|Photos from last years Vans Park Series via Ian Logan|
Looks like the Vans Park Series will be making 5 stops before the World Championships that will be held in the USA.
Unfortunately, at this point, it seems that the women's events will only be included in ONE of those stops prior to the finals. That means the women have only one chance to qualify for the World Championships and only 2 stops (including the finals) to add to their income for the year.
The men will compete in Australia (March 4), Brazil (April 8th), Sweden (May 27), Canada (July 8) and both men and women will compete on August 1-5 in the USA. The women will also be included in the final in September at a location that is TBD.
We applaud Vans as they have been doing a lot over the years to help women gain visibility in the sport, but they can't do it all.
The question is, what we can we do collectively as a group to raise more awareness and more sponsorship dollars so women can be included in all 5 qualifiers?
We have women who are definitely qualified to compete, and live in Brazil, Australia, Sweden and Canada - so that makes it doubly hard and expensive for them to come to the US to compete in these two events.
If the women can not make a living from competing, then their sponsors will be need to step up even more to assist them with their living expenses throughout the year, yet sponsors will shy away from giving women the sponsorship deals they deserve, if competition coverage isn't there.
It's a vicious circle, and one that women in skateboarding have been dealing with since the 1970's.
So what is the answer? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
* We have calls into Vans as well as the ISF asking these questions and are awaiting a response.
Here is the official press release from Vans:
Cypress, CALIF. (December 12, 2016) – Vans Park Series, the official International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) World Championship park terrain skateboarding World Tour, builds upon an historic inaugural season with an additional 2017 World Tour stop and the establishment of the first-ever official park terrain skateboarding Continental Championship events for Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europa and Oceania.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled by the phenomenal success of Vans Park Series in our first season out of the gates and we are stoked to be making history once again as we expand in 2017.” – Justin Regan, Dir. of Global Marketing, Skateboarding at Vans.
The 2017 Vans Park Series World Tour is the premier league for professional park terrain skateboarders consisting of five men’s global qualifiers and one women’s global qualifier spanning five countries over six months and culminating with the official Vans Park Series ISF World Championships.
The Vans Park Series World Tour kicks off at Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia on March 4 with the first VPS World Tour men’s global qualifier event. The 2017 Vans Park Series ISF World Championships will be held in September with final date and location to be announced at vansparkseries.com along with live event Webcast and World Tour additional details.
The inaugural Vans Park Series and official ISF-recognized Continental Championships of park terrain skateboarding for men and women provide the official pathway to the VPS World Tour and World Championships, and are open to all entrants meeting proof of regional eligibility. 2017 VPS Continental Championships details, including regional qualifying criteria, dates and locations are to be announced in a separate release and will be available online at vansparkseries.com.
Known for its unrivaled combination of speed, style, flow, amplitude and creativity, park terrain is the fastest growing discipline in competitive skateboarding today. The Vans Park Series is the defining event series for global competitive park terrain skateboarding and the first and only point system culminating in the official ISF-recognized park terrain skateboarding World Championships and Continental Championships for men and women.
Vans Park Series
2017 World Tour Schedule
Showcasing an international roster of skateboarding’s elite pros and a total prize purse in excess of $500,000(USD), the Vans Park Series uniquely defines the park terrain format with its exclusive points system, judging guidelines and qualifying park terrain course criteria. Additional information and live Webcast details will be available on vansparkseries.com.