Johnny Romano Skate Jam 2009

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 by Stalker

By Stalker Steve

Porpe staying Mucho Fuerte with a Red Bull
Body was in sequence mode. We got four total over the whole trip. He half cab flipped the hip at Tallahassee park the hard way
Jereme Knibbs ripped all the spots we went to, from park to street. He boosted this frontside boneless early on at Tallahassee
Ian found the creative line at Tallahassee park. Alley-oop side rock on the extension
This was insane. Jereme Knibbs, wallie off a foot wide wall into the tranny
At every park we stopped at RayRay had a trick he wanted to try within 10 minutes. This was the first one. Nollie backside flip over the hip at Tallahassee
Ian back noseblunted the bank to bench at Tallahassee
Ian's mom came out and hung out with us for a while in Tallahassee
Jacob Krajewski pulled out a lien to tail on the extension at Tallahassee park
Ian Gow enjoying a frontside grind at the Plus TF
RayRay brought his tranny tricks on this trip. Front feeble at the Plus TF
Porpus Maximus, front disaster at the Plus TF
Body got tech at the Plus TF. Noseslide 360 shuvs
The marble ledges at Plus were amazing. Ian takes advantage with a 270 tailslide
At the Milton, FL park, the big bank wall was a favorite. Jacob Krajewski, no comply tailslide
This bank to rail was sick. Almost everyone got something on it. Jereme Knibbs, lipslide
Probably the gnarliest thing that can be done at the Milton Park. Ollie up ollie down
RayRay called this trick out early into the session and pulled it shortly thereafter. 180 fakie manny
Dylan pulled this noseblunt slide at the favorite Milton bump to rail
Ian Gow, back tail on the bump to rail at Milton park
Knibbs destroyed Milton park. Back lip
Jereme Knibbs, frontside stalefish from the quarter to the bank at Milton park
Porpe got his trick in at Milton park. Back tail
Ian Gow was feeling the Milton park with everyone else. Frontside flip
Porpe pulled this front smith at the Milton park in a few tries
Ian Gow rattled off tricks on this rail. Front blunt
Jacob Krajewski, feeble on the rail
Body got this frontside boneless at the Milton park
Dylan killed the bank wall with this ollie up to nosepick pop in
We closed out the session at Milton with a chill photo for Body and a skate photo for Jacob
At the Hammond, Louisiana park Body spotted the ice cream truck, so he and Knibbs dug in. This is Body showing Knibbs how to do it
Dylan Perry sailing a frontside flip over the Hammond, LA park's hip
RayRay pulled out this long back 5-0 to fakie in the deep bowl at the Hammond, LA park
Ian was feeling this bank to ledge and this back 180 fakie 5-0 is the proof
Porpe got this nollie noseslide at the Hammond bank to ledge
We never got this guy’s real name, so we just called him “freight train.” He flew around the Hammond park doing backside blunt slides down the banks and frontside tailblocks on this rail out of the tranny
RayRay, noseblunt slide in Hammond, LA
Body got loose at the Easy 7 ditch. He got two sequences and this one truck side rock move
Ian Gow was pulling blunt fakies all over the place on the trip, even on the sketchy Easy 7 ledge
Porpe was claiming a back D in Easy 7. He got it after working for it for a little
Dylan Perry pulled this sick 180 fakie 5-0, making Ed Selego proud
RayRay, back 180 switch crooks in at Easy 7
RayRay was feeling the real skate park at Easy 7, so we shot this frontside half cab noseslide nollie flip out in three tries
Knibbs' frontside flip into the channel was insane
