The 20th Paderborn BBQ contest is now over. It’s pretty rare to have a whole day dedicated to short shorts, headbands and tiny skateboards at a skatepark, but freestyle has been a part of the Paderborn contests since 2001, and the Germans absolutely LOVE it. I’ve travelled all over Europe and North America and I’ve never seen a crowd respond as strongly as the Germans; the skatepark is in a natural amphitheatre, and every year it fills out with people of all ages who come just to watch a bunch of freestylers take part in one of the most anarchic, fantastic events in the world. This year, freestylers came from across Europe, Brazil and the USA to get involved. Next year, wherever you’re from, get on a plane and join in. It’ll be the best experience you’ll ever have in freestyle. Here’s the podium places: Amateur:1) Robert Wagner (Germany)2) Christian Müller (Germany)3) Danny “Darkslide” Klahold (Germany) Professional:1) Tony Gale (UK)2) Felix Jonsson (Sweden)3) Turi Zoltan (Hungary) Masters:1) Yoyo Schulz (Germany)2) Bert Matheson (USA)3) Bob Loftin (USA)   Hot on the heels of the Paderborn comp was the annual English piss-take that is the UK Round Up. Hosted on the usual exposed hill overlooking the grim city of London, a motley crew of British freestylers were joined by Alex Rademaker of Switzerland and Gresch Bandicoot of Germany for a day of absolute silliness. Now on its third year, the UK Round Up has begun to establish its own traditions: 1) The format will be known as the Overkill Deathmatch Format and constantly referred to as “four one minute runs, taken in blocks of two, back to back, meaning riders’ one minute routines will last for two minutes at a time”, much to the confusion of everyone who isn’t in on the convoluted joke. This will never be explained to anyone in a clear and simple fashion. 2) Anyone who doesn’t come prepared with music will have wildly inappropriate music chosen for them by Alex Foster and myself, which led to the beautiful spectacle of Alex Rademaker taking his first ever freestyle competition run to the sweet, sweet sounds of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”. If you don’t know it, consider yourself lucky. 3) The Offline Instagram Grand Slam – a format involving skaters taking fifteen second runs, with no gap between one skater and the next – will be treated with absolute seriousness despite being the most ridiculous event known to man. 4) Trophies will be scavenged together a couple of days before the event and possibly be purchased from a garden centre on the journey to London. Here’s the final standings, with the final tally of points given to each skater: 1. Tony Gale (263,000)2. Denham Hill (248,000)3. Alex Rademaker (237,000)4. Matt Smithies (227,000)5. John Hanson (211,000)6. Alex Foster (210,000)7. Michael Erskine (195,000)8. Gresch Bandicoot (184,000)9. James ‘Fairbro’ Fairbrother (164,000) And the winner of the Offline Instagram Grand Slam, chosen in a completely arbitrary and mysterious way by Nathan Hill, was Matt Smithies. Anyone questioning Nathan’s decision was lined up against the wall and shot, as per British tradition. Honestly, I don’t recommend you come to this event next year. You’ll probably hate it.   In contests-that-aren’t-actually-contests news, Starbeat, an online popularity contest/low-rent talent agency website has been running an “ultimate skateboarder” contest for the last month. As I write this, the deadline in the “qualifiers” is almost up. I’m not sure what happens after the qualifiers, and former NJ native Jesse Whalen is in the lead by some points. Honestly, I can’t understand the system here at all. He’s on 37.65M points to the second place Mike Osterman’s 28.16M points, but Mike has a higher “average” of 79 to Jesse’s 78. Killian Martin’s got an even higher average of 81, but is in third place with 23.07M points? The highest averages are  Isamu Yamamoto, Dan Garb, Ole Peder and Bert Matheson who all have an average of 84 but are in 14th, 23rd, 25th and 26th place respectively. Figure that one out. I guess it’s all down to number of votes, but from where I’m sitting it looks like Starbeat have finally solved the issue of people complaining about freestyle contest results by finding a system that’s even worse (and even easier to game/bribe/abuse). Thanks, guys. More power to Jesse, though. That dude rules.  As tends to happen during the summer months, the Freestyle Podcast is largely quiet right now, but you can head over to (or your podcast app of choice) to enjoy a short episode recorded on the way back from the Paderborn comp. Featuring some very tired Brits, a terrible burger, some choice Romanian swearing, and a poor Texan librarian trying to deal with life, hopefully it will serve as a suitable stop gap until we can all do a proper hour-long ramble about trucks again.  The Youtube takeover of skateboarding is now leaking its way into the niche within a niche that is freestyle skateboarding. Freestyle’s foremost like-share-and-subscribe-baiters, Daniel Trujillo and Mike Osterman, have joined forces to create “Waltz”. What is Waltz? What will it become? Will they ever sell anything other than a white T-shirt with an oddball design? No one knows at this point, but there is a website over at, and with their combined subscriber base, I expect it’ll be a huge success, whatever they decide to do with it.   Bit of team movement: Terry Synnott has picked up Tűri “The Tank” Zoltán as a new team rider for Mode Skateboards. Terry started a dedicated wheel team just to get Tűri on board – there’s no way the Hungarian Beast would leave Cirus for his decks – which opens up the theoretical possibility of more freestylers being sent wheels for free. Dust off your VX100s and start working on your “sponsor me” tapes, folks.  You can always rely on Decomposed to give you some product news when a deadline is looming. The latest deck in the works over at Witter’s House of Horrors is a new Rey Meyer graphic. Details are thin on the ground so far, but we do know that the graphic will be drawn by the improbably-named Crab Scrambly (who previously did the amazing reimagining/reissue of Hans Lindgren’s crowbar) and will play homage to Meyer’s classic Santa Cruz model, so even the shape’s jacked, it’ll look beautiful on the wall. Keep an eye on for that one.  Last (but hopefully not least), Moonshine Skateboards (no, not those bloody MFG guys) are releasing their first ever freestyle pro models, meaning Stefan Lillis Åkesson and myself get to have our names on boards alongside vert luminaries such as Jocke Olson, Sean Goff, Rich Lopez and Rob Mertz. Lillis has opted to put his wizard-oriented graphic on the same shape as the 7.3″ x 28.5″ team model with a  12.5″ wheelbase – which has been slightly reworked to mellow out the concave both for Lillis’ deck and the team boards – while I’ve taken a big gamble on a well-thought-out (but possibly off-putting) new shape. Coming in at 28″ long with a wheelbase of 12″, the deck has the same tail lengths and shapes as the bi-directional team boards, but goes all crazy in the middle by having no concave at all and dropping from 7.3″ wide at the trucks to a skinny 7″ wide in the centre.  Yep, my board’s a bi-directional double kick that’s not only completely flat in the middle but steals Hans Lindgren’s rail cutouts from the 80s.  You don’t want to know how much we had to spend on getting that mould made. Hopefully, by the time you read this, they should be online and available at Go buy one of each and give Lillis and I some beer money (although Lillis doesn’t drink alcohol so his board royalties will probably go on rice, ayurvedic herbs or Heroclix figures).   The Editor Adds: AJ Kohn probably wouldn’t let us live very long if we failed to remind our readers that that the Philly Freestyle Championships are coming up on September 16th, 20-17, at Rizzo Rink in Philadelphia. Rain or shine, it’s going down; you can catch up with AJ via Facebook if you need more information. That’s a Mark Cline photo, by the way, in case you were wondering. You can find out more at  Got some freestyle news? New products, projects, or events? I still don’t have a dedicated email address for such things, leave them in the comments below and I might put them into next month’s summary of freestyle-related nonsense. Now go and skate!