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Foreign Exchange: The Tang Tang Contest Recap

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It had been raining in Paris since we arrived. Which, while inconvenient, didn’t do much to slow down the pace. The evening before the event had been a wet and wild romp through the streets of Paris. A grandiose tour of all the major metropolitan landmarks, and all while dodging puddles and dare-devil Parisians on Vespas. It had been a fun evening and a waterlogged prelude of future events to come. Hyped to get out and skate despite the disagreeable weather, everyone retired to the bar before stumbling home with fingers crossed for no rain the following day.

Van life - Laurent Perigault's van vs. the Foreign Exchange Tour Van.

Van life – Laurent Perigault’s van vs. the Foreign Exchange Tour Van.

R'spect knuckles.

R’spect knuckles.

Steezy Graf.

Steezy Graf

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Omar of the Wattfutchureez Deejays crushin' out the jams and gettin' the jam going.

Omar of the Wattfutchureez Deejays crushin’ out the beats and gettin’ the jam going.

The morning light brought with it the tip-tapping of rain drops on our room’s skylight. A calm haze of slick moisture that forced the fabled “Tang Tang” contest of the day to be relocated to a more sheltered habitat. With the contest location changed and participants re-routed, we journeyed to an open air car park located just along the river deep within the bosom of Paris. Reminiscent of some kind of underground hip hop duel, the Tang Tang flat-land competition became a sort of battle royale for anyone with cruising related chops. Four 4-man brackets of dancing elite battled it out over the course of the afternoon. All the competitors were completely fired up to style it out and lay it down for a bid at bragging rights within a thriving French skate scene.

The crowds.

The playing field.

UD mag's Marvelous Marvin, hypin' the crowd.

UD mag’s Marvelous Marvin, hypin’ the crowd.

Steeze.

Steeze.

Green bean took 1st.

Green bean took 1st.

Four man teams battling it out for the top spot.

Four man heats – battling it out for the top spot.

Stylin like a boss.

Stylin like a boss.

Mighty Melanie Golz took 2nd for her sweet stylings.

Mighty Melanie Golz took 2nd for her sweet stylings.

The high jump contest got serious.

The high jump contest got serious.

The contest kicked off with bumping beats by a local DJ as riders got to stylin’ and spectators began to gather. Boxes of brew were broken open as conversational barriers were broken down. A swarm of skaters steezing it out and putting on a show for a hyped and fixated Parisian crowd. As the rain poured, the contest raged, trailing off into the drizzling late afternoon. A rare attempt at a flat ground backflip led to a final round injury that ultimately ended the competition, leading to an awards ceremony being held at a bar in the Bastille. A thorough soaking ensued as riders got to drinking and relived the days exploits over beers and beats.

The Woodwalker himself.

The Woodwalker himself. 

The weather may not have been the most agreeable, and the contest may have not gone exactly according to plan, but the resulting event made for a fantastic alternative to a day that would otherwise have been spent inside cowering from the cold.

 

A huge thanks to Lotfi Lomaali, Laurent Perigault, and everyone else who contributed and attended the event in spite of unfavorable weather conditions. You guys are awesome.

Thanks for reading, now go skate.  

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