Maloof Money Money Money Cup - Day Two and Three

Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

I wonder how Holmes would call this trick. Congrats, P-Rod on the $100k
Nyjah Huston - big spin front board. During the Finals, he did big flip front board in the last seconds of the jam just as perfect as this
Andrew Reynolds - frontside flip over the rail
Andrew Reynolds - frontside half cab flip
Andrew Reynolds - backside 360
Collin Hale - nollie hardflip on the baby Carlsbad gap
Nyjah Huston - kickflip back smith
Shaun White - heelflip frontside grab body varial? Is that right? Not sure. Ask Holmes for verification
Chris Mendes skated the Am Game of SKATE and then skated the Pro Contest. Someone's confused. 360 flip noseslide
Andrew Reynolds - full cab
Collin Hale - nollie back heel
Ryan Sheckler - hardflip
Bucky Lasek - frontside cab heelflip
Ryan Sheckler - 360 flip
I didn't have the best view of Lutzka's frontside flip 270 to switch front blunt. Real easy tricks like that will land you in 9th place
One of the best looking tricks in the Vert Contest was Alex Perelson's kickfrip meron grab
Right after Shaun White did this frontside 540 stale, he put on his leather pants and leather jacket and got in his Lambrogini and drove home NASCAR style. For serious
The eS Game of SKATE is amazing enough to have on it's own like it was at ASR. This year it was mixed in with all the other madness going on and spread out over the whole weekend, so it just seemed kind of uneventful as opposed to years prior where it was super intense. It's amazing watching Koston skate flat. This is a fakie double flip, but I saw him take out three people with an ollie late back foot varial flip. Yeah, think about that one for a second
Dustin Blauvelt won the Am event they had. He got a watch and a cup for that. They have rules like "am contests don't have money being paid" but then they go and let Alex Mizurov, an am, skate in the pro eS Game of SKATE and let Chris Mendes skate in both pro and am events during the weekend. Back in the 80's when there were like 20 pros, you could turn pro at a contest. These days, that's a kook stamp and career ender in my opinion. Remember Jeff Ward from years ago? Who? Yeah, exactly. There needs to be clear lines between pros and ams and events like this sure don't help
Switch nollie
I think there was about four feet of vert on this extension thing (update: it was six). Andy Mac had front blunts on it every time
PLG - ollie up to crooked grind to fakie
The only way to hold an Andy Mac board is with the mall grip, of course. The logo is him doing a bennihanna. Wow. Is that a joke or for serious???
I think that manual pad is 14 feet. Dennis Busenitz ollied it like a curb
Jake Duncombe frontside flipped the zum zum set first try
It was hard to get a good spot to watch for most of the obstacles. This is Andrew Reynolds frontside flipping into a lipslide on the bank to rail
Bryan Herman qualified first, but didn't make the cut to Sunday. That's a FSNG
This is Laguna Hills Skate Park that was a few minutes away from the Contest. Clem and I had a fun time here without our wheels leaving the ground
That's a foot fetish with Stefan Janoski. That's his new shoe that will be out soon
Here's the text message of the week to Clem's phone. He needs a new screen. A few people mentioned we should run this one, but I don't know if I want to be associated with tribal tat rock and switch nollies
Those are Zered Basset's toes in this foot fetish. He's currently broke off
The Sutra club place is where the tribal tat rock crowd was definitely going, so etnies threw a separate party at some dive bar that was more our style. Thanks for the invite Ashton. That's Hunter from Nike and Sean Malto. I wonder what they're discussing
I haven't been smoking much lately, but in uptight and paranoid California, I want to smoke just because they don't like it when you smoke
Skipping all the parties meant serious hotel lobby lurk out sessions. That's the Vertical Vamp and Dimitry. Thanks for the laughs and good times
Elissa Steamer - frontside 5-0
Vanessa Torres - back smith
Danny Mayer had a damn good looking backside flip meron grab. Am I biased towards meron grabs? Yup
Sandro's frontside boardslides are fast and long
I was around Danny Way a couple times over the weekend. I was way too intimidated to just throw out, "Hi Danny, I'm Rob." I fear I would follow it up with something super stupid like, "Uh yeah uh you're like really good at skateboarding, uh." That's Rene Rene with him and some Playboy model they let interview the skaters
That's Lil John getting the boot off the street course by Mark Waters. I guess the ignorant ass hip hop goes well with the tribal tat jams, though
I think Lil John let out the biggest "What?!?!?" he ever screamed when we all heard Chris Cole didn't win
Holy crap, there's an actual shirt with that on it and someone is actually wearing it. I bet he loves tribal tat rock
Lacey Baker won $25,000 for first this weekend. That's Donna Baker, extra proud and supportive skateboard mom
Day 2
Schaefer headed out early and hit the waves while Rob and I hung back and worked on our computers like the good little nerds we are. At least we had the hotel door open to enjoy the weather that was absolutely beautiful…not a cloud in the sky and about mid-80’s.

