By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Held in Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, the BOWL-A-RAMA is an event that’s taken place for over 10 years and is one of the longest standing skateboarding traditions. As the name describes it the event is focused on bowl skateboarding wich is a really difficult discipline that not many skateboarders are comfortable with since it’s not at all like flat ground regular park skateboarding, it requires a bit of a higher skateboarding level to be able to practice this discipline which was born back in the late 60s and 70s when surfers used to ride empty pools to pass the time when waves weren’t any good.
You can have some of the best names in skateboarding like Steve Caballero, to tell you first hand: “Every park had a pool because that’s what guys were doing in the mid-’70s,” he says. “So every skatepark that was built privately wanted to build some kind of pool, because it related to what people were doing outside of parks.”
Skateboarding runs in cycles, so after new styles came along such as vert and park skateboarding, bowl skateboarding, lost most of its adepts, however back in 2005, VANS came up with the revival of these style by creating the “the Pool Party”, the same year the Bondi Bowl in Sydney Australia began its annual contest, and people, the bowls were back!
Bowl-A-Rama is more than a contest, it’s a skateboarding festival. The best skaters in Australia and the world competing on one of the finest bowls in the world for the biggest prize money in the history of skateboard events, all happening in the iconic Bondi Beach.
Every year’s event gathers an insane amount of the world's top skaters and thousands of spectators. The week-long festival also features art shows, parties and live music acts, it has featured the artwork of some of the world's most creative skaters like Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Christian Hosoi, and Pat Hgoho to name a few.
BOWL-A-RAMA Brings The Big Bucks!
One of the things the event is known for is the amount of money organizers and promoters spend on the events realization itself, from being able to get to have names like Tony Hawk to have live music and several other activities for the attendants to enjoy their tickets.
Back in 2014, the prize money for the champion of the event was $80K, that’s right dudes and dudettes! And the organization and budget of the event has only been increasing since then.
Winner of the big bucks was a then 18-year-old Pedro Barros (yeah, you might have heard of him), while the legendary Tony Hawk walked away with the revered Master’s Title joining the ‘Bones Brigade’ legends Mike McGill, Steve Caballero, and Lance Mountain.
The “Masters” event repeated the next year in which Tony, Miller, and Caballero won the first, second and third places respectively in the Master's Division round, Hawk mentioned: “I’m stoked to return to BOWL-A-RAMA Bondi and skate with all of the legends again, Bondi is by far one of the best contest venues we’ve ever had, and the skating is always next level”
Mr. Steve Caballero also mentioned for that year's event: “I’m very honored to be here, I have been part of the BOWL-A-RAMA family for 8 years and this year has been the best year yet by far”.
Bigger And Better
In 2018 the event had many surprises such as receiving the newcomer’s generation of bowl skateboarding champions Keegan Palmer a 14-year-old skater became the youngest ever BOWL-A-RAMA winner. He'd never competed in the Pro Division before! Also13-year-old Sabre Norris, competing in her first major skateboarding competition, blew everybody away in claiming the Women's Division! These kids are breaking into the skateboarding world with a big BANG! And they are both waving their country’s flag being Australian and leaving the prize at home!
We are looking forward to seeing what the BOWL-A-RAMA has to bring to the table in the future, but we are pretty sure it will be some sick SHIT®!