Ban Hatchell flying to the top spot. Photo: Brandon Means
Aug 02, 2015

Ben Hatchell Crowned Champion at the Van Doren Invitational

The 2015 Van Doren Invitational ignited the Vans Pro Bowl on the sand in Huntington Beach today as thousands of fans witnessed the world’s best park riders go head to head in the all-cement gauntlet.

Following an explosive semi-finals round and a mind-blowing combination run in the finals, Ben Hatchell is crowned champion for his second Van Doren Invitational title since winning the inaugural Van Doren Invitational in 2013. Joining him on the podium, Vans’ own Pedro Barros claimed second followed closely by the unrelenting Chris Russell who placed third.

1st Place: Ben Hatchell - $25,000

2nd Place: Pedro Barros - $15,000

3rd Place: Chris Russell - $10,000

To relive all the action from today, go to the Contest Analyzer and watch every jam, every moment, on demand.


Final Results

1: Ben Hatchell - 96.56

2: Pedro Barros - 94.24

3: Chris Russell - 90.31

4: Raven Tershy - 82.98

5: Willy Lara - 79.71

6: Ronnie Sandoval - 77.74

7: Alex Sorgente - 77.60

8: Jack Fardell - 76.20

9: Chris Gregson - 73.83

10: Marlon Silva - 71.02

11: Ben Raybourn - 69.20

12: Curren Caples - 7.76


Aug 02, 2015

Van Doren Invitational BMX Final Results

1: Dennis Enarson - 90.23

2: Gary Young - 87.56

3: Daniel Sandoval - 87.22

4: Larry Edgar - 86.84

5: Sergio Layos - 86.28

6: Pat Casey - 85.06

7: Scotty Cranmer - 83.65

8: Chase Hawk - 82.50

9: Dan Foley - 82.01

10: Matt Cordova - 81.90

11: Clint Reynolds - 81.73

12: Kevin Kalkoff - 81.65

13: Corey Bohan - 80.99

14: Kris Fox - 80.48

15: Kevin Peraza - 79.88

16: Tyler Fernengel - 77.64

17: Alex Hiam - 77.36

18: Sebastian Keep - 76.86

19: Matt Roe - 74.98

20: Trey Jones - 74.44

Aug 02, 2015

Men’s Skate Van Doren Invitational Final Results

1: Ben Hatchell - 96.56

2: Pedro Barros - 94.24

3: Chris Russell - 90.31

4: Raven Tershy - 82.98

5: Willy Lara - 79.71

6: Ronnie Sandoval - 77.74

7: Alex Sorgente - 77.60

8: Jack Fardell - 76.20

9: Chris Gregson - 73.83

10: Marlon Silva - 71.02

11: Ben Raybourn - 69.20

12: Curren Caples - 7.76

Qualifiers winner Willy Lara claimed the top spot today at the bowl.
Jul 31, 2015

Men’s Skate Qualifiers Results

It was mental at the Vans Pro Bowl during the men's skate Qualifiers today. Great action from beginning to end as 32 skaters battled to continue alive in the competition.

The Top 10 from today advanced to the Semi-finals where they will meet the 10 prequalified skaters.

Don't miss the final's live webcast day tomorrow, starting at 3pm, live from Huntington Beach.


Qualifiers Final Results

1 - Willy Lara,  87.61

2 - Alex Sorgente,  84.97

3 - Marlon Silva,  82.26

4 - Robin Bolian,  82.18

5 - Daniel Vargas,  81.15

6 - Chris Gregson,  79.74

7 - Riley Stevens,  78.67

8 - Patrick Ryan,  78.33

9 - Charlie Blair,  77.57

10 - Jack Fardell,  76.29

11 - Josh Rodriguez,  75.61

12 - Cody Chapman,  75.31

13 - Tristan Rennie,  75.03

14 - Kevin Kowalski,  73.57

15 - David Loy,  72.94

16 - Josh Borden,  72.24

17 - Riley Boland,  70.01

18 - Alex Perelson,  66.90

19 - Daan Van Der Linden,  66.64

20 - Eddie Moreno,  65.41

21: Oscar Navarro,  64.03

22: Dario Mattarollo,   63.53

23: Brad McClain,  63.49

24: Mason Merlino,  63.45

25: Omar Hassan,  62.92

26: Kalani David,  60.59

27: Jake Reuter,  59.88

28: Robbie Russo,  58.64

29: Zach Miller,  51.52

30: Felipe Foguinho,  46.38

31: Ben Nordberg,  36.45

32: Elijah Berle,  28.46

Jul 30, 2015

Toledo Goes Big in Round 2


The finalists - Julz Lynn finished second, Allysha Bergado first and Lizzie Armanto third.
Jul 28, 2015

