Everything you need to know about the 2019 World Skate Park World Championships

The World Skate Park World Championship will take place in São Paulo, Brazil and see some cross-sport stars like Shaun White, Ayumu Hirano and Sky Brown.

By ZK Goh ·

Shaun White and Ayumu Hirano will swap their snowboards for skateboards at the upcoming World Skate Park World Championship in São Paulo, Brazil.

Both men have been included on the entry list for the championships, which will be held from 9–15 September at the city's Parque Cândido Portinari.

Olympic qualifying points are on offer at the championships, which will also serve as the seeding competition for all remaining Olympic qualifiers next year (except the 2020 World Championships).

Right after the Park World Championships end, the street skateboarders will arrive in the same city for their world championships which begin three days later.

How does it work?

Park skateboarding is held in a skating bowl — imagine a curved swimming pool, except not quite in that shape — as opposed to street skateboarding which includes obstacles or apparatus like rails and stairs.

The smooth bowls have steep curved inclines meaning skaters can achieve massive height and have the freedom to put together a run as they see fit.

Competitors are scored for the difficulty and the originality of their tricks.

There are 61 female and 99 male athletes entered in the Championships, with the top 20 skaters on the World Skateboarding Rankings in each event getting seeded byes: the top four to the semi-finals and the next 16 to the quarter-finals.

Everyone else will take part in the Open Qualifiers, with seven to ten riders in each heat. Each skateboarder gets two runs of 45 seconds in this round, with the best run counting and the top 16 advancing to the quarter-finals. Athletes can bail or fall with the clock not stopping.

In the quarter-finals and semi-finals, there will be four heats of eight and five riders per heat respectively. In these rounds, each skater gets three runs of 45 seconds with the best run counting, but the clock stops upon a fall and the run is over with no restarts allowed.

The only change in the final, which is a single heat of eight riders, sees the number of 45-second runs per rider increased to four.

Entry to the event is free, with organisers promising "music gigs, urban art and urban culture exhibits, food trucks, and lots more" to accompany the competition.

Which men to watch?

Olympic snowboard halfpipe medallists Shaun White (three golds) and Ayumu Hirano (two silvers) are the immediately-recognisable cross-sport names on the entry list in Brazil.

White was a skateboarder before he was a snowboarder. He's claimed two summer X Games gold medals in the skate vert event. That discipline won't be at the Olympics but White is hoping he can transition to park skating.

Hirano, meanwhile, finished second behind White at PyeongChang 2018, and has made no secret of wanting to represent the host country next year in Tokyo.

While Hirano has been entered into the Championships by Japan's national skateboarding federation, White has been granted a wildcard entry. He won't have it easy to take one of the three U.S. spots for Tokyo: Tom Schaar and Zion Wright are both funded members of the U.S. national skateboard team, while seven other American men have qualified for the Championships by virtue of their World Ranking, including Jagger Eaton, who's normally associated with street skateboarding.

Brazil's Pedro Barros is the defending world champion in the event, and will hope to retain his title in addition to gaining vital qualifying points in front of his home fans. And don't count out 16-year-old Australian Keegan Palmer.

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Top women

Sky Brown is just 11, but she's hoping to win in Brazil. The Japanese-born British skateboarder was named on Team GB's five-strong squad with funding in hopes of qualifying for Tokyo.

And she's multi-talented: she also surfs, and won the Dancing With the Stars Junior competition in the U.S.

USA's Brighton Zeuner is coming back from injury, but will be one of the favourites to triumph in São Paulo.

Still just 15, she's already a two-time X Games champion in the park discipline.

Before Zeuner's back-to-back X Games wins in 2017 and 2018, Japan's Kisa Nakamura, last year's world championships silver medallist, clinched that title. She also featured in the Olympic Channel Original Going Olympic: Tokyo 2020, which you can watch below.

And then there's Lizzie Armanto, who quit the U.S. team to represent Finland.

The Southern California-born dual citizen was the first woman to complete Tony Hawk's infamous 'loop', and says she wants to be at the Olympics so she can "keep skateboarding, and not let it turn into something else."

World Skate Park World Championships schedule

This schedule is provisional and subject to change. All times are local time (UTC−3 hours). Correct as of 7 September 2019.

Monday 9 September–Wednesday 11 September Practice Heats

Thursday 12 September

9:00 am–12:50 pm Women's Open Qualifier practice and heats

12:50 pm–5:55 pm Men's Open Qualifier practice and heats

Friday 13 September

9:00 am–1:00 pm Women's Quarterfinal practice and heats

1:45 pm–5:45 pm Men's Quarterfinal practice and heats

5:45 pm–7:05 pm Women's and Men's Semifinal practice

Saturday 14 September

9:00 am–12:10 pm Women's Semifinal practice and heats

12:25 pm–3:35 pm Men's Semifinal practice and heats

3:35 pm–4:50 pm Women's Final

4:50 pm–5:30 pm Men's Final practice

5:30 pm Award ceremony, women's final

Sunday 15 September

9:00 am–10:00 am Men's Final practice

10:15 am–11:30 am Men's Final, followed by Award ceremony