Skateboarding enthusiasts can expect adrenaline-pumping action when the first Grand Slam of the Kimberley Diamond Cup heads for the CrestaMall in Gauteng on Saturday, 28 June 2014. The event carries a prize purse of over R50 000, which is guaranteed to attract some of the country’s top individual and team skaters.
The action kicks off at 10h30 with the qualifying rounds for the under 16s followed by the over 17 category and the Rider Cup team qualifiers. The first final rounds are due to start from 15h10 and the best trick jam at 17h10is guaranteed to have the crowds on their feetas the skaters go for broke to land that one insane trick.
In addition to the prize money, the Cresta Grand Slam will offer yet another talented street skateboarder a wild card entry into the Kimberley Diamond Cup world skateboarding championships in October this year.
The four Grand Slam events together with the Kimberley Diamond Cup world skateboarding championship presented by Kumba Iron Ore are the five biggest skateboarding events in South Africa offering a total prize purse of nearly R6 million this year.
One of the top street skaters, who will definitely be in action at the Cresta Grand Slam is 23-year-old KanyaSpani, who won a wild card at the Youth Day Skateboarding for Hope event in Soweto recently. “I was so stoked to get the wild card as that means I’ll get to compete in Kimberley again, which is an incredible experience. It was the best birthday gift ever and there was such a cool vibe in Soweto. The kids were so hyped to get up on skateboards for the very first time – it was really exciting to watch,” mentions Spani.
Spani started skating about thirteen years ago in his home town of Port Elizabeth, when his neighbour allowed him to borrow his board. Since then he has moved to Johannesburg and it has become a full-time occupation, even though he is a qualified web developer. “Skateboarding becomes your life and I would definitely recommend it to youngsters. It gets you out and about, you meet amazing cool people and spend time with people loving the same thing you do,” explains Spani.
Team skaters will also have everything to fight for during the Cresta Grand Slam as the winning team will battle it out against the greatest teams in the country during the KDC Rider Cup contest in Kimberley in October. The local teams will go head-to-head with the winners of the World Skateboarding Rider Cup NYC series, which will be going down in the five districts of New York City over a six week period in July and August. The Rider Cup concept was first introduced during the 2013 Kimberley Diamond Cup in South Africa and proved to be such a success that organisers World Skateboarding decided to replicate it globally, starting off in the United States.
According to Tim McFerran of World Skateboarding Grand Prix, the South African skateboarding community just loved the team-style contest. “It was so well received in South Africa that we just had to bring it to the States and New York offered just the perfect venue with the five borrows. We can’t wait to bring the winners out to compete against South Africa’s top teams in Kimberley – I think this will be full throttle skating at its best,” said McFerran.
The next Grand Slams will take place in Durban on 26 July and Cape Town on 30 August. For more information and a full event line-up, visit www.kimberleydiamondcup.com.