We headed next door to La Salsa (pretty good Mexican fast food that we don’t have in Florida) and Danny Way was there. He’s one of the few people that I’m still star-struck by...it’s like, “Damn, that’s D-Way right there.” It doesn’t happen often, but he’s on that level to me. That’s the fun, non-political part that I truly enjoy about my job…getting to see people like that on a regular basis is rad.

I took Rob on the continuing Ryan Clements Crappy Skate Park Tour down to Laguna Hills Skate Park to roll around for a minute. It was only 15-minutes away and basically a modern version of the Bro Bowl, but still good for a Saturday afternoon cruise. From there we headed up to the Maloof Money Money Money Cup to watch some great skateboarding for the remainder of the day and into the night.

To put it simply, there was A LOT of skateboarding going on. Here are the four events that happened on Saturday, in order:
  • Pro Game of SKATE Qualifiers
  • Am Street WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (I didn’t know those existed)
  • Pro Vert Qualifiers
  • Pro Street Qualifiers
I was having so much fun being on “vacation” that I neglected to even bother to take any notes. So here I am on Sunday morning writing this from the top of my head after many beers and a lot of funny conversations. Plus, if I told you all of the amazing skateboarding that went down I wouldn’t have any ammo left for the Finals.

Good Things I Remember:
  • Speaking of amazing skateboarding…for real, I saw some of the best skateboarding that has ever gone down on a street course
  • The Vert Qualifiers was insane. The layout of the ramp truly made for some great runs. Shaun White was my favorite. No, I’m not joking. He’s super-impressive to watch
  • Darren Navarette’s car – I don’t know what it is, but it’s one of those really old 40’s or 50’s whips and completely restored. The Vertical Vato has steez
  • I took a walk around the Fair for a brief moment with Jim Thiebaud, his son Jack, Nick Dompierre, and John Alden from DLX. We played that game where you smash the gigantic hammer onto the pin to see who is the strongest. I tied Nick
  • Braydon Szafranski was wearing his pro model shoe that will be coming out soon…he wears the same size as me so I tried them on and that’s the next shoe I will be skating in
Not So Good Things I Remember:
  • Politics – I’ve never heard so much Indu$try $h!t-talking in my life. That’s what happens when money is involved, I guess, but I heard that Omar Hassan was literally pissed that he didn’t get an invite
  • The band that played after the Pro Street Qualifiers. Their name was Rev Theory and they were doing a sound check while the Contest was still going on. Duncan commented to them over the mic, but he should have thrown something at them
  • They ran out of free beer
  • I think the DJ really sucked, if there even was a DJ. He doesn’t know that skateboarders generally don’t listen to contemporary radio rock
  • The course was STORMED with people. I was trying to be good Indu$try Kook and not go where I wasn’t supposed to, but it got difficult to see at times
  • Hosoi on the mic. I respect Holmes more than anyone and truly enjoyed his skating when I was a kid, but dude should never be on the mic during a street contest again
  • Cutting the Game of SKATE into Prelims and Finals kind of sucks…I just want to see Koston win the damn thing
  • Chris Mendes skating in the Pro. If you’ve heard that name before, it might be because he skates in many of our Damn Ams. What he was doing out there is beyond me
Okay, I’m done being negative. I got it out of my system. The last-minute-thrown-together etnies After-Party at The Huddle was fun. Free PBR draft? I’m surprised that I don’t have more of a headache this morning.

