VQS Contest is Live, Amelia Brodka Adds Context + Women’s Pick to Shine

Open to professional skaters, amateurs and flow skaters alike—the Rockstar Energy Open 2024 ‘Video Qualifier Series’ (VQS) is now live and available for entry. Announced last week, the VQS is an online street skateboarding contest (open for entry July 12-Aug. 2) to win multiple cash prizes and the chance to compete in the first-ever Rockstar Energy Open skate contest this August in Portland, Oregon. Here’s what you need to know.

Words: Skyler Wilder
Photos: Chris Ortiz 


Rockstar Energy Open will be insane when it debuts August 23-25. The event lineup includes Park and Street contests (MEN’s and WOMEN’s divisions), each with a 36-person semi-final before a 10-person final. FOUR of the skaters in each street contest semi-final will be entries from the VQS.

The VQS is open now and will close on August 2. To enter, post a 30-second to one-minute video on Instagram without music added and use the hashtag #RSOPENVQS. For all the info and exact details, check out the Official Rules page and read the application and official rules document.

skateboarder backside tailslide on ledge being filmed

Amanda Castillo, backside tailslide

Over the course of the contest, weekly prize purses of $1,000 will be awarded to the best men and women video submissions. At the end, Best Trick ($1,000) and Viewers Choice ($2,500) prizes will be awarded in both men’s and women’s video submissions, as well.

Ready for the best part? The top ten women and the top ten men will receive invitations to compete in Portland at the Rockstar Energy Open to earn a semi-final slot to skate against the world’s best.

women skateboarding on hip bigspin flip

Josslyn Brownell, bigspin flip

To add some contextual hype, The Platfrm asked Amelia Brodka (pro skateboarder, Olympian,  co-founder of Exposure Skate nonprofit and contest) for her perspective on the VQS, what it means for gender equality, and who is her favorite to watch for on the women’s side.

As an expert in the subject of skateboard contests (a professional skateboarder yourself, contest creator in Exposure Skate, and go-to TV analyst and commentator for everything from the Olympics, X Games and now the Rockstar Energy Open), where does the VQS fit into the grand scheme?

Amelia: The VQS creates an opportunity for up-and-coming skaters who have been pushing it in the streets. It’s an opportunity to get some visibility in the industry, make some money and earn a spot in the Rockstar Energy Open among the best. This unique format opens the doors, eliminates the gatekeepers and gives underdogs a chance to shine.

skateboarders review skateboard trick on camera

Did you get that one? Caroline Weimholt and Amanda on footy review with Collin Schwartz

Speaking specifically to the gender equality aspect of these events (Rockstar Energy Open and the VQS), what benefits do you see and have you seen in the space at large when the path to enter the mainstream becomes accessible to more people?

The past few years have shown us that creating opportunities for open formats has had an incredible impact on progression, especially in the women’s field. When Exposure ran a video part competition format in 2020 we were blown away with first looks at skaters like Chloe Covell, Liz Akama and Momiji Nishiya who have since taken the industry by storm.

By creating this type of open video format and having it lead to the Rockstar Energy Open, the VQS is creating a path for the next wave of unknown and unsupported skaters to bring a level of progression that could challenge the current field. There’s so many more girls pushing the level out there that have yet to have an opportunity to be seen who might not have the support to get out in front of the industry. The VQS is solving that problem on multiple levels.

Varial heelflip, Kylie Frank

To get even more specific, do you have any individuals you expect to shine in this new VQS online contest? Any, for example, under-the-radar women that you may–or may not–personally know?

I’m excited to watch Platfrm bring some new names into the contest world. I’d be excited to see the submissions from a few who have yet to have their time to shine like Ria Tanno, Rinka Kanamori and Mia Lovell. They would each bring a lot to the table!

Knucks, Kylie and filmer Chris Gregson