Menlyn Skatepark has been in staple skatepark in the Pretoria area for around 20 years now and has even hosted big names such as Ronnie Creager, Jamie Thomas, and Chad Muska back in the 90’s. It’s also helped play a role in the development of Pretoria locals, past and present, including Charl Steyn, Joubert & Jansen van Staden, Lingo, and Kyfie Kruger, just to name a few. Having said that, the skateboarding in Pretoria on 17 May for the Skateboarding for Hope Tour was on point and would not have disappointed the area’s OGs.
Staying true to 2014’s SFH spirit, a group of underprivileged children from Louie Botha Children’s Home were in the house to learn how to skate and leave one skateboard richer, courtesy of Boogaloos. Some of the kids were maybe a little too brave, rolling down some of the larger ramps, which is quite a feat for someone who had never previously skated before.
We saw some familiar faces in the 16 and under division, notably the Stylianou brothers and Jeremy Stone. Jeremy was all over the course and killed everything in his sight, blowing minds once again and taking first in his division. Brian Stylianou also made his way into the winners circle, taking home 3rd place. Pretoria grom Brandon Botha also killed it, taking home second in his division.
The 17 and over division brought out the area’s best skaters such as Brandon Valjalo, Sam Vider, Naledi Mabenge, Anthony Mendonca, and more. Among the aforementioned skaters, additional standouts included finalists Evan Binge, Shaun Burger, and Charl “Skippy” Steyn. Evan flowed the course fluently, hitting every obstacle throwing down some huge frontside airs and more, landing him 3rd place and R700. Shaun came through with his trademark switch and nollie hardlfips, among other tricks, landing him 2nd place and R1000. Charl “Skippy” Steyn was on fire from the get-go, warming up with nosegrinds on the handrail and back smiths and back lips down the funbox rail. Skippy, having the home court advantage, knew how to flow the park and had his tricks on lock, showing the judges that he had what it took to represent at the Kimberley Diamond Cup Am this October. Congrats to Skippy for taking the wildcard and R1800 in cash!
Big shout out to everyone that made the Menlyn Skatepark stop of the 2014 Hope Tour a success: Kimberley Diamond Cup Boogaloos, Kumba Iron Ore, Northern Cape Tourism, Skullcandy, and Monster Energy. Shoutout to Maanda Mulaadzi and Sam Khumalo on the mic keeping the crowd hyped and teaching the kids how to skateboard while uplifting their spirits. Props are also due to Wandile Msomi in the judges booth and Rudi Jeggle behind the lens. Be on the lookout for our calendar page to see when the Hope Tour rolls through your town. Next stop is Loch Logan Mall in Bloemfontein on 31 May, hope to see you there!
16 and Under
1. Jeremy Stone (R800)
2. Brandon Botha (R500)
3. Brian Stylianou (R300)
17 and Over
1. Charl Steyn (R1800)
2. Shaun Burger (R1000)
3. Evan Binge (R700)
Menlyn Skatepark hooked up all the skaters, competing or not, with free admission for the day. Thanks for the hospitality, guys!
Maanda Mulaudzi uplifting the children from Louie Botha Children’s Home.
What may have been a life changing experience for this young man.
More smiles from skateboarding and Maanda.
This kid was really hyped on trying to learn how to skate the quarter. Everyone had a few slams, and in turn, a few laughs, but always proceeded to get back up and try it again. Persistence and patience are two qualities that one must have if pursuing skateboarding.
Thanks again to the children of Louie Botha Children’s Home for spending the day with us!
The registration booth was quite hectic at times, but Wands nailed it.
Michael Stylianou, ollie.
Jeremy Stone, crooked grind.
The younger guys waiting patiently to see if they were called to the finals.
Brandon Valjalo, hardflip.
Evan Binge, frontside air.
Anthony De Mendonca, front blunt.
Charl Steyn, nosegrind.
Congrats to the top 3 skaters in the 16 and under division (from left to right) Brian Stylianou (3rd), Brandon Botha (2nd), and Jeremy Stone (1st.)
Congrats to our top 3 in the 17 and older division (from left to right) Shaun Burger (2nd), Charl Steyn (1st), Evan Binge (3rd). Rudi Jeggle photo.
Congrats to wildcard winner Charl Steyn who will be representing Pretoria in the KDC Am this October! Rudi Jeggle photo.
Photos: Rudi Jeggle