Allysha Bergado Wins the 2015 Van Doren Invitational

The third annual Van Doren Invitational Women's contest brought the heat to Huntington Beach as twenty of skateboarding's best female skaters went head to head in the Vans Pro Bowl.

Earning an overall high score of 88.75, and edging out defending two-time champion Lizzie Armanto, Allysha Bergado claims first place, winning a grand prize of $5,000 for her first time on the VDI podium. With an explosive performance in the qualifying rounds, Julz Lynn takes second place with a score of 84.53, followed by Vans team rider Lizzie Armanto with a third place score of 81.21.

If you missed the live webcast, make sure to watch it at the Contest Analyzer.

Catch the Men's action starting Friday, July 31st as the Qualifiers kick-off at 4pm local time.

Allysha ripping her way to victory. Photo: Brandon Means

Final Results

1st: Allysha Bergado - 88.75

2nd: Julz Lynn - 84.53

3rd: Lizzie Armanto - 81.21

4th: Alana Smith - 80.15

5th: Nora Vasconcellos - 73.13

6th: Arianna Carmona - 59.72

Jul 27, 2015

Who Is In? 2015 Van Doren Invitational Competitor List

Here are the confirmed skaters at this time:

Aaron Homoki aka Jaws USA
Alex Perelson USA
Alex Sorgente USA
Ben Hatchell USA
Ben Nordberg UK
Ben Raybourn USA
Brad McClain USA
Charlie Blair USA
Chris Gregson USA
Chris Russell USA
Christian Hosoi USA
Curren Caples USA
Daniel Vargas USA
Dario Mattarollo ARG
David Loy USA
Eddie MorenoUSA
Elijah Berle USA
Greyson Fletcher USA
Jack Fardell AUS
Jake Reuter USA
Josh Borden USA
Josh Rodriguez USA
Kevin Kowalski USA
Marlon Silva BRA
Mason Merlino USA
Omar Hassan USA
Oscar Navarro USA
Patrick Ryan USA
Pedro Barros BRA
Raven Tershy USA
Riley Boland CAN
Riley Stevens USA
Robbie Russo USA
Ronnie Sandoval USA
Rowan Zorilla USA
Sam Beckett UK
Tristan Rennie USA
Vinicius Kakinho BRA
Zach Miller USA
Andrew Miller, CJ Collins, Aidan Dansey and Steve Van Doren.
Jul 26, 2015

SoCal Skate Shop Takes the Honors at the Shop Battle

The celebrated Van Doren Invitational kicked off today at the legendary all-cement Vans Pro bowl in Huntington Beach as part of the 2015 Vans US Open. As the first of several skate competitions happening this week, the exciting Van Doren Invitational Shop Battle brought nine of California's best skate shops to duke it out for podium honors and a $6,000 prize purse.

Following an impressive back and forth rally between two top contenders, Mission Viejo's SoCal Skate Shop took the coveted first place honors, beating out Huntington Beach's own Joker's Skate Shop, who came in at a close second.

Honorable mention goes out to the highest score earned by Alex Brunelle from team Val Surf, with a total of 91.43 to outdo the field.

Check out today's photos and final results.

Young ripper CJ Collins impressed many at the bowl today.

