Vans Waffle Cup 2022 24
22 Aug 2022

Vans Waffle Cup 2022 - Photo Journal

Arguably the highest level of BMX seen this year!

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Words & Photos : Wes McGrath

The 1st Annual Vans BMX Waffle Cup came in strong right when we needed it most! Introduced by Dakota Roche, the Waffle Cup is a new contest that incorporates a BMX specific course with a build and design directed to enhance a strict BMX vision. Vans has always done an excellent job setting the stage for proper madness to ensue; adding 40+ of the world's best bike riders to test themselves and each other in a friendly environment, striving for greatness through and through!

Even though the world seems to be mostly back on schedule, it certainly has been a long while since we've been able to gather and ride in the name of Vans. Here, BMX coexists within the nucleus of one of the largest Surfing contests on the WestCoast and gives way to a vast new audience for BMX to be seen and recognized!

The Course...

This year felt like a breath of fresh air... a course designed with critical input from some notable creatives! Starting with Dakota Roche naming the contest, "The Waffle Cup", to the Cult Crew in-n-out dumpster and to the women over at Bloom BMX for designing the center piece of the course, incorporating a lifeguard tower for that local flavor. One of the highlights to this year's course layout was the fact that it wasn't meant to be skated on right afterwards, as in years past... Designed with the intention of BMX in mind, this arena made a much more enticing course for the riders involved, allowing the ability to enjoy a course that was proportionally critiqued for biking.

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Out of the sand down on Huntington Beach, the plans make it stand.

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Screws, paint, tape and sweat makes up the final afternoon of build before practice begins.

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Catching some shade while the paint dries.

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Tools of the trade, building sturdy grounds for sturdy wrists!

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Final touches before it all gets shredded apart!

The Riding...

The rumor around the water cooler come Saturday afternoon, had everyone in agreement that these qualifiers had to be the highest level of BMX in 2022. These qualifying runs went OFF like I've never seen before! Non-stop excitement for the audience and an absolutely insane example of pushing the limits of a contest. Everyone was smiling huge and the cheers seemingly never stopped... From the high air contest to the best trick battle, never was there a dull moment.

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Gaspar Guendulain hails from Argentina and represents his home country very well! Always smooth and stylish, Gaspar rides away from this tire ride up the rail to 180 downside whip!

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Chad Kerley had some serious high energy all weekend, here he throws a 180 bar spin off the watch tower mid run!

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Leave it up to Brandon to sniff out the street moves right away! Feeble up the rail to drop opposite smith!

"The level of biking during the Waffle Cup was insane. I am super stoked to be a part of this new contest venture and ride with my friends!"

- Brandon Begin

Perris Benegas

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Perris Benegas floats across the Bloom BMX watch tower with some signature steeze!

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Perris Benegas really handles the course with speed and versatility! Big tire grab at height for some audience hype!

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Perris Benegas getting her sights on the course!

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Perris Benegas. Style for miles!

Angie Marino

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Angie Marino with a big blast during qualifiers!

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Angie Marino was one of the only ladies to put her pegs to proper use throughout the weekend. Here she grinds the whole Cult dumpster to start off her qualifying run!

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The only female rider to handle this wall ride over the rail! Angie Marino definitely sets the bar for womens' street riding!

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Angie Marino with casual pegs down the rail!

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Angie Marino floating into the blue skies of Huntington Beach!

Year after year, it's so FKN RAD to see the level of Angie's riding step up!

Fan in the crowd

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Matt Closson. Nose manual down the middle rail.

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Broc Raiford was the first one to get pegs on this side of the watchtower. Soon after this he easily laces a hard 180 out of the double peg!

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Lahsaan Kobza is always a sight for sore eyes and especially this weekend! Over-tooth and back for the fans!

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Ben Wallace. Backflip the Bloom BMX watchtower.

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Matt Closson showing off his park skills!

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Chase Hawk just having a great time during his runs!

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Dennis Enarson holds on tight as he uses this quarter to gain speed to whip over the Cult dumpster!

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Dan Kruk. Pegs up to hard 360 over the handicap railing.

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Chad Kerley tires up the pink railing to tailwhip off, mid line!

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Brett Silva definitely has a BOOST button hidden on that bike of his somewhere! Smith across to T-bog in a way only Brett can formulate!

"This felt much more like a heavy session with all of my favorite riders, then it felt like an actual contest! Which set the stage for some proper gnarly biking!"

- Brett Silva

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Josh Dovey certainly holds up to the crew standard, FAST AND LOOSE! Here is an alley-oop 270 one-footed invert across the channel!

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Another angle of the same thing, Josh Dovey is really on some crazy level! Big air, no fear!

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Dovey, Thoelen, Wallace and Enarson all sit atop the course and gaze upon the best trick battle!

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Ben Wallace. 360 look back over the Bloom BMX watchtower!

"Ben Wallace was cranking backflips and 360 variations all weekend, I couldn't resist to shoot at least one on film!"

- Wes McGrath

The Winner's Circle...

Men: Kevin Peraza takes 1st place. Johnny Raekes in 2nd and Colin Varanyak in 3rd.

Women: Perris Benegas takes 1st place. Angie Marino in 2nd and Nikii Fuentes in 3rd.

Best trick winners: Chad Kerley, Matt Closson and Pat Casey

Highest Hop winner: Dan Kruk

High Air winner: Josh Dovey

Rider's Choice Award: Dennis Enarson

RAD Award: Dustin Orem

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Kevin Peraza with a big smile as always! On his way to the first place podium!

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Steve Van Doren handing out that cash!

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Perris Benegas, Angie Marino and Nikii Fuentes are all smiles during the award ceremony!

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Nikii Fuentes takes 3rd place, rightfully so.

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The look on Perris's face when she knew she clinched 1st place for this first annual Waffle Cup!

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Dan Kruk wins the Highest Hop award smiles all the way to the bank!

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Josh Dovey, simply said, WINS the high air contest!

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Dustin Orem takes home the RAD Award! Dustin is the pit crew, bike mechanic and official good energy hype man! We can't ever have a solid contest happen without Dustin shining his love and support!

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Chad Kerley, Matt Closson and Pat Casey all share the Best Trick winners podium!

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Rider's Choice Award presented by Steve Van Doren!

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Dennis Enarson takes home 4th place this year but as always a crowd favorite, he takes home the Rider's Choice award this year too!

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Kevin Peraza, Johnny Raekes, Colin Varanyak get the winner's treatment this time around! CONGRATS GUYS!

Watch our exclusive "IN THE CUT" video and more by Rob Dolecki NOW to check out all the action the weekend had to offer!

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