The Converse Ult.X 2023 did not disappoint with its return to V&A’s Battery Park for Africa’s biggest action sports event.
The sold-out event had it all: huge tricks, new faces, old school and a few slams to entertain the 2,000–odd audience. Of course, with over 200 tons of equipment used to build the park, a lot was going on. “We had to bring in 200 tons of gear with all the grandstand scaffolding, decks and our ramps”, said an elated event director Markus Museler after the event. “It was an absolutely amazing set-up, and the riders stomped it all day.” Indeed there was no holding back, the riders were going all-out from the beginning, and there was high-paced action throughout.
Ult.X is known worldwide as a hardcore event, always focusing on athletes, and thus attracting the best competitors worldwide. This year was no different, with athletes from the USA, Canada, Australia, France and Russia joining the local competitors.
The international contingent dominated the Fox Men’s BMX, with Anthony Jeanjean (France) taking the win from Daniel Sandoval (USA) in second and Mike Varga (Canada) in third.
“It’s my first time in SA and first time in Cape Town, and I am really happy with my win,’ said Jeanjean. “It is an amazing country and incredible city, Cape Town. See you next year for sure. ”
The Fox Men’s Best BMX Trick was a crazy 360 Double Whip into Double Bar Spin from Nikita Isakov (RUS) that had the crowd roaring.
In the Element Women’s Skate contest, Boipelo Davatta from Kimberly emerged victorious. To see the women skaters in action and competing so fiercely was incredibly inspiring to all the spectators and to other Ult.X competitors alike.
“The entire event was awesome, bearing in mind that this was the first female skate division in Ultimate X,” said a very happy Davatta. “I’m hoping to progress a lot more and skate more international competitions, trying to make a name for myself internationally.
In the Volcom Men’s Skate competition, Devandre Gallant took the win from the experienced Khule Ngubane. The Cape Town skater put on a world-class performance against his Durban counterpart to claim victory. “It was an incredible competition with Ultimate X, skating with all the homies,” said Gallant, “Thank you so much to everyone.”
The Volcom Men’s Best Trick was another exhilarating affair, with Cape Town’s Jean-Marc Johannes winning with a crazy hard flip over the double stair set. Waiting for the final to reveal his signature move, it was enough for the win.
“Ultimate X was amazing from start to finish,’ said Johannes. “I did the hard flip in the finals, landed it thankfully in front of all my friends and in front of Cape Town, and I walked away with Best Trick. I’m happy.”
Ult.X Full Results Below
Element Women’s Skate:
1. Boipelo Davatta (KIMBERLY)
2. Bronwyn Shaw (CPT)
3. Tamaryn Commins (CPT)
Volcom Men’s Skate:
1. Devandre Gallant (CPT)
2. Khule Ngubane (DBN)
3. Ethan Cains (CPT)
Volcom Men’s Skate Best Trick:
Jean-Marc Johannes (CPT)
Hard Flip over the double stair set.
Fox Men’s BMX:
1. Anthony Jeanjean (FRA)
2. Daniel Sandoval (USA)
3. Mike Varga (CAN)
Fox Men’s BMX Best Trick:
Nikita Isakov (RUS)
360 Double Whip into Double Bar Spin
image: Anthony Jeanjean ©Eric Palmer