Photo: Amanda Rae Stephens
Jul 26, 2015

Inside the Vans Pro Bowl: Interview with Artist Travis Millard

By Michael C. Hsiung

For the 2015 Vans US Open of Surfing, Rich Jacobs, Jay Howell, and Nathaniel Russell returned once again, working side by side with newcomers Travis Millard and Sasha Barr to create a truly unique and vibrant art piece inside the entire Van Doren Invitational bowl.  For this year’s bowl, Nathaniel Russell dreamed up a beautifully imaginary world of small headed giants who eat, drink and make music.  The striking and iconic works and abstractions of Rich Jacobs flowed from transition into the vert wall.  The illustrative and humorous talents of Travis Millard took shape in the form of a jawless skeleton falling to the enormous comic portrait of the fanged lawman. The wild, offbeat line up featuring 42 characters from artist/animator Jay Howell stretched from the extension wall to extension, facing some menacing psychedelic goat heads.  Opposite, designer Sasha Barr’s cube laden piece provided a graphic contrast with a methodical and optically stimulating scene featuring various objects from an eight ball to ladders and eyeballs. 

Work in progress.

Name / Location?

Travis Millard / Los Angeles, CA

What’s your background as an artist?

I come from a printmaking background, so that informs my working process. Zine-making, short comics, illustration, some sk8 grafixxx, been able to design some records for a few of my favorite bands. Mostly things that keep me hunched over a desk under a lamp for long periods of time. It all comes back to drawing somehow.  

How did you get involved in the 2015 Vans US Open of Surfing?

I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but I’ll just say the Bowl Trolls shined a light upon me and I was called up. 

What was it like working inside the bowl? How did you approach it? What were the challenges?

It was so much bigger than I imagined, and hot as hell in the afternoon sun. I just tried to work larger than I thought I could, and take moments to step back and see it from further away. It helped to tape some chalk to a long stick and sketch it out with big stokes. Never really messed with spray paint before, using different tips and drawing that way, but I just embraced it and took a risk. There’s something energizing about working out of your comfort zone and kinda going for broke. 

You created some colorful pieces including the skeleton and a portrait of a fanged lawman – What trick or tricks are you hoping to see on them during the Skate contest? 

Just something stanky will make me happy.

Vans Pro Bowl.

Favorite moments from this year inside the bowl? 

It was like one long burning favorite moment that extended a whole week. 

How was it working with all these different artists from various backgrounds?  

It was hugely inspiring to work alongside these guys and see how they all approached it uniquely. Everyone came to it with a little something different, and as a rookie in there I was kinda looking to see how they were each handling it. Ultimately you just have to work it out, but it really helped to watch how the dudes took to it and reacted to what I was doing. 

Last words?

I would just like to thank everyone who helped us out so much along the way; Eladio Correa, Joey daRoza, Jun & Moé, Erik Caruso, and Michael Hsiung.. and just a big thank you to Vans for letting us come out there and paint that giant bowl!  Shred the gnarpuppy.

Text and photographs by Michael C. Hsiung.  Additional photographs provided by Amanda Rae Stephens.

Jul 26, 2015

Who’s In? Women’s Skate Competitors List

Some of the top girl skaters in the world are confirmed to compete at the 2015 Van Doren Invitational in Huntington Beach. Check it out:

Alana SmithUSA
Izy MutuNew Zealand
Justyce TaborUSA
Kisa NakamuraJapan
Arianna CarmonaUSA
Brighton ZeunerUSA
Nicole HauseUSA
Poppy Starr OlsenAustralia
Amelia BrodkaPoland
Hunter LongUSA
Jordyn BarrattUSA
Leticia BufoniBrazil
Beverly FloodUSA
Sarah ThompsonUSA
Shanae CollinsAustralia
Vanessa TorresUSA
Allysha BergadoUSA
Julz LynnUSA
Lizzie ArmantoUSA
Nora VasconcellosUSA
Jul 16, 2015


Huntington Beach, CA (July 14, 2015) – The thrills of competition are just weeks away as the celebrated Van Doren Invitational returns to Huntington Beach, CA for another exciting exhibition of premier bowl riding action August 1-2. Praised as one of the most exciting features of the 2015 Vans US Open of Surfing, the Van Doren Invitational brings the world’s best skateboarders and BMX riders from around the globe to battle it out before a live audience in pursuit of coveted podium honors.

