Red Bull’s Manny Mania AM Series tour, a skateboarding competition in which riders do tricks on two wheels instead of four, stopped at dining and entertainment center Universal CityWalk in Orlando on Saturday for its fourth annual competition, which expanded to 32 countries this year. Though Red Bull held the competition at the Ice Palace Film Studios in Miami last August, event organizers again changed the Florida host city and expanded internationally in an effort to reach a wider audience.
The company partnered with skate shop Skatepark of Tampa to promote the event, which attracted 37 participants, five fewer than last year. Additionally, the event had nearly 2,000 spectators, more than twice as many as in 2009, a result of its central location in a well-known attraction.
Atlanta-based skate shop Hazard County once again created the custom-designed and branded manny pad, the skate pad on which riders do their tricks. Participants competed in six qualifying heats of 10 minutes each. Local pros Cullen Traverso, Pat Steiner, and Justin Ryan judged the tricks based on creativity, level of difficulty, and consistency and chose 12 for the finals—where skaters had 15 minutes to throw tricks.
Orlando is one of 15 stops the tour will make in the U.S. in addition to its new international stops. Winners from each of the U.S. qualifiers will head to Woodward, Pennsylvania, to compete in the finals July 16 to 18, after which the winner will compete in the international finals on August 21 in New York for a chance to skate in the pro finals the next day.
In the end, Bert Wooton from Orlando took home top honors in the qualifier. Second and third place winners received prize packs of skateboarding gear from Converse.