Skateboard pro and Battle at the Berrics 12 reigning champion Jamie Griffin challenged his crew in a fired-up competition.
In the very first GWR skateboard event EVER, during a day-long sesh of flips and slides, five pros tested each other’s skills in a nail-biting battle of records: heelflips, kickflips and blindfolded challenges tested these skaters to the very limit. Although not without hitches, the day saw some successful attempts, some disqualifications and some epic tricks.
The prize for each head-to-head? A coveted Guinness World Records certificate.
Guinness World Records adjudicator Will Munford was on-site at Hop Kingdom, London, to witness this battle of skill, following each match with a sharp gaze and his trusted clipboard.
“There’s only going to be one winner.” - Marcos Baines
After rising to fame and becoming an up-and-coming name in the field, Ireland-born champion Jamie bagged two records during the ultimate skateboarding battle.
After entering the Influencer bracket at the skateboarding event BATB 12 (Battle at the Berrics 12) and smashing every challenge, in 2022 he became ‘the skateboarder to keep an eye on’.
Jamie took on 64 competitors during the event, including some seasoned professionals, even besting former BATB winner Chris Cole in the semi-finals.
At Hop Kingdom, in June 2022, he further proved his mastery, achieving two world records.
“One person might be more consistent at kickflips, the other person can be more consistent at heelflips. So it varies between us, I suppose,” affectionately said crew member Oska Sullivan. “Not Jamie, though. Jamie’s got everything, so he’s not in this one. He doesn’t count.”
“Jamie is just consistent at everything” – Alex Decunha
Making it seem so easy, Jamie broke the record for the most skateboard heelflips in one minute: in only 60 seconds, he achieved 28 heelflips. The trick consists of flipping the board with the heel, rotating the board in the opposite direction of a kickflip.
The result achieved by Jamie largely surpassed the previous record of 15, set by skater Rob Dyrdek (USA).
The record had been originally broken on the set of MTV's The Rob & Big Show in Los Angeles, on 17 September 2007. More than seven years later, in May 2015, the record had been equalled by Rupert Dodkins (UK) in Oxford, UK.
In London, Jamie beat both those results with 13 heelflips to spare.
Next, it was the turn of the breath-stealing battle to achieve the most skateboard kickflips in one minute blindfolded.
“Oh, the blindfolded one? That one!" Said one member of the crew. "Crazy. Don’t try this at home.”
The duel saw Alex Decunha going up against Brazilian skater Marcos Baines.
Although the challenge seemed almost impossible, with a minimum of 15 kickflips to line up (achieving flips of their boards around its lengthwise axis with no possibility to see whatsoever) to stand a chance to take home the record, the two skaters were ready to give it their best shot.
The biggest challenge of this trick? No assistance whatsoever.
“It’s so hard to do it but, yeah, I tried,” Marcos said after his very first attempt.
“Let’s get it. BOOM!” - Marcos Baines
Sadly, Marcos’ first attempt resulted to be null because, after touching the wall and falling off the board a member of his crew helped him balance himself up again.
However, he still had two chances of smashing the record and no intention to give up!
Alex’s first attempt didn’t go smoothly, either: after missing one kickflip, he fell off the skate. “I kinda wanted to land it,” he joked.
The adrenaline was thick in the air as the two pros pulled off kickflip after kickflip despite their blindfolds keeping them completely in the dark. Their crowd cheered for them.
But there could be only one winner.
Eventually, Alex was the one to take home the certificate for most skateboard kickflips in one minute blindfolded: after a heated head-to-head, he achieved a total of 23.
Next, Marcos, Jamie and Alex challenged each other with varial heelflips.
What is a "varial heelflip", you might ask? This stylish, impactful trick sees the spinning of the board along its vertical axis. It's a blend of a frontside pop shove-it (combining an ollie jump with a frontside 180 degree rotation) and a heelflip, flipping a skateboard with the heel.
“Such a weird way of kicking your board,” commented a member of the crew, highlighting the difficulties of the trick.
The number to beat to break the record for most varial heelflips in one minute was 14.
In the tensed silence of the Hop Kingdom, the thuds of the heels (and sometimes of the falls of the skaters!) hitting the ground were deafening.
Once again, three attempts.
Three chances to beat the record.
All attempts were surely great candidates for the “Book of Cool Records”, but there could only be one best result.
Slowed down by an injury, Alex sadly managed "only" 12. At his best attempt, Marcos achieved 14, de facto reaching the minimum to beat the record… but did he get the title?!
He was so close but Jamie, with his best attempt, got his hands on the certificate with a whopping 23 varial heelflips in one minute!
The day concluded with two more incredible tricks.
First, British skater Oska Sullivan tried his hand at breaking the record for most skateboard half-cab blunt fakies in one minute.
To successfully complete one trick, the skater had to stand on the skateboard with their dominant foot on the nose. Then, the fakie (the stance where the board is ridden backwards) is performed with a backside 180 degree spin landing in a blunt.
Oska abundantly surpassed the minimum requirement for the record, 25, and managed a jaw-dropping total of 29.
“Happy day!” he cheered, with a big smile on his face, upon receiving the certificate.
The last, but certainly not least, challenge saw the triumph of Miklos Peller (Hungary).
Miklos successfully achieved the most nollie heelflips in one minute, racking up an amazing total of 19 nose ollies (a variation of a regular ollie. In this case, the skater uses their front foot to snap down on the nose of the board, popping the tail).
You don't need to be a skateboard pro to enjoy the complex, jaw-dropping beauty of this trick.
With one nollie heelflip more than the previous record, Miklos conquered the title previously held by skateboard star Jean-marc Johannes. Johannes set the record in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2018.
Miklos' performance closed triumphantly a day of skateboarding challenges... in true Guinness World Records style!
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