Day 3
By the time we got our lazy asses out of bed it was 11am. Rob was off to the iPhone store to try and get one of the new ones and Brian headed to the Contest with Rothmeyer. I chilled in the hotel room to answer emails, spending more time in bed than any person should.

Girls Street
Now that it’s all over and I’m writing the story, it makes me think, “Man I watched a lot of skateboarding on Sunday.” We got there at 2pm, but just in time to watch the Girls Street, where Lacey Baker came up and 360 flipped the Carlsbad gap into 25 LARGE (that’s right, $25,000). You go girl. Rachael Reinhard got $8000 for 2nd and Vanessa Torres took home $4000 for 3rd. Lacey is sick, but Elissa is still my favorite girl of all time…especially with the newfound blonde hair. Uh. Yeah, that’s right…Elissa looked hot.

eS Game of SKATE
Next up was the eS Game of SKATE. I don’t know how Billy Marks was eliminated the day before by Koston, but then by chance got yet another spot in the Game. How does that work? So here’s how it broke down:
  • Cole beat Brezinski
  • Stanton beat Szafranski
  • Brenes beat Rigney
  • Marks beat Janoski
  • Cole beat Stanton
  • Marks beat Brenes
Then they broke it down to a four-man Game where Koston and Mizurov were already seated to meet the unbeaten Cole and Marks. I don’t know how that worked out either, not to mention that Marks had already been eliminated by Koston the prior day, but go figure. I bet Andrew Reynolds $20 that Koston would take the title, but Andrew took my $20 by having faith in Cole, who dominated as usual and took the $15,000 1st place prize. Koston was 2nd, Mizurov was 3rd, and Marks got 4th (not bad for already being eliminated).

Vert
The ramp was unique, with offset walls and extensions with 6’ of vert…super-gnar to do anything on those at all, which made for a damn good event. I’ll tell you one thing though…I couldn’t understand what in the world was going on with the format. It seemed to differ from what was listed in my trusty Maloof Money Money Money Cup Official Event Program (yes, there really was one of those). But the music was way, way better than the prior day.

Despite my lack of information, the skating was absolutely amazing. The jams were a bit long, over 30-minutes actually, but that truly allowed the guys to land everything they tried. Here’s how it broke down:
  • 1st – Pierre-Luc Gagnon – $75,000 & a new Ford Flex SUV – starting off your runs with 5’ 360 flip mute grabs to fakie sets you in the right direction
  • 2nd – Shaun White – $35,000 – as I mentioned in the article a bit earlier, I’m Shaun White’s newest, biggest fan. I don’t care if he was wearing leather pants and drives a Lamborghini…that dude is sick
  • 3rd – Bucky Lasek – $20,000 – nollie flip stalefish off the offset ramp to tail on 6’ of vert, along with every other crazy Bucky-trick possible
  • 4th – Danny Mayer – $10,000 – he had enough time to nail the kickflip McTwist and the illest alley-oop kickflip melon
  • 5th – Sandro Dias – $6000 – he did the 900…the first one I’ve ever seen in person. Do I need to mention anything else?
  • 6th – Andy MacDonald – $5000 – he might do more tricks than anyone, but it’s tough for Andy sometimes…don’t ask me why. It’s weird looking, but I’m a fan of the inward heel slob grab and his fs blunt on the 6’ of vert was gnar
  • 7th – Bob Burnquist – $4000 – I don’t think that the crowd realizes how difficult Bob’s bag of tricks truly is. He skates every inch of the ramp and you never know what he was going to do
  • 8th – Lincoln Ueda – $3,000 – this format must have been invented for Lincoln because he was shining during the entire jam with flip-ins to his huge array of airs
  • 9th – Rodrigo Menenez – $2,000 – I barely remembered this guy, but then was reminded of his pro model on Think many years ago. He’s got a weird style, but the dude can do A LOT of tricks
  • 10th – Buster Halterman – $1,000 – the backside stalefish 540 never ceases to amaze me and Buster’s casual fs 5-0’s off the 4’ extension were buttery
Street – IF YOU DON’T READ ANYTHING ON THIS PAGE, READ THIS…IT’S GOOD!!!
The top 10 were taken from the previous days’ Qualifiers and Prelims and put out on the course to absolutely destroy. The course was divided into five sections, with a 10-minute jam held on each respectively. Look below at that list of rippers and you can only imagine the gnarlitude and stokage that was executed. It was literally insane…and probably a bit too crowded at times, too. As I’ve said in articles about other events prior…I don’t envy the judges. But this time it must have been a nightmare to be a judge because there was SO MUCH happening.

