In the year that has passed since the first 'Battle of the Benches' we've constantly had people coming into the shop asking when the next one will be. Well we just did Battle of the Benches 2.
It was kept somewhat under the radar because the format is not really conducive to extremely large groups (the high probability 'bust' factor that occurs whenever skateboarders hit the streets). Nevertheless, word spread fairly quickly the day before the event and it ended up being way bigger than last time.
The format:
2 teams drawn at random from an adidas shoe box
2 filmers, Joubert van Staden in team 1 and JJ Harris in team 2
2 Baseline Benches (each team gets a bench)
4 hours to make the best possible edit on the streets of Cape Town
Additional challenges:
We came up with a list of spot, trick and wildcard challenges that each team could complete whilst voyaging through the city. They were not compulsory but rather just a way to keep it interesting and possibly earn some Baseline vouchers. Team coordinators kept each team on course to complete challenges within the designated time and at specific locations (Team 1 captained by Pieter Retief and Team 2 captained by Luke Jackson). Each challenge has a monetary value of R50 in gift vouchers attached to it. The MVP (Most Valued Person) in each team will claim the vouchers.
Challenge checklist:
Spot Challenges:
1. Civic: Do any grind to grind / slide combo on the big orange sculpture across the manny pad to the bench or vice versa.
2. Thibault Square: Do any wallie to grind / slide combo off the sculpture.
3. Thibault Square: Do any grind / slide trick up the bench up the 4 stairs (no 50’s!).
4. Two Step: Do any Ollie over to grind / slide combo over the wheelchair ramp rail to the bench.
5. Clarke’s Bowl: Do a line with the bench in “Your Mom’s” bowl.
Trick Challenges:
1. Hit the bench into or out of a wallride.
2. Hippie jump (board to board) the length of the bench.
3. Stand the bench up on its side by a set of stairs or a drop and 'nose bonk' the leg.
4. Do any no-comply trick on the bench.
5. Double 50 grinds from opposite directions on each side of the bench (both on the bench at the same time).
Wild Card Challenges:
1. Make out with a stranger on the bench.
2. Do any trick naked on the bench.
We also changed up how it all began. When skateboarders arrived at the shop on Saturday afternoon the benches weren't here. Team 1's bench was placed at Civic Centre with adidas & Baseline team rider Khulu Dlamini and Team 2's bench was placed at Thibault Square with adidas & Baseline team rider Yann Horowitz. Each team was given a photo of where their bench was waiting and they had to bomb down into town to find it.
It was somewhat chaotic but hey that's skateboarding, DIY and adaptable. Friends who missed the start joined various teams as they finished work. Some managed to spend time with both teams. Various young kids skated around watching the teams go about their battle.
We had run-ins with security guards but just moved on to the next spots when there were issues. Not everyone got clips in the end as we cut it short by about half an hour when it got very dark and one enormous crew had formed on Loop Street. Most attendees got clips though and everyone cruised the city together. We all bombed down Long Street with our benches and arrived back at Baseline where adidas skateboarding provided free beers for all!
Team 1 photos by Sam Clark and Team 2 photos by Jansen van Staden.
Team 1
Team 2
Team 1 - Filmed and edited by Joubert van Staden
Team 2 - Filmed and edited by Jess James Harris
Vote for your favourite edit and let us know who you thought the MVP in each team was by commenting below. The MVP in each team will receive the Baseline vouchers that each team earned while completing the given challenges. [poll id="3"]