Skateboarding For Hope Presented by Vans: Brightwater Recap

Skateboarding for Hope presented by Vans went down at Boogaloos Brightwater skatepark in Randburg, Johannesburg and pulled in close to 90 competitors and hundreds of spectators throughout the course of the day.

As our first stop of the season, the energy levels were high and skaters from all over the Guateng province came out to join each other for a session with their comrads, and maybe walk away with a few bucks if they were lucky. We had a group of children from White House Children’s home with us to learn to skate and get some inspiration from our crew to follow their dreams and not give up on their future endeavors. Following the skate clinic, the kids were presented with their own skateboards courtesy of KDC. Smiles all around.

The 2015 SFH format introduced 2 new aspects to the competition: The Top Grom division (ages 13-) and a head to head single eliminatoin format in the finals. This definitely motivated the skaters to bring their A-Game. The Top Grom division winner was also presented with a wildcard entry to the Top Grom finals at KDC this October. The top 8 skaters from each division would advance to the final round and would pace one step closer towards a chance at cash.

With 86 skaters total in the contest, there are definitely too many names to drop, but some of the guys that stood out were Alan Marola, Brandon Valjalo, Kanya Spani, Craig Evans, Sam Vider, Michael & Brian Stylanou, Jamie De Villiers, Raul, and Kyfie Kruger, just to name a few.

Some of the standout tricks were the cab flip down the 2 block by Nico Ludek (the dude put it down at least 5 times throughout the day), back lip down the long ledge by Marola, back smith down the hubba by Kanya Spani, no comply big heel by Taylor Sturgess, Backfoot flip by Brandon Valjalo, feeble grind the kink rail by TK Modise, and 180 to fakie 5-0 on the small quarter by fan favorite Raul.

In the end, Brian Stylianou took the #1 spot in the Top Grom division and landed a spot in the finals at KDC. Brandon Valjalo and Kanya Spani battled it out through 2 matches in the finals before facing each other, and ultimately Kanya’s flow and use of the course, precision, and that unmistakable steeze led him to knock out B Valj for the #1 spot and the R3000 cash. Props to Brandon, who also nailed it in the finals with switch 360 flip on the hip, 360 shuvits and frontside flips down the 2 block, and kickflips to flat down the pyramid, just to name a few. Although Brandon placed 2nd in the contest, he walked away with a wildcard entry to the KDC SA Championships since Kanya Spani had earned a spot at the KDC Grand Slam in Cape Town 2 weeks prior. Lastly, Nico Ludek took R500 cash for his cab flip down the 2 block, impressing pretty much all of the Jozi heads and definitely earned lots of respect by the end of the session.

Thanks to all of our sponsors who made the day possible and contributed to a great start to the 2015 SFH season: Vans, Kumba Iron Ore, Northern Cape Tourism, Red Bull, Top Grom, World Skateboarding Grand Prix, Aquavita, Old School Productions, Pragmatics, and Boogaloos for letting us use the park for the day.

We’ll be back in Johannesburg on 2nd May, stay tuned to our website for the confirmed location.


14+ Div.

1. Kanya Spani, R2500
2. Brandon Valjalo, R1,500
3. Alan Marola, R500

Top Grom (13-)

1. Brian Stylianou (R1500 Boogaloos Voucher)
2. Jamie De Villiers (R1000 Boogaloos Voucher)
3. Michael Stylianou (R750 Boogaloos Voucher)

Best Trick

Nico Ludek, Caballerial Flip down the 2 block (R500)


The Jozi squad was in full effect. Thanks to everyone that made it out, it was a hot one.


This kid was full of energy and hyped from the second he walked into the skatepark. He also picked up quite fast during the skate clinic. Maanda was feeling the energy.


Maanda exchanging some words with the children from White House Children’s Home. We’ve unearthed some future doctors, lawyers, policemen, and even a pilot or 2. Kids are the best.


Maanda teaching proper foot placement.


Markus and Martin from Old School Productions helping out with the skate clinic. Good times for everyone.


Jamie De Villiers came from Durban just to skate the contest. His father is quite the rad dad and was down to bring Jamie through if all his homework was done before Monday. Boardslide.


Michael Stylianou, boardslide.


Top Grom wildcard winner Brian Stylianou with a quick 5050.


This happened to a few people, unfortunately.


Riaan of OSP was our emcee for the day and had the pleasure of kicking kids off the course in order to ensure that we got out on time.


Our ripping panel of judges were there to judge.


On to the 14+ division. Kanya with a fakie flip down the 2 block. This dude makes it look too easy.


Rad to see Kyfie on his board again. Nollie bs flip.


Brandon Valjalo with a frontside flip to flat.


After a little wax before the sesh, Marola was cruising through this back lip no problems.


Durban ripper Martin Stoffberg helps out behind the scenes and rips on the board. An awesome dude all around. Alley-oop frontside air from shallow to deep from Stoffy.


Theo from Botswana made it out to Jozi to nail this hardflip.


Shout out to all the kids from White House Children’s Home for spending the day with us. We trust you had as good of a time as we did. Enjoy them shred sleds!


Congrats to Top Grom division winners from left to right: Jamie De Villiers (2nd), Brian Stylianou (1st), and Michael Stylianou (3rd).


14+ div. finalists from left to right: Alan Marola (3rd), Kanya Spani (1st), Brandon Valjalo (2nd, wildcard winner).

All photos by Rudi Jeggle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.