Rune Glifberg Talks BOWL-A-RAMA and its 2012 New York Debut

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BOWL-A-RAMA has come a long way. Back in 2005 in Bondi, Australia, it was a small gathering of talented skaters who were putting on a demo. In order to turn the gathering into something more, someone made a run by an ATM and pulled out what would be the event’s cash prize. The event was born.

This Thursday, October 6, after numerous stops over the years in Australia and New Zealand, BOWL-A-RAMA will make its first appearance in New York City, taking place at the Chelsea Pier Bowl. Thousands of spectators are expected to come out to see the finest bowl skaters from around the world fight for a chunk of the $50,000 purse.

Rune Glifberg will be among those favored to take the contest win. He’ll be up against stiff competition in reigning champ Pedro Barros and a number of the other young talents. But Rune’s Rune. His lines are different, his approach unique. We decided to run a few questions by him to get his thoughts on BOWL-A-RAMA heading to the big city.

Oakley: Hey Rune, thanks for the time. So, let’s get to it. Tell us a bit about those early years of BOWL-A-RAMA.
Rune: Well, it was obviously a lot smaller an event. There weren’t that many US pros showing up then. It was just really fun skating with the locals, the Australian guys, guys from New Zealand. But the event has grown a lot. It’s going to be interesting to see what’s going on in New York because it’s kind of a different skate scene there, but hopefully New York will take it in and it should be a good event.

How significant has the growth of the event been?
Every year the event gets better and better. It grows in participation and also with the crowds. Like the Bondi event, it was the premiere bowl event for the South Pacific. Now it’s at least twice or three times as big as when it started, with few thousand people watching, catering and everything. It’s come a long way. Chad Ford and the Frontside Events team do an awesome job putting this event on.

How has the event changed from a competitive standpoint?
There are more US and international pros coming to this event now, so obviously the level of skating has got a lot better. Everyone is pushing each other. It seems every year gets better and better. We’ve changed around the formats a bit, which has made the event better as well. It seems like every year we get a really good show. I kind of wish sometimes I was watching versus being in it; it’s fun skating in it, but sometimes it’s just so intense that you miss a lot of the good skating that’s going on and you really just want to watch your friends skate, just kind of take it all in.

How’s your approach to the bowl different than others?
I just kind of skate in a way that feels natural and fluid to me, I don’t necessarily try to look at other peoples lines and what they’re doing. I just like to find the stuff that feels good and feels effortless to me; that’s the stuff that you do best and that’s what people want to see. You don’t really want to see people who are fighting the bowl, you want to see people who are riding it and flowing around it and have good speed and kind of look comfortable in the bowl, versus some guys get in there and get too tricky and it looks messed up. My approach is a little more relaxed than some of the younger guys.

Speaking of the younger guys, who are the ones to watch for?
Josh Stafford, Alex Perelson, that whole San Diego crew is definitely doing it. Josh Warden as well. There’s a lot of guys, obviously Pedro [Barros], he’s won the contest a few times. I don’t know if you want to call him an up-and-comer, but he’s definitely one of the guys to look out for. Jack Fardell, Australian ripper. A lot of good riders out there.

What are your thoughts on bringing an event like this to NY?
I think it’s great. New York has hosted a few events, but they’ve never hosted a big vert or big bowl event like this before, so it will be interesting to see how the New York skate scene takes it in. I’ve been there early on this year with Converse at a few events, at Chelsea Pier actually, and all the kids and all the skaters really loved it. I’m sure this will be a great event and everyone’s in for a great show and it will be awesome to have all these great riders there.

In case you aren’t sure what you’ve been missing with BOWL-A-RAMA, here are highlights from Rune’s epic run at the 2011 event in Bondi.