HYPEWORTHY: Red Bull Atlanta Trickers Throwdown!
Written by Nathan Lee
Sixteen highly skilled athletes from around the world descended on Atlanta this past Saturday to showcase their skills, but they weren’t baseball or football stars. Not even close. They were masters of the burgeoning sport called ‘tricking’, which combines martial arts, breakdancing, and gymnastics into a seamless flow of flips, twists, and kicks. Tricking is visually stunning and is very much like watching a real-life fighting video game where players do superhuman acrobatics and combos. However, the goal is not to physically combat an opponent, but to have the most athleticism and style.
The Red Bull Throwdown tricking competition was held at Center Stage in Midtown and featured categories such as Cleanest Kick and Most Swing-Thrus (consecutive one-legged flips). The contestants also battled each other one-on-one in a single elimination tournament. Each tricker took turns tumbling across the floor in a fury of kicks and flips all while a DJ spun dance music. A panel of judges awarded points based on difficulty, creativity, delivery, and air. Will Coneys of Virginia outkicked and outflipped them all to be crowned Throwdown champion.
“It means the world to win. Everyone who I’ve learned from, and everybody who has been there through my tricking journey got to see a bit of their self out there on the floor tonight,” said Coneys. “A win for me is a win for the sport of tricking. You can grab inspiration from anybody and forge your own path.”
Although the sport is relatively underground, pockets of trickers have been popping up all over the world. The Red Bull Throwdown featured competitors from as far away as Korea, Finland, and Russia. Atlanta is embracing the sport too, according to local martial arts instructor Max Van Eck. “The tricking community in Atlanta is booming. This is the place to be.”
The Red Bull Throwdown looks to return to Atlanta in 2014, and if tricking continues its trajectory, next year’s competition will push the boundaries of human movement even further. To learn more about tricking and to see videos of the event, you can visit www.invincibletricking.com.
Nathan Lee lives in Atlanta and would dedicate his life to tricking if he didn’t have a bad knee and wasn’t so lazy. You can read his humor blog at whereitgetsawkward.blogspot.com and follow him @NathanGLee.