For the fourth August in a row, the Converse Coastal Carnage contest held its finals on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And for the fourth time in a row, a new champion emerged from the OC chaos. This time, it was Houston, Texas’, Ben Raybourn and his rare brand of shred sledding proved to be the award-winning type, and in this age of followers and one-uppers, that’s a notable refreshing change.
Nothing against the past winners or anyone else, but you see, kids, Raybourn’s a skater’s skater—an original gangster cut from the finest surplus bolt … a strong weave of power, creativity, real thought, with just a thread of want. Not the fabric you normally see cut and sewn into the garment of champion, but for that we are grateful, because the winner shouldn’t always be the biggest, strongest, fastest, and most understandable. Sometimes a victor has to come from shadows and slap a bit of sense into the march of the obvious. Fakie 540s, judo 360s, invert reverts, lien 270 axle stalls to fakie, sadplants, invert to fakies, all delivered shut-up-and-skate steez, just like we like.
Congratulations, Ben. The team of dark horses doesn’t need the win so much, if ever, but when it’s pulled out from under the confident steps of the frontrunners it’s cool to see the stutter in their steps.
Converse Coastal Carnage Results: 1. Ben Raybourn ($20,000) 2. Ben Hatchell ($15,000) 3. Curren Caples ($10,000) 4. Pedro Barros 5. Ben Raemers 6. Greyson Fletcher 7. Aaron “Jaws” Homoke 8. Ronnie Sandoval 9. Kevin Kowalski 10. Charlie Blair 11. Tom Remillard 12. Raney Beres 13. Robby Russo 14. Riley Stevens 15. Lance Mountain
Best Trick: 1. Aaron “Jaws” Homoke (kicky melon to tail on the shark pillar) 2. Ben Hatchell (blunt kicky to fakie in the cradle) 3. Charlie Blair (blunt kicky to fakie on the shark pillar) 4. Kevin Kowalksi (frontside invert off the shark pillar into the cradle) 5. Josh Borden (Cab indy nose pick on the shark pillar)
I’m watching Price and Ted finish up the edit from the finals and best-trick contest right now, so visit again in an hour or so and check that thing out. It’s a burner.