Words by Will Radula-Scott. Photos by Ponchikz.
The Vans Hi Standard event went down in Moscow, Russia last weekend and it was definitely one for the books! Not labelled a comp as it’s all about having a good time shredding and oozing as much style as possible to take home some cash. To insure style the main aim no more than a 720 can be spun and the more tweak the more likely you’ll get a cash handout from one of the judges.
It’s not easy country to get into just for a couple of nights, but damn it was worth it! With visas in hand we were allowed in to Russia and welcomed by the Vans Europe crew that had organised the first ever Vans Hi Standard series event in the Soviet city. They kicked things off with a classic Russian meal at a local restaurant that was all about guessing what you were eating once it was in your mouth...ok so apparently it was a Ukrainian dinner but we weren’t to know the difference and there was musical entertainment on arrival with jugs of vodka (easily mistaken for water) on the table, so we knew we were in for a strong welcome all the same.
With overcast, grey and cold weather as expected from Moscow on arrival it was a pleasant surprise as we rocked up the following day to the inner city “Resort” of Kaht to see the clouds pass and blue skies prevail for the remainder of the day. Temperatures rose as the event got underway with two separate jam sessions, one on the kicker and one for the rail features. With over a hundred kids signing up to shred the standard and style got high fast! Additionally to winning cash there were trophy's awarded. liin Mikhail took the men’s MVP title and Romanova Varvara took it for the ladies! The Van Doren Best Rail Trick was presented to Chepelev Fedor for his perfectly stomped cab 270 front board slide to 450 out. Young ripper Dmitriev Yan was awarded Most Improved, holding his own despite his age, including executing a stylish method over the kicker. After shredding hard all day Lenchevskiy Yaroslav took home the Under-16 title, battling to nail a backside Rodeo on the kicker.
The kids also got to ride with European team riders Nikita Sekh (Russian local), Antti Jussila, Sebi Springeth, Sparrow Knox, Cees Wille, Sami Luhtanen and Mans Hedberg
Thank you Moscow for the good times and of course Vans Europe for putting on a killer event that proved that the stoke is high in Russia and so is the riding level!