Vans Downtown Showdown in London

Spitalfields Market is much changed of late – so the march of progress goes on. And urban footwear brand Vans will be taking the heritage site over on Saturday 20th August for the Vans Downtown Showdown where skate teams will compete for a 50,000 Euro prize on London inspired obstacles created by the teams themselves.

Twelve skate teams will come to the event from across Europe, and will be competing on specially constructed obstacles designed by teams Death Skateboards, Cliché and Superdead. It will be great to see how a London theme can be reflected in a skating construction! But we are told to expect the spirit of the Ripper to be resurrected, alongside Sherlock Holmes, Gothic Churches, London Pubs, The Royal Family, Oliver Twist and The Thames!

Harry from Superdead promises of their obstacle, “The Superdead Tavern, a ‘ye olde English pub’ with a twist. The Superdead obstacle contains trap doors, bars and beer barrels. It’s what every good skate spot needs. We were stoked to be asked to take part in the Vans Downtown Showdown this year and even more stoked to design an obstacle. London is steeped in history and it became easy to add a heavy flavour of that history into our design.” 

Cliché’s Jeremie Daclin offered a clue as to what to expect on the day: “For this years Vans Downtwon Showdown, Cliché wanted to reflect the London vibe so we came up with an obstacle I’m sure people will get and enjoy to skate. Let’s hope we can get the Thames flowing under our bridge.”

Death Skateboards’ Dan Cates said of their dauntingly entitled ‘Rippers Alley’, “This years Death obstacle is a tribute to London’s most notorious serial killer, ‘Jack The Ripper’ and is loosely based upon Gunthorpe Street in Whitechapel. A spooky looking alleyway that still stands today leading to George yard where some claim that the first of The Ripper’s victims was found. Death’s obstacle is a skateable interpretation of this Alley in all of it’s Victorian beauty, complete with blood stains, filth, Ripper graffiti and a rideable version of the infamous ‘Ten Bells’ pub, complete with cellar door. The obstacles contained with in the alley are based on some of our favourite London spots past and present and include: South Bank’s original bank to wall, the now defunct Fenchurch street quarter pipes and a bank to bar inspired by the estate by Clapham junction station.”

On top of the skating expect other highlights from the Van Doren Pizza Parlour (presented by Fire & Stone and headed up by Steve Van Doren the Godfather of Vans himself), the Vans Waffle Booth, Live Screenprinting with Lovenskate, Athlete signings and product givea-ways.

So with the teams redefining what a skate obstacle can be, and a multitude of pride on four wheels up for defending, this will be the skate event of the summer.

Entry to Vans Downtown Showdown is free. The event starts at 12 noon and will run until 6.30 pm when the winners are announced and prizes awarded. See and for more details.


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