Battle At The Berrics: SKATE

Battle At The Berrics SKATE
Steve Berra, cofounder of The Berrics. Photo Credit: Yoon Sul.

The 12th annual Battle at the Berrics (game of SKATE) is underway and contains the largest tournament bracket that we’ve seen yet. This annual game of skate, titled the Battle at the Berrics (or BATB), places some of the best skaters in the world into a competition using ONLY flat ground tricks. SKATE is to skateboarding as HORSE is to basketball. When a skater lands a trick, their opponent must land the same trick to be safe. If they do not land the trick, they receive an “S” or whatever the next letter is in their total score. The first person to miss 5 total tricks and receive the full word “SKATE” loses the game. This year’s BATB is by far the largest and most anticipated tournament yet. Each game is recorded and uploaded via their YouTube channel to the Berrics website.

The Rules of SKATE

Much like street or park competitions, the game of SKATE has a list of very strict rules and judges to enforce them. Casual games of SKATE may have their own rules but the BATB rules are as follows:

  1. FLAT GROUND ONLY. This does not mean that everything on flat ground counts.
  2. NO FEET ON THE GROUND. You are NOT allowed to do no-complys, handplants, or bonelesses.
  3. NO GRABS. A grab is when your hand reaches down to grab your board and hold it while in the air.
  4. NO MANUALS. Manuals are when only two of your wheels are on the ground while moving. A trick must be landed with all four wheels on the ground to count.
  5. NO TRICKS THAT SLIDE ON THE GROUND. Especially if your opponent popped their trick. You must fully rotate your tricks in the air.
  6. THE LAST LETTER GETS TWO TRIES ON ‘E’. You get two attempts to land the very last trick.
  7. OFFENSIVE TOE DRAG GETS ONE DO-OVER. Setting the trick on offense has higher standards. If your toe or heel drags upon landing you get only one attempt to land it again.
  8. DEFENSIVE TOE DRAG HAS A BIGGER MARGIN FOR ERROR. You may get another attempt on defense upon dragging a toe or heel but ultimately the referee may count it as landed.
  9. EACH SKATER CAN CHALLENGE ONE TRICK. If you feel like your opponent didn’t properly land a trick you may use your one and only challenge to see the playback footage.

Battle At The Berrics 12: Community

SKATE At The Berrics
Chris Joslin makes his Plan B debut in the highly anticipated Plan B video, “True.” Photo Credit: David Broach.

The Battle at the Berrics 12 is focused on bringing all communities together. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s bracket.

The first two sections we’ve seen before during the Battle at the Berrics 7: Pros vs. Joes. The Pros section this year contains Olympics medalist Jagger Eaton. We also get to watch former BATB champions like Chris Joslin (BATB10), Luan Oliveira (BATB11), Cody Cepeda (BATB7), and Sewa Kroetkov (BATB8). The Joes section is named as if they skate like average skateboarders but that cannot be further from the truth. These entrants are just as intimidating as the Pros and many have been in the BATB previously. Nick Holt and Mikey Whitehouse are some of these repeat entrants that are forces to be reckoned with. We saw Mikey get cut from the first round but Nick made it to round two.

One of the new sections that we shouldn’t be surprised about is the Icons section. Here we can find household names like Chris Cole, Shane O’Neill, and Paul Rodriguez among many others. Eric Koston, co-founder of the Berrics, will be participating. Nyjah Huston, one of skateboarding biggest names and Olympic contestant, will be showing off his skills as usual.

The biggest wild card of the tournament is the fourth and final section: Influencers. Somewhere at the crossroads between skateboarding and entertainment are these new challengers. Sunny Suljic, main actor in iconic skateboarding movie Mid90’s, will be throwing down with the best of them. Social media influencer Roy Purdy also made the cut. From Hollywood to Instagram to TikTok, great skateboarding is seen all over the world and will be tested this year at the BATB 12.

What To Expect For BATB 12

SKATE At The Berrics
Luan Oliveira at the SLS finals in Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Bryce Kanights/Street League Skateboarding/Yunexis.

There is a long road to go for this tournament. We still haven’t seen the first round of games played to completion but already the tensions are high. This last Saturday we got to watch legends Chris Cole and Billy Marks go head to head with Chris taking the win. Once we get to round 2 we’ll see the defending BATB champion Luan Oliveira battle against Olympic medalist Kelvin Hoefler.

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