Knibbs - relaxing in the hotel before breaking his wrist in the Jam a few hours later
VX1 wishes and High Def dreams
Dylan Perry got a quick street photo while Porpe filled up the truck with gas in Houston. Kickflip
Deluxe's booth had the best banner
The Famous team was signing autographs
Autograph line for the Famous team
Vern Laird, in between jabs at people on the mic
Vern is still popular
The Zumiez crew were pressing up t-shirts and donating the money to Make-A-Wish
Elwood made this righteous t-shirt, sold them, and donated the money
Knibbs ripped it in the Bowl Jam. Frontside crail off the hip
Ben Hatchell is really good. Frontside tuck knee
Body and Ian with their homie Sheckler
I recommend everyone buy a couple of these
John Alden from Deluxe hanging out with the kids
The lovely lady at the Deluxe dunk tank
Garrett Hill - lipslide down the Tranquility rail replica
James Hardy ripped all day, and he started the day off with this frontside hurricane down the Tranquility replica
Chris Cole ollied over the whole SD replica ledge. Wow
This is one of my favorite tricks. James Hardy killed it with this 180 nosegrind the hard way on the SD replica ledge. Yes, you’ve already seen this sequence on the Deluxe site
Davis Torgerson took an already hard trick and did it switch. Switch flip front 50-50 on the SD replica ledge
Clem and Vern called out Chris Cole and Billy Marks to play a game of SKATE between Jams. This is Billy Marks on a proper back 360 kickflip
Chris Cole blew everyone's collective mind with this fs 270 to switch bs tailslide. Wow
Jimmy Carlin has tech skating on lock. Kickflip front tail bigspin out
The crowd was thick all day. Thanks for coming to the Jam!
Schaefer went through the crowd collecting money for Make-A-Wish before he announced the winners of the Jam
Steve Berra and some of The Berrics crew came out and got an award thanking them for it
One of the awesome Make-A-Wish kids
Jim Thiebaud from Deluxe got a deck thanking him for all the work to make the event possible
Jamie Thomas got a thank you award for making the event possible
Damian from South Shore Distribution was thanked during the awards for all the support for the event
The Romano family
Ben Hatchell taking his 1st place Bowl Jam award
Luis Tolentino got the Zumiez Destroyer award. He ripped all day and two G's was sent to Make-A-Wish in his name
Andrew Pott with his award for 2nd place in the Zumiez Ledge Jam
James Hardy with the 1st place award for the Zumiez Ledge Jam
Joey Brezinski made a brief appearance to get his trophy for 3rd place in the Tech Center Jam
Chris Cole with the award for 1st place in the Tech Center Jam
Manny Santiago throwing out Famous gear after the award ceremony. The next day when we were leaving Houston we went to Starbucks and the girl working the counter saw our boards and asked if we knew Manny. I guess he made some fans in Texas
Quick stop for a group photo with a hotel housekeeper
Oil is a big industry in Texas. We saw lots of oil fields the whole way
Jacob Krajewski enjoying his highway time
We went through lots of bayou and swamp landscape in Louisiana and Mississippi
Dylan Perry - nose manual at a random ledge spot in Baton Rouge
Jake Smith from Volcom came with us from Houston to Mississippi and got a quick wallie photo in Baton Rouge
The time of year to give back came once again. The Johnny Romano Skate Jam Benefiting Make-A-Wish was once again held at Southside Skatepark in Houston, Texas on Saturday, November 8th, so we packed up the Clem 350 and made an adventure out of it. We put 10 dudes in the cab and bed of the F-350, as is tradition.