Rothmeyer and I watched from the best seat in the house, atop the vert ramp. We had some great skateboarding-company up there, too, including my new favorite Shaun White (I’ve only talked to the dude for five minutes and here I am kissing his ass now). After the mayhem we were asked to make our way off of the ramp, so we met up with some fellow skateboard-critics for one of the longest closing ceremonies in history.

They got through the results one-by-one with a bunch of ‘thank-yous’ in between. You know the drill…they can be pretty entertaining at times. But then the results for Street were announced and everyone was kind-of tripping out. How did this happen? How did Cole not win? How come Lutzka ended up in 9th? It just didn’t make any sense. I mean, Nyjah killed it and was in 2nd. I had him personally in 3rd, but 2nd seemed legit to me. But how come P-Rod won? I was thinking he was in 4th.

Phone calls were being made and all of the “skateboard critics” in the crowd were giving their opinions. I was hanging out with someone that knew one of the judges, so he called him and started asking questions. The judge said, “Well, you know that the last section counted for half of your score.” What?!?! No, we didn’t know that! No one said a thing. It was NEVER announced. And after further skateboard-critic investigation we found out that Chris Cole didn’t know that either, which was way he “took it easy” on the final section.

So we referred to the Official Program once again and this is what it said:

“Skaters will be scored in four 10-minute jam sessions, with a three-minute break between each session. The lowest score is thrown out and the remaining three scores are averaged for an overall score to this point. All eight skaters will skate in a fifth, and final, 10-minute jam session. The combined average score from sessions one through four and the session five score are averaged to determine the final ranking.”

I guess you could sort-of get what the judge said out of it, but not really. Not to mention that there’s a blatant mistake in the description. When a format is confusing like that, the announcer needs to get out there on the course and thoroughly explain what’s going on to the skaters. The reason I know this is because Schaefer and I have done it enough times (and messed up) to know what to do, but we didn’t mess up when there was $100,000 for 1st on the line. Damn. Even if the final section counted 50% of your score, then how did P-Rod win? Nyjah clearly won the final section…it was obvious. And when P-Rod received his award he claimed, “I don’t know if I even deserve this,” to the entire crowd.

I know, I sound like a really negative jerk. But I’m just calling it how I see it…and after all it’s only my opinion, so you can take it or leave it. Maybe I’m way off, but that’s what I got from being there and watching. And normally I don’t really care, but if you’re claiming “the best skateboarding event of all time,” which was done COUNTLESS times over the weekend, then you should be able to back it up.
  • 1st – Paul Rodriguez – $100,000
  • 2nd – Nyjah Huston – $40,000
  • 3rd – Chris Cole – $25,000
  • 4th – Ryan Sheckler – $15,000
  • 5th – Darrell Stanton – $6250
  • 6th – Jereme Rogers – $5000
  • 7th – Terry Kennedy – $4000
  • 8th – Andrew Reynolds – $3000
  • 9th – Greg Lutzka – $2500
  • 10th – Dennis Busenitz – $2000
Thanks
Of course there are still some “thanks” in order. They took damn good care of us, so thanks to our friends Tim McFerran and Valentina and all of the others at the Maloof Money Cup for making it happen. Also, thanks to our friends Mark Waters and Aston Maxfield at Sole Tech for putting us up.

After all, I had a damn fun time watching the skating, eating the free food, and drinking the free beer. I ate and drank like a pig…so much that I became friends with the chef. Finally, I’ve got to give an Internet shout-out to Dylan at Oakley for getting me the free beers all weekend.

See you guys at the TOTALLY EXTREME GAMES in a few weeks.

Ryan

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