VPA #9: Police Brutality, Girl in Melbourne and Semeton

G’day and welcome back to the ol’ skate column, Vandals, Posers, Athletes. How about that Go Skateboarding Day drama in Colombia, eh? Did you see it on the ‘gram?

A dead-set kamikaze cowboy from the Bogotá police force decided to shake up the annual Go Skateboarding Day procession by jumping on his motorbike and mowing a skateboarder the fuck down, seemingly at random. This particular cop went so hard that he ended up stacking his motorbike, at which point a couple of nearby skaters stepped in to truck-bash the officer. Then another piggy came along and recklessly rode his moto into the mess, running over another skater. Next thing you know, the one cop is riding away in the other direction and skaters are throwing their boards at him like ninja stars. It was quite a sight to behold. There are also some other clips from later on, where more cops join in with similar behaviour and a helmeted cop straight-up head-butted a woman! It really looked like a bad day for the skaters of Bogotá. Violence is ugly, but here’s the clip.

Police Brutality in Bogota

The Bogota police’s initial reaction was that their use of force was ‘legitimate’ and ‘necessary,’ but with the footage going viral they had to change their tune pretty quickly. The police chief, General Hoover Penilla, said he would request for the offending officers to be suspended and dismissed. The lesson? Hope that somebody is filming the cops. And never trust them.

The NSW Cockroaches took out the 2019 Skate of Origin

After a 19-year hiatus, Skate of Origin has been brought back to life by Slam and Red Bull—and what a rad concept for a comp. Essentially it’s a battle of state pride, with NSW, VIC and QLD each putting together a team of five skaters, plus a filmer and a photographer. From there, they were given a book of challenges and let loose on the streets of Canberra to gronk it up for six days straight. With Jake Hayes, Dane Burman, Jack O’Grady, Rob Pace, and Noah Nayef, the NSW Blues were just too bloody strong for the other teams, earning them 10k prize money and unfettered state glory. The VIC and QLD productions are well worth a watch too if you haven’t seen them already. I actually went along for this trip and it was every bit as fun as it looks in the videos.

The Melbourne Identity

The title is a play on The Bourne Identity, but it only really works if you pronounce ‘Melbourne’ like an American tourist. Then again, this is a video that comprises of a bunch of American tourists—the Girl crew—hitting the streets of Melbourne, skating to ‘Smoko’ by The Chats. It’s pure fun and there is a distinct holiday vibe to the whole clip. The team these days has a nice mix of established: Mike Carrol, Rickk Howard, Rick McCrank; and current: Simon Bannerot, Tyler Pacheco, Griffin Gass, Niels Bennet, and Andrew Brophy. Manchild and Bannerot are straight-up beasts. Manch said it best: ‘Fuckin’ Australian bacon too—so good.’


Behold this 16-minute clip by Motion Skateboards, which was filmed over the course of two years and showcases the street skateboarding scene in Bali. It features Sanggoe Darma Tanjung, Mario Palandeng, Dewa Oka, Rubianda Rachman, and a few others, and was filmed and edited by a couple of local fellas known as Joy and BTX. It’s a rad little insight into the skateboarding scene on the island of the gods. Between a mad soundtrack with exclusively Indonesian tracks and an array of crusty but tropical spots, I was hyped to see what the crew from Motion came out with. Maybe you’ve heard of Sanggoe Darma Tanjung? He’s 18-years-old and the best skateboarder from Indonesia right now. He qualified for Street League a few years back and also just got put on the Flip team—word has it he was picked by Arto Saari himself. Definitely one to watch out for.

Bondi to Tamworth with Totem

Here’s a tidy little skate park edit from my good friends at Totem Skateboarding. I was lucky enough to get to go on this trip as well and it was lots of fun, from what I remember. We started in Bondi at an event called ‘Bucket of Gnar’ and then jumped in the van and drove into the night, reaching Tamworth in the wee hours. The next day we woke up early to open up the new $1.7 million park. The crew—Nixen Osborne, Noah Fuzi, Mashy, Ryder Lawson, Cam Markin, Sam Sutton, Jack Paterson, Chris Vaughan, and Mitch Robertom—put on a mad demo. Then we kicked a ball around in the streets of Tamworth for most of the night.

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