Saami Pariyar is blessed with style: check the albatross arm factor on this back smith.

2013 Nike SbA Am Series Qualifiers

Stop #5 – Devonport
Saturday 9th of February
Words: Morgan Campbell
Photos: Matty Hooker (click pics to view larger)
Video: Shane Fowler + Scott Atkins (vid at bottom of page)

In 1890, just one year after the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse was built, the Tasmanian towns of Formby and Torquay were united to form what we know today as Devonport. To say Devonport is picturesque would be a harsh understatement. The place has views for days: when compared to some of the other stops it is a serenity machine. The skatepark is just a stone’s throw from the Bluff, and it sits right on the water. This means exquisite sunny days by the water, but occasionally there will be a wind blowing. Saturday was one of the windy ones; well I would say it was more of a gale.

The ampitheatre steps were well used during the entire day.

We arrived at 6:30am on the Saturday and as there was also a rain threat and got stuck in straight away. We had the usual SbA crew involved along with Hayden Baker (local shredder and Northern Tasmanian Hub Manager) and Louis Carney (We the Loons) as guest judges and Jimmy McMacken (of Jimmy’s fame) as guest MC. During set up each member of the crew heads off and goes about their various tasks, whatever they may be: fencing, signage, sound, desks, tents…you get the idea. Matty Hooker and I are the “adhesives experts”: we sticker the park up with the logos of those who make the event possible. One of the first obstacles we stickered was the vert wall. Yep, the same one that Biscuit and Beau Kelly dropped in on last year. We put this sweet angled strip over the corner, rubbed it down to ensure proper glue adhesion, and moved on to the next obstacle without any further thought. Half an hour later I looked over to the vert wall… and lo and behold: it was stickerless. The fierce wind had simply ripped it off and deposited it yonder. This season we have barely had a corner peal, let alone lose a whole section. I had a quick look around the area and it was nowhere to be seen. I sincerely apologize to the Town of Devonport for my accidental littering, and I hope it landed in a bin and not on an unsuspecting bilby. So, we were definitely dealing with some gusts that would be prime for a windsurfing contest, but were a little hectic for skateboarding. Testing conditions aside: the Tasmanians ripped their way through both division’s qualifiers and finals. The ferocity of the shred peaked during the Open Final, which was one of the best of the series so far.

The juniors clacked off a little after ten with a fleet of seven guys and two girls. Taroona’s Daniel Mason had to be one of the happiest skateboarders we have ever seen, rocking an ear-to-ear perm-a-grin wherever he rolled. During his jams he nailed boardslides to fakie on the bump to bar and backside 180’s to flat off the side of the Euro. His trickage led to a sure-fire third place. You might remember the name Bradley “Biscuit” Saunders from last week’s Victorian Qualifier? Bradley shredded super hard at Roxburgh, but didn’t place high enough to qualify for the final. We had a feeling that he would be in Devonport, and we were proved correct. Yep, Bradley Saunders was there, as was Dadley Saunders along with Tasha Saunders (the youngest skater of the day). Bradley scored a photo in the article last week due to his courageous boardslide off the end of the China Bank. He was so stoked on his first round of coverage that he dropped three letters off his name. Brad Saunders (as he is now known) placed second and had the bump to bar on lock: feebles, frontboards and lipslides, he also boardslid the big round rail.


12-year-old Beau Kelly is a force to be reckoned with: bump to smith.

Hobart’s Beau Kelly took out first place with an array of bump to rail manouvres including 50/50’s and smiths, front boards down the big square rail, kickflips up the Euro and massive ollies over the large flat bank to flat. This year instead of holding a fundraiser to make his attendance possible, Beau and his Dad won their tickets to Melbourne’s Am Series Final. See you in March fellas. 


JUNIOR QUALIFIERS (left to right)

1st Beau Kelly – 12 – Goodwood (TAS)

2nd Brad “Biscuit” Saunders* – 10 – Beaufort (VIC)

3rd Daniel Mason – 12 – Taroona (TAS)

Despite an injury Laif Johnannesen ripped all day. Front feeble.



The Tasmanian Open Division was full of legends from several generations of skaters from all over the state. Burnie’s Ray Norris lit up the hip with fantabulous frontside nollie heel flips, scolded the flat bar with frontside bluntslides and nailed the dog kennel ledge with switch 50/50’s. Lauderdale’s Laif Johnannesen did Yuen flips (nollie lasers) up the Euro, frontside feebled the big rail and three sixty flipped down the Euro bank to flat with style. Saami Pariyar hailed from Newstead and ripped with a Malto-esque ease. He belted out three sixty shuv lips, kickflip front boards and big spin front boards on the bump to bar and casually balanced back lips down the big rail. Saami was good on the eyes.

2012 Tas Am Champ Nathan Mason complete with a flip of the board up to 50.

Hobart’s Ben Smith wore all green and definitely had some magical feats oozing from his feet. His crook to back 180 over the large flat bar was all time! Fourth place and a Wild Card final entry went to last year’s Tasmanian Champ Nathan Mason. Nathan did one of the hardest tricks of the day for sure: a kickflip big spin frontside boardslide on the bump to bar. He also 50/50’d up one of the out ledges and crook tail grabbed across the big fun boxes flat bars. If it weren’t for a couple of wind-aided 360 flip bails I’d say that Nathan would have placed higher for sure.

2011 Tas Am Champ Brendon Hill charges a back lip on the bump to bar.


Third went to 2011 winner Brendon Hill from Launceston: Brendon nailed bundles of tricks in both jams that he participated in. Crook to back lips, backside flips, backside 180s over the pyramid, front blunts on the out ledge and a kickflip back lip on the bump to bar. Blair Howard is gnarly! Blair Howard got second. Blair Howard had the windswept crowd on the edge of their seats with: backside noseblunt slides on the bump to bar, skater dodging gap to tails over the pyramid, and a mind melting backside flip to flat (that took quite a battle) from the bowl platform to flat to crowd surf. Blair is definitely one of the underground superheroes of Australian Skateboarding.

2013 amt kris-biggy-fsbs large
Kristjan Rowell is not scared. Biggy frontside board with authority <click for sequence>

First place went to the guy who charges every year, and quite often qualifies first: Mr. Kristjan Rowell. Kristjan linked it all up at breakneck speeds sometimes making three or four things in succession. He floated backside airwalks on the quarter pipe, kickflipped the pyramid, frontside nosegrinded and big spin to front boardslid to fakie down the big rail and for good measure he airwalked the pyramid to flat. What a charger!


OPEN QUALIFIERS (left to right)

1st Kristjan Rowell – 21 – Turners Beach (TAS)

2nd Blair Howard – 22 – Launceston (TAS)

3rd Brendon Hill – 28 – Launceston (TAS)

4th Nathan Mason – 22 – Hobart (TAS) (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 Osborne Saturday Feb 23rd for the South Australian Qualifier.

Australian Sports Commission
City of Devonport




Top End Photo Album

Free events brought to you by the City of Palmerston and the COPAL program, Australian Sports Commission, N…