With more than $135,000 on the line, this year’s event will showcase the crème de le crème of modern day bowlriding talent in skateboarding and BMX, presenting a series of contests across Men and Women’s Skate, Men’s BMX, Industry Shop vs. Shop and Best Trick challenges. Fans from all over the world can experience the action, live from the legendary all-cement Vans Pro Bowl stadium on the sand at www.vansusopenofsurfing.com.

In Skate, expect to witness top contenders including current 2015 X Games champion Curren Caples with fellow Vans riders Pedro Barros and Chris Russell; bowl experts such as reigning 2014 Van Doren Invitational champion Raven Tershy and two-time Van Doren Invitational Women’s champion Lizzie Armanto; plus more to be announced. Skateboarding bible Thrasher Magazine will up the ante, presenting this year’s Best Trick contest recognition.

In BMX, contest director and BMX legend Dennis McCoy will host 35 of the most diverse BMX athletes with specialties ranging in street, park, dirt, vert and bowl, including reigning Van Doren Invitational BMX champion Gary Young, 2015 X-Games BMX podium winners Daniel Sandoval (Gold), Dennis Enarson (Silver) andScotty Cranmer (Bronze); and Orange County locals Kris Fox and Mike Hucker Clark.

Van Doren Invitational


Sunday, July 26
Van Doren Invitational Shop Battle

Tuesday, July 28
Van Doren Invitational Women’s Skate

Saturday, August 1
Van Doren Invitational Men’s Skate Finals
Best Trick Contest presented by Thrasher Magazine

Sunday, August 2
Van Doren Invitational BMX Finals
VDI BMX High Air presented by Ride BMX

The 2015 Van Doren Invitational is staged within the Vans US Open of Surfing, a nine-day event recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world. The larger event is hosted in partnership with the World Surf League and event owner and operator IMG. Official sponsors of the event include Vans, Samsung, GoPro, Jeep, FIAT, F45, Pacifico, PB Teen, G-Shock, and Red Bull. All Vans US Open of Surfing events are free and open to the public.


Media Contact:

Kathy Miranda

Toya Holness | WME

No better seat in the house!
Jun 22, 2015

Don’t Miss Out: 2015 Skate Scheduling Rundown

For ten days straight at the end of July into early August the beach around the Huntington Beach pier will be electrified with nonstop skate, surf and BMX action. With over 100 events and activities scheduled - it can be a bit dizzying trying to figure it all out, so we’ve highlighted some key skate events throughout the week that you definitely don’t want to miss:

Annual Shop Battle

July 26th at 2pm PST

On Sunday, set the week off right with our annual Shop Battle in the bowl. Each year Vans invites skateshops from California and Arizona to send their three best transition skaters to HB to go at it for cash, prizes and the bragging rights of who has the best shop team. The Shop Battle is a chance to see the pros of tomorrow today! If you missed last year’s top teams of Val Surf and Active Ride Shop then you blew the chance to see Chris Gregson, Chase Webb and Alex Brunelle put on a proper clinic. Don’t make the same mistake this year.

July 28th at 4pm PST

One of the biggest treats this year is for the skaters around the globe that can’t make it out to Huntington Beach. We’re pleased to announce that on Tuesday, the Women’s Skate Contest will be webcast for the first time so everyone, everywhere can watch the likes of Lizzie Armanto and all the ripping ladies! You can breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to compete against them and get your ass kicked.

July 29th to the 31st 4pm PST

Starting at 2pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we’ll be holding practice for the skaters in the Van Doren Invitational. Here’s a chance to watch the pros figure out the course, get their lines down and start dialing in their tricks in a chill, low-key setting. Come through and get a behind-the-scenes look at how much work goes into a 60-second run.

Lizzie Armanto

July 29th at 6:30pm PST

Wednesday, after practice, we’ll be showing the first-ever Vans skateboard video, Propeller, in the Amphitheatre. Even if you’ve watched it hundreds of times like we have, you should still come out. Is there any better way to watch skateboarding than on a massive screen with speakers blaring?

July 31st at 4pm PST

Start the weekend off right with the Van Doren Invitational Skate Qualifiers on Friday. Watch live or via webcast as 30 wildcard skaters battle it out for the remaining 10 Spots in the VDI Pro Semifinals and a chance at $25,000.

