By Kane Horsepool
The officially unofficial Coin Toss evet went down at the uncreatively named ‘Ghetto Spot’ in
Wollongong. Some call it the Salvo’s DIY as it is positioned across the street from the Salvation Army. But I think the Vinyl guys have officially dubbed it the Mavriki’s DIY, as it adjoins Mavriki’s chicken processing facility.
The Coin Toss event actually had no coins being tossed. The only coins I saw being tossed were those going into the tin for the bush fire relief. The boys were raising funds for those effected by the fires and I saw quite a few coins going in as well as some notes, a few bright red ones too.
But there was also a lot of notes flying around the place all afternoon. The Vinyl guys were handing out fivers and some tenners for tricks landed. Jarryd Rees was calling out trick requests and constructive encouragement from a loud speaker while Ben Laxton played the philanthropist handing out the bucks. It was like a budget open air strip club, but the ‘talent’ wasn’t getting notes tucked into G-strings they were being shoved into sweaty pockets.
There were a few best trick comps on different obstacles, starting with the blue ledge and the trolley rail. The trolley rail coped a serve with tricks going over, under and everyway in between. But the crowd favourite was a moon boot boardslide by Joshua Dean-Greentree. “I can’t just sit and watch” he told me “I gotta get in there”. Even with his front foot in a scaled down plaster cast it didn’t stop him from scoring a full length boardslide. I don’t know how you pop with a plastic boot on your lead foot. I think he may have even won a board for that. Yep, the guys handed out a few boards amongst the wads of fivers and beers.
The wallride sticker slap was another entertaining event. It was a pretty creative way to distribute promo material. A stack of freshly printed Vinyl stickers was handed out and an ole see who can get the sticker the highest mid wallride competition ensued. There was some hay-maker attempts but only Ty Jeffery seemed to be able to get a sticker up there and successfully ride away. For the next event a makeshift kicker was constructed using a door, an old cabinet and a street sign. And one of the seedy on-site couches was moved in for the guys to hurl tricks over. This was the most dangerous event, not because of the hastily constructed kicker but because of the myriad of diseases those couches surely contain. I’m surprised people sit on them to be honest. There was a few used frangers found on the site that day. Where do you think they got used?
The best trick over the couch got heated up real quick. And it only took Sam Giles a few seconds to suss out an alternate route over the couch. And then it only took him a few tries to huck on ollie the wrong way over the couch and into the kicker. Sammy also skated it the more conventional way and threw out a massive kickflip, a frontside flip and an unofficially official crowd favourite Benihana. He also annihilated the longest ollie comp. Congrats Sam you’ve won the couch. Seriously you can come get it, if there are no couches on-site then there will be no used latex lying around.
Then the proceedings took a right turn with an event called the Death Match. A circle was drawn on the ground and any willing participant stood on their board in the circle. Then when the loudspeaker sang it was everyone for themselves. Last man standing was the winner. Nothing was off limits fish hooks, wedgies and wet willys, everything was legal. But step off your board and your out. And when the dust settled it was young Callum Jones who stood victorious taking out none other than Ty Jeffery in the final seconds to be crowned champion and take home the Vinyl board. This event was an enlightened change in events and I think should be a yearly challenge along with some others. Such as skateboard esky races and skateboard jousting.
And then came the main event of the afternoon, the announcing of the 2019 Vinyl Gong SOTY. No condoms were needed for this climax. The finalists were all lined up on instagram stories over the last couple of weeks and DM’s were sent in as voting. So, it was all very officially unofficial. Apparently, the voting was close but they always seem to say that in an attempt to lessen the burden on pride and ego. The finalists were (in no specific order) Brayden, Marshy, Tim Mayo, Ty and Sammy. And after the drum rolls the sticker was removed from the trophies plaque to reveal Ty Jeffery the winner. And then a beautiful frothy beer shower was adorned on Ty’s head. But I seriously think he was cleaner after the brew shower, it washed off all the sweat and the Mavriki’s DIY dirt and scum.
Thanks to Vinyl for an epic fun-fill no frills event. This is what skateboarding was built on, we don’t need corporate tennis shoe sponsors or council affiliated youth events. All we need is an abandoned lot, a few hastily constructed obstacles and the pure joy of ply wood and urethane. Until next year, nah fuck that, until next weekend.