Watch all the hammers from Red Bull Paris Conquest in full right here
See how Trevor McClung and Letícia Bufoni edged out the pack in a unique, raucous skate event at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
How nice is it to hear crowds back at skate events?
Red Bull Paris Conquest was the rowdiest contest in recent memory, bringing new obstacle layouts, a head-to-head eliminator format and new energies to Place du Trocadéro at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
We should naturally begin by congratulating Trevor McClung and Letícia Bufoni for being crowned the king and queen of Paris respectively, but a widening of the lens will show a superb event with a strong local showing and a raucous throng of a crowd who clearly had their favourites and let them know who they were.
Certainly high among those was TJ Rogers, who delivered a clinic in buttery ledge tech and showcased what's undeniably the best switch frontside 360 ollie in the game. His consistency and trick bag were enough for fourth place, but could have placed him higher had he not been drawn in the semis against Aurélien Giraud, who would have won had he not broken three boards with that stupendous power of his, meaning he effectively skated the semi-finals and finals on several borrowed boards. He'd be wise to bring a quiver of identical set-ups going forward.
Nonetheless, Giraud managed to power his way to second with a repertoire of big block hammers, transition wonders and a hardlflip late kickflip unseen outside of YouTube and in the wild. The man he beat into third was crowd favourite Vincent Milou, who has seemingly become the most popular skater in France over the past year. He also snapped a board against Rogers in the run-off for third, but Rogers showed a lot of class by not trying to seize the advantage while Milou sorted out a new board against the buzzer. By contrast, Trevor McClung managed to hold on to enough moves like a switch backside 360 down the Bercy 5 block without needing timeouts, and he held on for first place.
If pole position was closely contested for the men’s event, it was less so for the women’s. Letícia Bufoni demonstrated some of the strength in depth that marks out her talent by powering through to first place, mixing the ability to go big with remarkable consistency.
Unfortunately, Bufoni’s scheduled final rival Aori Nishimura had to withdraw from competing after sustaining an ankle injury during her last trick of the semi-final, having already secured a guaranteed second place. As a result, a spontaneous three-way skate-off was held to decide the rest of the final four positions.
The skate-off saw Bufoni roll out against both the impressive and effervescent local Charlotte Hym, who rode the crowd’s energy to an excellent third place, and Argentina’s Eugenia Ginepro, who took a solid fourth place.
Leaving all the great skating aside, it will be the images of those long lens shots of a heaving throng watching live skateboarding in Paris with dozens of skaters working on their flatland around the periphery which will endure. As expert guest Florentin Marfaing noted, Paris has a vibrant and energised skate scene right now, one to which we hope to have contributed a verse here today.
Watch a replay of Red Bull Paris Conquest right here. And be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and watch unmissable skate action on all your devices.
Look back at the pre-event lowdown
As skateboarding’s biggest-ever summer continues into August, we are delighted to bring you news of yet another walloping Red Bull skate event from one of the world’s greatest cities.
Get ready to enjoy a new location, new format, new layout, new invitees and new energies in the sensational city of Paris from August 17 to 18 as Red Bull Paris Conquest goes down in Place du Trocadéro right in front of the fabled Eiffel Tower as part of Paris Fashion Week.
Paris has a skateboarding history dating back to the 1970s both at the Trocadéro, where slalom was all the rage (as immortalised by the 1978 short film Trocadéro Bleu Citron (Trocadero Lemon Blue) and at the Beton Hurlant skatepark and Bassin de la Villette. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, however, that skaters began to explore the city streets beyond the Trocadéro, discovering new playgrounds like Le Dome, Châtelet, La Défense, Créteil, Bercy and so many others now familiar throughout the skating world. As the city progresses and develops, we wanted to take skateboarding back to its Trocadéro roots with an event paying homage to some of the city’s most iconic spots past and present.
With side-missions galore and a unique street course layout paying tribute to iconic Parisian streetspots old and new, we will bring you the very best of the action live and direct from the finals on Wednesday, August 18 on Red Bull TV at 17:00 CEST.
Let’s take a look at some of the famous skate spots being recreated for the invited line-up of skaters to shred:
The iconic wave-like structure by artist Henri de Miller unveiled in 1989 on the north side of Jardin des Halles was in fact a sundial complete with a bronze monolith.
A rare Parisian transition spot, it was ripped by Sam Partaix, Olly Todd and Jason Lee.
The great ‘proving-ground’ spot in Paris, the Bercy 5 became an international benchmark of big gap skating. Longer than Macba’s Big 4, Andrew Reynolds and Adrien Bulard both carved their names in the stone floor here.
La Maison Fond, Gare du Nord
The ‘melting house’ by Argentinian sculptor Leandro Erlich was created as part of Paris’ 2015 White Night arts festival to highlight global warming. Located near to the Gare du Nord train station, from where the skate spot takes its name.
Quais de la Seine
This hybrid spot pays homage to both the famous riverside banks which prevent the Seine from flooding, and the treacherous shin-height ledges synonymous with the modern Place de la République skate spot.
Curb du Luxembourg
This quintessentially Parisian curved-ledge spot requires some people-dodging, as it is located on the bustling Boulevard Saint-Michel made famous in the Gary Moore song Parisian Walkways.