August 1st, 3pm

Saturday caps off the week full of shredding with the Van Doren Invitational Semifinals from 3pm to 5pm, and the hour-long Finals at 5pm. Watch the top transition skaters in the world like Pedro Barros, Raven Tershy, Curren Caples, Ben Raybourn, Tony Trujillo, Christian Hosoi, Omar Hassan and more destroy the VDI bowl live or via webcast. Each year this event gets better and better with the skaters getting gnarlier and gnarlier; you will not want to miss one moment of this classic event.


Vincent Matheron

Jun 22, 2015

Van Doren Invitational Skate - Pro Insights

There are so many incredibly talented transition skaters invited to the Van Doren Invitational each year in Huntington Beach that the truth is - it’s anybody’s contest for the taking. Last year, unknown Brazilian ripper Murillo Peres shocked everyone by taking third. This year Chris Russell has been on a tear, taking 2nd at the Vans Pool Party; perhaps this is his year to win VDI.

We decided to ask some people in the know, as well as past years’ VDI entrants, to see who they’re picking for the podium this year to give you some insider info on who to watch.

Josh Borden

Josh Borden

It's hard to pick the top three for the VD Invitational. There's so many people that rip that thing. But the dudes I enjoy watching the most are guys like Chris Russell, Ronnie Sandoval, Greyson Fletcher, Pedro Barros and Marlon Silva, the homie and dark horse from Brazil. I'd say keep an eye on those guys. They'll definitely be in the mix!

Lizzie Armanto

I’d say Chris Russell, Ben Raybourn or Ronnie Sandoval. They're all #1 in my book.

Jeff Grosso

Pedro, Ronnie, Raven... Grant [Taylor] if he skates will rule! He probably won't enter. Raney [Beres] will rise! But not yet... Curren's really cute. I'd makeout with him. Pedro uber alles! The boys from Brazil! Raybourn looks good...

Aaron “Jaws” Homoki

My Top 3 are:

1st - Ben Raybourn
2nd - Ronnie Sandoval
3rd - Chris Gregson

Ben for first because he has won it before and he doesn't take it too seriously and always has fun. You’re automatically winning at life if you’re having fun anyways!

Tom Remillard

3rd will be Curren.
2nd will be Pedro.
1st will be Raven again because he has power, style and the best trick selection. He's the ultimate transition skateboarder.

Wildcard first placer will be Greyson Fletcher.

Chris Russell

Pedro Barros

Curren Caples

1st - Raven Tershy because he skates the Van Doren Invitational really well.

2nd - Pedro Barros

3rd - Greyson Fletcher

Omar Hassan

#1 pick is Grant Taylor, even if he doesn't show up!!

#2 Raven Tershy because he's got it like that

#3 is Pedro Barros who could win as well but even on a bad day he could still end up 3rd!!

Everyone else I forgot about, sorry, but it's just a prediction!!

Christian Hosoi

My favorites for the Van Doren Invitational at the Vans Us Open are Pedro Barros, Greyson Fletcher and Raven Tershy for obvious reasons. Pedro has the power! Greyson has the spontaneity! Raven has the smooth style! Top three in my book for sure!!!

Ben Raybourn

Jun 22, 2015

Keep an Eye Out: Skaters to Look For During the 2015 VDI

The Van Doren Invitational is always full of surprises and there’s never any telling what the hell could happen. (Raney Beres’ transfer into the bowl and Greyson Fletcher’s sky-high one-foots in 2013; and two relatively unknown skaters making the podium last year are just a couple of examples.) In hopes of helping you not miss any of the action, we’ve compiled a short list of things to look for in 2015:

Pedro Barros

Pedro Barros will come out swinging. For a guy that has historically won nearly every contest he’s ever entered, it’s a bit strange to have not seen Pedro on top of the podium in 2015. Having gotten 2nd at BOWL-A-RAMA in February, 3rd at the Vans Pool Party in May, 2nd to Curren Caples at the X Games (Austin) in June and 5th place at last year’s VDI, you can be sure that Pedro is going to bring the heat to the Van Doren Invitational in hopes of regaining his title of undisputed Gnarliest Transition Skater on Earth. Luckily the bowl is made of concrete so we don’t have to worry about him burning it to the ground. (If there’s any doubt of what he’s capable of, just go watch his recent Vans Propeller part.)

