Words by Stepan Soraka
The Coping Bash contest was a regular occurrence at the now-defunct SBC mini ramp since 2017. Throughout four iterations of the contest, an assortment of guys, gals, groms, lurkers and legends packed into the narrow room for what was always a raging session, full of prizes and surprises. The format was always informal, feeling more like a heated jam among friends than a contest. Coping Bash was an excuse for transition-inclined skaters in the Vancouver area to get together and celebrate their craft, with tunes bumping, brews flowing and heavy moves being put down one after another. Unfortunately, after seven years of providing the community with a dry place to skate and congregate, the SBC mini ramp closed its doors for good in the fall of 2019. The venue is deeply missed, and its contribution to the Vancouver skate scene will always be remembered with fondness and gratitude.
Without a proper venue to host the contest, and with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic restricting social gatherings, the organizers of Coping Bash decided on a virtual format for its fifth instalment. Contestants would have a month to compile up to one minute of footage, filmed exclusively at the Leeside DIY skatepark. Video entries would be posted on Instagram with cash prizes awarded for the top five overall entries along with a best trick category, most creative, best under 18, and a bonus photo category, ensuring multiple entrants could get a chunk of the $1500 prize purse.
Skateboarding is inherently subjective, and quantifying one person’s skating as superior to another’s is no easy task. Personal preference and bias will always be a factor, as will the knowledge of a skater’s full potential when compared with their video output. With multiple heavy-hitting entries, the judges had their hands full. In the end, Corey McIntosh took top honours in the overall category, with an entry that showcased his smooth flow and unique trick selection. This does not mean that his skating was objectively better than the other entrants’ – rather, due to a variety of factors, it stood out the most to the judges. James Clarke’s raw power and velocity and Nile Osborn’s bottomless bag of tricks made them winners in their own rights. Walter Caleb Nichol’s technical prowess and Stephan Bottin’s liquid-smooth style solidified their places among the top five.
It is important to note that Leeside is a not-for-profit, community funded and built skatepark that relies on everyone’s support for upkeep and upgrades. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to keep the project going. You can send an E-transfer to email@example.com to contribute directly. We would also like to acknowledge that the park continues to exist as a memorial to Lee Matasi, a beloved member of the Vancouver skateboard community whose life was taken in a senseless act of gun violence in 2005. Thank you, Lee, for continuing to inspire us.
Coping Bash would like to thank our generous sponsors for making this contest possible: PD’s Hot Shop, Menu Skateshop, Antisocial Skateshop, Vans Shoes, Powell Brewery and SBC Skateboard Mag.
1st Place – Corey McIntosh – $500
2nd Place – James Clarke – $300
3rd Place – Nile Osborn – $175
4th Place – Walter Caleb Nichols – $75
5th Place – Stephan Bottin – $25
Most Creative – Clinton Cameron and Aaron Williamson (draw) – $50 each
Best Trick – Nile Osborn (backside nosegrind) – $100
18 and Under – Oli Ward – $75
1st Place Photo – Walter Caleb Nichols by Brandon Alton – $75
2nd Place Photo – Oli Ward by Steve Ward – $50
3rd Place Photo – Elly Ryland by Norma Ibarra – $25