was also seen rapping with Mat Rat to the sounds of Andre Nickatina. Prior to Junior heats starting, the ‘Abalone King’ (Reece Warren) was comparing fishing notes with our photographer Matty Hooker. When it comes to the surrounds of the Belconnen: they were all in their element, but it seems to me that they might just be in their element wherever they happen to find themselves.

Bam Manorom nose grinds the large hubba with ease.

The Juniors that showed up in the ACT were simply sensational. The Junior Finals had any passers-by riveted with not only respect, but also fascination. Have you ever seen a seven-year-old fly down a big four? Well, we all have now and it is a sight to be scoped for sure. For Ethan Copeland (from Hughes) the double head height set was ollied in qualification and nose grabbed in the final. That pint-sized homie has got clout. Whilst judging, it is often easy to come up with a quick reference nickname for someone you have never seen skate rather than memorising their full name. If you have a quick name for referring to someone, it makes the whole process of communicating the tricks to the other judges much easier. Twelve-year old Anderson Yuniardi was wearing a green and black psychedelic t-shirt. Within seconds of his name been announced we were yelling out things such as “Sykadelic did a kickflip“. Or “Delick: big spin backside disaster!” It is not often you see a pre-teen nailing the biggy back dee is it? By the end of the day everyone knew Anderson Yuniardi’s full name and he received a third place for his rippage.

Tom Reed with a proper feeble poise down the seven.

Second place went to Tom Reed whom we recognised from Waterloo the weekend prior. Tom rattled up points with juicy half cabs, backside 50/50’s down the big hubba and a perfect feeble down the seven-stair rail. See you at the final Mr. Reed. Winner, Charles Robertson nailed some of the gnarliest tricks of the day (across both divisions): a well flicked kickflip down the big four, a lipslide down the seven-stair rail, a late-shuv and a very impossibl-ish 360 shuv also down the seven-stair. If anyone from any particularly influential companies catches wind of the footage from Saturday: I wouldn’t be surprised if Charles soon gets hooked up with some kind of a phenomenal sponsor list.


JUNIORS (from left to right)

1st Charles Robertson – 13 – Haberfield – NSW

2nd Tom Reed – 14 – Rozelle – NSW

3rd Anderson Yuniardi – 12 – Collaroy Plateau – NSW

Floyd Scott taking backside smithers for a stylish waltz over the tranny pad.


The Opens were pretty tightly grouped score-wise. There were certain people who did stand-out tricks. There were others who absolutely killed one element of the course. Then, there were those who steadily hit most of the course. At the end of the post-final discussions we came to a unanimous decision that included following skateboard warriors in this order… In sixth place was flyin’ Rylan Mc’Neil who switch backside 180’d off the pre-hubba kicker and ollied from the top of the love seat bump to flat. Receiving a Wild Card into the final and a fifth place was the seven-stair slayer Mr. Darcy Corbett. Amongst many other delicacies Darcy nollie heeled, nollie flipped and 360 flipped the seven with relative ease.


Darcy Corbett owned this seven set. Look at the stoink on this nollie heel!


Also receiving a Wild Card into the final, and fourth place was the electric flow-dog warrior known as Matt Cheney. Cheney rocked up blood-splattered and bandaged as he had somehow cut himself trying to get into his car the night before. Despite looking well-shabby (and admittedly little bit scarey) Cheney skated brilliantly with switch crookies over the love seat, cabs down the seven and no complies into nose grab 5-0 grinds over the tranny pad.


Cheney dressed for halloween in January, Mat Rat takes it to the ‘gram #AmSeries2013.

Third place went to the Pop-Meister ‘aka’ Kambah’s Cameron Stanley who took his fisherman hat and lank-steeze into a pretty epic level of awesome. He front-boarded the seven, ollied up the five and nollie tre’d down the same set (whilst smiling: which is always a bonus). Jamey Foxton from Gladesville (NSW) is becoming a regular face in each year’s Am Series and it has been awesome to watch him progress over the last couple of annums. He nosegrinded the seven-stair rail, five-0 to switch crooked over the tranny pad and switch ollied the big four.


A post-final wallie blunt down the hubba courtesy of ACT Am Champ Todd Baker.

Todd Baker is a massive fan of Jim Carrey. Pretty sure if Mister Carey laid eyes on the flow of Todd that the fanship would be reciprocated. Todd linked it all up: frontside blunt pops off the back quarter to flat bank, quick-footed ollies into and out of the volcano platform, wallie frontside 5-0’s and salads on the wallie pad, lengthy lipslides on the trannied hip, tailslides on the bump to steel ledge straight into backside nollies off the drop, quick footed ollies into and out of the volcano…. Todd was everywhere, at all at once. Over the duration of the two final jams there there were those who laid consecutive tricks in one section, those who nailed a couple of bangers around the course, but on Saturday first had to go to the guy who consecutively skated from one corner to the other inventing new lines in his wake.


OPENS (from left to right)

1st Todd Baker – 22 – Isabella Plains – ACT

2nd Jamey Foxton – 16 – Gladesville – NSW

3rd Cameron Stanley – 18 – Kambah – ACT

4th Matt Cheney – 20 – Braddon – ACT (WILD CARD)

5th Darcy Corbett – 18 – Berridale – NSW – (WILD CARD)

Massive thanks and appreciation to everyone who helped out on the day and to the all sponsors of the comp. See you at Roxburgh next weekend for the Victorian Qualifier.


Australian Sports Commission




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