As autumn approaches, it brings colour to the trees, a crisp chill to the air and everyone’s favourite time of year…THE VANS SHOP RIOT EUROPEAN FINALS!
It’s been a whirlwind five-month build up, taking in 16 stops across Europe and bringing together over 200 of best shop teams from across the land, with the best store team from each leg earning themselves a place in the finals. While it’s gone quickly, it has been quite a journey and we’ve seen some epic showdowns during the course of the series. From revisiting some of the favourite parks and spots from previous years, such as Chelles’ Cosanostra skatepark (FR), to bringing a bit of culture to the scene as the Nordic leg set up right outside Helsinki’s Kiasma Modern Art Museum (FI), the cream of European skate shops assembled their finest teams and set out to shred their way across the continent.
One of the favourite stops of the series has been Aalst’s ‘Flesh & Bones’ skatepark, aptly named given the amount of skin it claimed during the Belgian leg of the Vans Shop Riot earlier in the year. Fittingly, this becomes the battleground for next month’s finals, and as such will bear witness to teams from Moscow to Manchester thrashing it out in what’s set to be an awesome end to another hotly contested series.
After last year’s crown was claimed by a team based just an hour up the road from the venue – the Works Skatepark in Leeds, UK – all eyes will be on Belgium’s Rampaffairz team to see how they fair on home ground. 2013 winners from Black Sheep, Manchester, won’t be defending their title this year, but with stores including Skate Pharmacy and Lost Art representing the UK, France’s Nozbone and Titus from Munster, Germany, we’re sure to see a good fight amongst the final 16 teams.
As a nation famed for it’s fine chocolate, world beating beers, and rather fittingly – waffles, expect sugar highs and hangovers as a motley assortment of Europe’s finest skateshops head to Aalst to fight it out for the title of Vans Shop Riot Top Shop Team, 2014.