Raven Tershy

Vans flow bro, Chris Russell, has been on a tear since getting 7th place last year at VDI. In the past year, he’s dropped an insane part on Thrasher’s site, took second at the recent Vans Pool Party (and could have won if he didn’t snap his board in half) and is poised for greatness. This could be his year to win the Van Doren Invitational. He’s definitely one to watch.

If we had to go out on a limb and pick our Top 3 for this year, we’d go with Pedro Barros for 1st, Raven Tershy 2nd and Curren Caples 3rd.  (For more predictions click over to VDI Pro Insights to see who the Pros are picking.)

Curren Caples

One of the biggest treats this year is for the skaters around the globe that can’t make it out to Huntington Beach. We’re pleased to announce that for the first time, on Tuesday, July 28th at 4pm PST - the Women’s Skate Contest will be webcast! Everyone, everywhere can watch the likes of Lizzie Armanto and all the ripping ladies of rage, and breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to compete against them and get your ass kicked. Watch along live as Lizzie goes for a three-peat 1st place victory this year at the Van Doren Invitational Women’s Skate Contest.

Julz Lyn

Raney Berres
Jun 21, 2015

FYI: 2014 Van Doren Invitational Skate Recap

If you missed any of the action from the 2014 Van Doren Invitational because you were frozen in cryogenic sleep or you live in Madagascar and didn’t pay your Internet bill, fear not! We’ve got a full video/photo/editorial recap of last year’s action for you.

For starters last year, we went with a full bowl re-design from the first ever VDI contest in 2013, which opened up the course for maximum air time and less collisions in 2014. You’ll notice more improvements have been added for 2015 as well.

Each year, Vans invites a number of skateshops from California and Arizona to Huntington to compete in the Shop Battle at the Van Doren Invitational. The Shop Battle was the highly anticipated kick-off event for skateboarding at last year’s Vans US Open. 11 Shops brought their top 3 riders to jam in the bowl for 5 minutes. Active Ride Shop and Val Surf were on top of the pile after all the dust settled. After a 15-minute final jam heat, it was Val Surf team that walked away with the $2,000.

Lizzie Armanto

Our Women’s Skate Contest featured 18 skaters, representing 5 different countries, who battled it out in 4 qualifying jams to make it to the finals. Six skaters qualified for the finals, where a 15-minute jam of crisscross crash skateboarding decided who stood on the podium. When all was said and done, our own Lizzie Armanto took home 1st and a brand new guitar, Alana Smith in 2nd and Julz Lynn in 3rd. The Women’s Skate Contest has always been such a fan favorite that this year we’ve added it to our webcast line-up.

1st - Lizzie Armanto, 2nd Alana Smith and Julz Lynn

Lastly, the Men’s Pro Finals capped off the week. The contest featured 15 of the greatest bowl skaters from around the world and raised the contest bar so high, it’s hard to imagine it being topped in 2015. Pedro Barros and Greyson Fletcher were seen scorching around the bowl so fast it made you worry for the lives of other skaters. Raney Berres and Ronnie Sandoval put on an invert clinic in the deep end that was sure to put a tear in the eye of Jeff Grosso. Newcomer Chris Russell became a household name during the semis and finals with his impressive ability to string endless lines together like a seasoned pro. In the end, Chocolate Skateboards pro and all-around smooth operator Raven Tershy (who got a taste of the podium during the first VDI contest in 2013) came to claim his first place hardware in 2014. His insane frontside 180 fakie five-O across the vert wall and 12-foot noseblunt slides across the deck got the crowd behind him making it a no-brainer for the judges.

Click over to our 2015 Skate Scheduling Rundown to plug the dates and times into your phone so you don’t miss one minute of this year’s action. Unless you’re still frozen in cryogenic sleep, which means you’re probably not reading this anyway, so disregard and sweet dreams.

Raney Berres took out the 2014 Van Doren Invitational Pro FInal, who will win this year?