The 20th anniversary of Simple Session was a wild one, focusing a lot on the history of the event and how it’s changed the action sports scene in Estonia and the lives of the athletes that have been a part of it throughout the years.
As the biggest throwback, a Simple Session documentary by Maria Reinup, titled “Life is just a ride”, was premiered in Apollo Cinema Solaris. The movie focused on three characters during the event – Reed Stark, Madars Apse and one of the main organizers, Risto Kalmre. The premiere was sold out.
Another big throwback was bringing back the Sister Session, the women’s BMX class that had been missing from the line-up and girls proved they are hardcore and deserve to be up there in the spotlight. An Estonian girl battled hard to pull a backflip before the event for an advertisement and Angie Marino went through the worst crash of the Simple Session week – a nasty collision during practice with the Latvian Davis Licitis right above Visit Estonia gap meant for a quick trip to the hospital to get stitched up and still ride the contest. Our new partner DJI was there to capture the crash from various angles. The Swiss-American Nikita Ducarroz took the top honors with big tricks and clean runs. Silver went to the Japanese Minato Oike and bronze to the fresh Red Bull team addition Lara Lessmann.
This year, the Visit Estonia Skate VS BMX hockey game was replaced by a Game of EESTI (Estonia) and a Best Trick competition for both skateboarders and riders inside the Baltic Train Station pavilion. The idea was to give more riding time to the riders and showcase the disciplines to the general public without having to pay for a ticket. Game of EESTI winners: Alex DeCunha & Broc Raiford. Best Trick winners: Douwe Macare & Alex Kennedy. Special award for landing more than 20 bangers up and down the rail: Ke’Chaud Johnson.
A totally fresh addition to the Simple Session, the Kendama stage proved to be a great success amongst the younger generations as the Saku Arena was filled with kids playing with the Japanese toy. Current and previous world champions including the mighty Bonz Atron were blowing minds on the spot and on Estonian TV. Simple Session released their own kendamas in collaboration with KROM and Sweets Kendamas, all the 3 special models were sold out. A Skate VS BMX kendama jam took place and was broadcast live.
The Japanese prodigy Rim Nakamura celebrated his 18th birthday with an absolute bang, winning the BMX Park contest. The second place went to the current world champion Brandon Loupos and 2019 winner Boyd Hilder came third while also getting the 10th place in BMX Street. In skateboarding, the Spaniard Danny Leon took home the gold, American Ke’Chaud Johnson the silver, and German Tyler Edtmayer the bronze.