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Bowl-A-Rama Brings Bondi To Life

By Nigel Dawes on March 7, 2011 in Sport


Every February Bondi truly comes alive when the World’s best vert and street skaters converge at one of the most famous bowls on the planet to compete in the Vans Bowl-a-Rama. Bondi is host to a number of annual global events including the City 2 Surf run, Flickerfest, the Boost Mobile Surf Sho and a number of other notable events. However, these other events simply pale in comparison once the adrenaline surges through the spectators’ and competitors’ veins as the Bowl-a-Rama action gets underway.

Each year the event gains more and more momentum – this year being no exception – with a crowd of over 8000 in attendance and the addition of several more pros entering in 2011, all eager to take out the title and don the winner’s denim jacket. According to Jenn Kong, Vans Senior Marketing Manager Asia Pacific, “Vans Bowl-a-Rama is our key skateboarding event in Asia Pacific and we’re excited the event has been elevated to a new level this year with the significantly increased prize purse to AUD$60,000 to keep attracting the world’s best riders, and by our decision to webcast it live on and on Fuel TV Australia to grow the global exposure.”

On the event’s sponsorship and growth, Vans Bowl-a-Rama Director Chad Ford commented, “The event has recently gone through some exciting developments including the World Cup of Skate signing a five year deal, major growth in prize purses and major sponsor alignments.”

“The event keeps growing every year and brings with it the biggest skaters in the world. With the support of sponsors, media-partners and the World Cup of Skate, we are definitely on our way to becoming one of the most iconic skate events in history,” he added.

Many competitors travel from as far away as the US, South America, the UK, and also as close as Five Dock in Sydney’s Inner West. Of course Bondi has its share of amazing vert skaters who also competed on the day and certainly gave the visitors a solid run for their money. The local standout throughout the event was Michael Mulhall, who impressed the crowd and judges to place second in the Masters behind Steve Caballero (USA), who won the division with an arsenal of gob-smacking moves on par with anyone half his age! Third place in the Masters was earned by Lester Kasal who also displayed some amazing moves.

In the Opens Division, after a nail-biting battle 15 year-old Pedro Barros (BRA) skated away as back-to-back Pro winner of Vans Bowl-a-Rama 2011, with a cheque of AUD$15,000 in his back pocket – that’s a lot of money for anyone, let alone a 15 year-old!

Second place in the Opens was taken out by Rune Glifberg, who was busting out some of the biggest front-side ollies ever witnessed at Bondi. In the days leading up to the event, when the boys had arrived in town to warm up, Rune was certainly making his presence felt and I was tipping him to take out the event. However, Rune was the underdog with only an outside chance. On placing second, Rune, who was practically speechless, spluttered, “I can’t believe it. That’s the best I’ve ever skated and my best result. I’m so stoked!”

Third place in the Opens belonged to Bucky Lasek (USA), a humble young man with a silky-smooth style and a big bag of tricks. However, despite the rankings the standout skater throughout the entire event, in my opinion, was Bob Burnquist (BRA), who placed fourth. Bob is a technical master, wowing the crowd by doing everything the other guys were doing, except he was riding switch. Sergie Ventura, the event’s MC and Masters Division rider, said about Bob’s skating, “Switch is hard. It’s like writing left handed. He’s a master at it.”

With the event getting gnarlier each year, and with major sponsors all wanting their piece of the pie, next year’s Bondi Bowl-a-Rama is guaranteed to be even bigger and better as skaters push their limits beyond the believable for big prize money. I for one can’t wait!

Click here to check out a bunch of rad Bowl-a-Rama snaps courtesy of the author of this article, Nigel Dawes from