The third edition of the Street Lines Skate Tournament presented by LW Mag and Dragon Energy Drink in association with Dickies, Garmin and GoPro took place at the legendary Thrashers Skatepark in Pretoria over the weekend. Olympians, Boipelo Awuah (Kimberley) and Brandon Valjalo (Johannesburg) took top honours in the Women’s and Men’s divisions respectively.
70 Skateboarders (20 Women and 50 Men) from around Africa were met with perfect weather conditions as they competed though the qualifying rounds, looking to score enough points to make it into the finals. The level of competition at this year’s event was at an all-time high as skaters competed for their share of the R50 000.00 prize purse, Garmin Instinct 2X Smartwatches and Dickies apparel.
Karl van Antwerp
In the qualifying rounds each skater had two 45-second runs with the top scoring run counting, while in the finals each skater had two 45-second runs along with four Best Trick attempts, with the top scoring run and top three best tricks counting towards their final score. Judges took consistency, difficulty, style, and use of park into account when making their decisions that would see 7 Women and 15 Men advance to the finals.
Jamie de Villiers
In the Women’s division, defending Street Lines champion, Boipelo Awuah took the top step of the podium for the third time. Her use of park paired with consistency and technical tricks; Boardslide down the handrail, Frontside Noseslide to Fakie on the upper ledge, Ollie into the bank, Nollie Lipslide on the Flatbar, Switch Boardslide to regular on the flatbar, Frontside Boardslide on the rail, Backside 180 on the pyramid and Noseslide down the down-rail, scored her above the rest of the field.
It was a closely fought battle for 2nd place between Natalie Bramley, also from Kimberly, and Caitey Karagiannidis (Johannesburg), who’s progressions over the last year impressed all. Bramley’s runs consisted of a Nollie 360 Shuv, Boardslide on the rail, 180 on the pyramid, 180 50-50 to 180 out on the curve ledge, while Karagiannidis’ runs included Kickflips, a Frontside early grab, Boardslides, 180s and a Hand Plant. In the end it was Bramley who scored 2nd place with Karagiannidis rounding off the podium in 3rd.
After 10 Heats of qualifying in the Men’s division, the final 15 took to the course. Defending 2022 Street Lines champion, Moses Adams (Cape Town) was on form throughout the day but mistakes in his final runs put him out the running for 1st place. Adams clawed back to a 3rd place finish with decent scoring best trick attempts. Adam’s trick list included a 360 Flip over the fun box, Nollie Heelflip Lipslide on the flatbar, Backside Flip over the hip, switch Tailslide 270 on the flat box, a huge Kickflip to flat over the fun box and a Nollie Heelflip Lipslide on the flatbar.
Thalente Biyela (Cape Town) put down some exciting and high impact runs. His Frontside Stalefish over the gap, Boneless to Tail over the hip, Melon Shifty on the fly out, Nollie 180 switch Crooked Grind 180 out, Nollie 180 switch Feeble 180 out, Nollie Frontside 5-0 180 out, Nollie Backside Flip, amongst others impressed the judges as Biyela slotted himself into 2nd place.
Returning from competition overseas and competing in Street Lines for the first time, Brandon Valjalo solidified the overall win with flawless runs stacked with technical ticks like the Impossible, Bigspin Front Board Fakie, Switch 360 Flip, Front Blunt, Nollie Bigspin Lipslide, Kickflip Rock to Fakie and a Full Cab.
The day ended off with the Best Trick jam that saw a host of competing skaters take part in the 20-minute jam session down the stair-set featuring rails and hubbas. Through the chaos it was Kyle Kheswa that took the win with a Backside 270 Frontside Lipslide to take home the Best Trick title and a GoPro HERO11 MINI.
Street Lines organiser, Ryan van der Spuy says, “Street Lines continues to grow from strength to strength and I was hugely impressed with not only the calibre of skaters competing this year, but also the progression. This event is for the skaters, for skateboarding, and our focus is to grow and push the development of this amazing sport in our country. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all involved, the competing athletes and our event partners for making the 2023 edition the success it was. We can’t wait to see what 2024 holds.”
2023 Street Lines Skate Tournament Results
1st Boipelo Awuah – 28.00
2nd Natalie Bramley – 26.50
3rd Caitey Karagiannidis – 25.00
4th Janine Louw – 21.00
5th Thabiso Mashiyakgomo – 10.00
6th Thato Moet – 4.50
7th Lindi Jane – 3.00
1st Brandon Valjalo – 46.80
2nd Thalente Biyela – 45.20
3rd Moses Adams – 41.20
4th Kyle Kheswa – 35.00
5th Ashton Banwell – 34.50
6th Terrence Khumalo – 32.80
7th Karl van Antwerp – 32.30
8th Marcelino Rodrigues – 31.70
9th Siye Matshalilange – 31.50
10th Jean-Marc Johannes – 31.30
11th Devandre Galant – 30.30
12th Byron Rhoda – 25.00
13th Ashwyne Dames – 21.00
14th Shongani Mhlongo – 9.70
15th Henjinaldo Saaiman – 9.30
Photos by Grant Mclachlan.