Ice Palace Film Studios typcially serves as a location for movie shoots for productions like Miami Vice and Transformers. However, skate boarders took over the venue on Saturday for Red Bull’s third annual Manny Mania AM Series competition. The manual skateboarding competition is heading to 15 cities around the country this summer, though this year marks the first Miami stop, a move communications manager Lisa Beachy credits to the city’s substantial skating community.
Red Bull's South Florida field marketing manager, Ivan Hernandez, organized the free event, which attracted 43 participants from skate shop and skate park teams from around the state and more than 600 spectators. Red Bull professional skater Joey Brezinski created the concept for the amateur competition, which judges participants' skills and technique at riding a skateboard on just two wheels, instead of all four. (The professional version took place in New York on June 7.)
Atlanta-based skate shop Hazard County created the custom-designed, branded manny pad—the skate pad designed for manual tricks—with multiple ramps, rails, and slanted edges for skaters to showcase their tricks. Red Bull partnered with M.I.A. Skatepark to coordinate the technical aspects of the competition, recruit four local professional skateboarders to serve as judges, and determine the point scale.
Heydi Latin Grill set up shop on the outskirts of the barricaded performance area, serving hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and beef empanadas, and other carnival-style food for $12 a plate. Three Scoops Gourmet Mobile Ice Cream Parlours made ice cream sundaes throughout the day, charging about $3 to $5 each, depending on toppings.
DJs LT Smash and Keen One each performed a three-hour set, providing the soundtrack for each five-minute heat of the competition. Following the preliminary eight heats, and five-minute warm-up period before each, the judges deliberated and narrowed the participants down to 10 semifinalists. During the deliberation, Miami hip-hop duo Dorks, Morons, and Geeks performed.
In the end, Aaron Collier from Mesh Skatepark in Orlando took home the title, along with a prize pack from Skateboarder magazine that included a new skate deck, skate bag, and Oakley sunglasses. Collier will also be entered into an online fan vote competition against the other 14 city winners for an HD video prize pack valued at $7,000.
The event continues in Houston on Saturday, with additional stops in Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles before finishing in Phoenix on September 4.