Monday, June 13, 2011

Red Bull Manny Mania

Skateboarding, I probably know as much about it as Julius Malema knows about woodwork. So I know a bit but not enough to pass an exam on it, let alone get on a board and bust a move. Then again I'm Indian so I suppose I can be excused as I'd probably do better at selling you one than skating, we Indians tend to go for the sports that cause the least amount of bodily harm chess. The most I've ever done with a skateboard was sit on it and roll down the road then avoid crashing into tree's and on coming cars, I tried standing a few times but it ended badly on many occasions so I just stuck to sitting on them and leave the cool stuff to the professionals.

Red Bull as many of you know is the energy drink that gives you wings and they are also associated with many a cool extreme sporting event, from the famous box cart race to the cliff diving that takes place at red locations around the world and of course one cannot forget their recent dominance in the world Formula One. They also proudly host the global Manny Mania contest that takes place in 34 countries. South Africa being one of the participating countries is currently holding its national battle with events taking place around the country in June. So far Cape Town and J Bay hosted the Manny Mania events and the next stop is Durban, this Saturday the 18th of June at the Wave house in Gateway theatre of shopping.

Simon Stipcich - Photograph by Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull
 What is Manny Mania?

Being its 4th year of running, it all started off with a guy called Joey Brezinski and the basic trick performed by skateboarders, "the manual" which is a trick where the skater balances him/herself on either the back 2 or front 2 wheels of the board, there after performing various tricks from it such as rotations, flips, grinds and riding switches. I have it on good authority that only the best can do all of these consistently so in essence Manny Mania is an event made for those who have mastered these tricks and not for those who like me consider skating standing up a good enough trick. Joey felt that with the various skating competitions, none of the contestants focused on the manual and what tricks that could be worked from it, hence the inception of Manny Mania.

Joey Brezinski
The first Manny Mania event was held in 2007 at Venice beach in California, the event was rather small with some Pro's featuring in it, the format was an instant hit and when it moved onto New York that year the response was massive. 2008 saw the contest grow even more bigger with it attracting more pro's and even bigger crowds. In 2009 Manny Mania expanded from the shores of the USA to host the event in the UK where locals skaters embraced the contest with open arms thus prompting the organisers to expand the contest even further in 2010 with 7 countries notched in the calender including South Africa where the event was held at the Wave house in Durban. The winner of the SA leg last year was Simon Stipcich, who's prize included a trip to New York City to compete against fellow qualifiers from around the world for the single coveted spot in the pro invitational.

2011 see's 34 countries hosting qualifiers and South Africa having 4 qualifying events and then the finals that's hosted in Joburg.

Dates for the SA Events:
  •  June 4: Son Skate Park - Stellenbosch
  •  June 11: Element Skate Park - Jeffreys Bay
  •  June 18: Wave House Skate Park, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Durban
  •  June 25: Revolution Skate Park, Festival Mall, Kempton Park, Jhb
  •  June 26: Finals, Revolution Skate Park, Kempton Park, Jhb
How to enter?

Be aged 14 (as of August 21, 2010) or older. Be a resident of the country in which the event is being held and are an amateur athlete.

If you match the above, grab your board and get your ass down to any of the events or send an email in advance to with the following info:
  1. Full given name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Email address
  4. Contact numbers
  5. City of event want to participate in.
Who to look out for?
Khule Nia - Photograph by Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull
Apart from last years winner Simon Pitcich, Khule Nia (pictured above, doing a nose manual at the Hilton) is among the favourites to scoop the Durban leg. Oh! and the hot Red Bull girls, I hear they might be on patrol this weekend, hence my services are needed...

If you're looking at taking part then its best you head the advice of Jean-Marc Johannes (a Red Bull sponsored skater from Cape Town)  and that is "PRACTICE"

If you cant make it to any of the events then you can follow all the live action on twitter by following @RedBullZA with the official event hashtag being #MannyMania.

Or for a complete list of global contests and updates, visit

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