Skaters along for the ride:
  • Ryan Clements – handled Park business from the road on most of the drives
  • Porpe – split his time on the trip evenly between Team Manager Jorge and Party Time Porpe
  • Ian Gow – ripped at all the parks and spots we stopped at
  • Dylan Perry – fresh off some California time and was enjoying being home in the South
  • Jereme Knibbs – ripped all along the way until he broke his wrist in the Jam
  • Joe Pelham – filming the trip
  • Scotty The Body Conley – doing what he usually does
  • Jacob Krajewski – ripped all the concrete tranny parks we went to with ease
  • RayRay – first big skate trip and was pretty hyped about it
We met up at SPoT at 6am to ride out to Tallahassee and be skating before noon. Clem, riding shotgun and knee deep in e-mails, the other three people in the cab unaware of Porpe's driving abilities, or lack thereof, and me, going over photos on my laptop, didn't notice Porpe was on I-4, which rides east to west, not north and south. I looked up from my computer and saw Lakeland, which is a town about 30 minutes east of Tampa.

"Porpe, why are we driving east and not north?" I asked. "You can't be serious!" Clements exclaimed. Porpe, without a good answer for his directional blunder hopped off of I-4 and got directed up back roads to I-75. And with that, we were off to Tallahassee, our state capitol!

We still arrived in Tally before noon and enjoyed the Team Pain built concrete park for a couple hours. Everyone ripped while Joe and I documented it. Matt MacMillen, former SPoT employee and current resident of Tallahassee, directed us to a pizza place with huge slices after the session and we were off to our next stop.

200 miles later we were in Fort Walton Beach to skate the amazing Plus TF. It has a super wide mini-ramp with escalators, a hip, and it's covered in birch wood. They also have marble ledges to skate as well. Awesome. Thank you to our friends at Plus for letting us skate their private TF.

After an early morning session at Milton Skate Park, were off to Hammond, Louisiana to skate their Grindline park. Both were fun with unique concrete that all flowed as one park. You know, in typical Team Pain and Grindline construction fashion.

With that we were off to make the rest of the drive to Houston. Upon just crossing over the Texas state line we got the news of the shootings at Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas. Past that bad omen we moved ahead, ready for a great weekend for a great cause.

The first day in Houston was spent skating the Easy 7 ditch and the adjoined park beside it and enjoying Houston's great November weather. We rode around downtown as well and good until a curious run in with one of the more overzealous members of Houston's homeless community. "Lemme get some change!" she demanded of Clements, while at a red light. "No,” he immediately replied. "Come on! Change!" she yelled back. "Get away from my truck." Clements sternly replied.

Then, as the light turned green she slapped the side of his truck, only to see six guys in the back who I can only imagine had less-than-pleased looks on their faces. I'm sure it must have turned into a pretty intimidating experience for her. Times is hard I suppose. With that we headed to Southside Skatepark to skate for a bit before the busyness of the next day, the Johnny Romano Skate Jam.

I think this is the night when Scotty, Ian, and Jacob's room became known as "Team RamRoom,” a play on words from the movie Super Troopers. The similarities between the movie and Team RamRoom's behavior were slim, but still, Super Troopers is a funny movie. It was a joke that remained a part of the rest of the trip. "Team RamRoom!" Body would declare out of nowhere. "RamRoom!" Ian would reply.

The next day we went back to Southside for the Jam. We arrived to a packed house of pro and am skaters, industry types, and locals ready to enjoy a great day for a great cause. Companies like Elwood, Deluxe, and Zumiez all made shirts and decks to honor Johnny and to raise money for a proper cause.

The Jam
The actual contest was run on three different sections in three different jams. A Bowl Jam was first, then a Jam on the flat drop-off ledge was next, and finally a Jam on the Tech Center completed the organized skating.

In the Bowl Jam Ben Hatchell came out strong and took flip in flip out tricks to the bowl, with lip tricks in between. Tony Cervantes was ripping throughout the jam, throwing down airwalk to fakies and handplants the whole time. A local who goes by Rainey and coined "Baby Cardiel," halfway through the Jam was flying around the bowl the entire time and getting people hyped. After everything was said and done Ben Hatchell grabbed 1st, Tony Cervantes came in 2nd, and Rainey came in 3rd.

After the bowl madness the excitement moved forward to the Ledge Jam. The ledge was a replica of the San Diego courthouse ledge. This Jam was by far the most popular. It was madness the entire time. Luis Tolentino did a frontside 180 fakie 5-0 180 out. Josh Love almost landed a frontside blunt slide backside flip out while our guy RayRay almost got a frontside half cab noseslide nollie flip out. In the end James Hardy's front 180 switch backside 5-0 took 1st, Davis Torgerson got 2nd with a switch 180 crooks, and Andrew Pott grabbed 3rd with a hardflip backside nosegrind.

After the craziness of the Ledge Jam, everything shifted to the tech center. A ledge, bench, manny pad, and flat bar were open for business and everyone took to them with ease. Standouts were Chris Troy with a 270 kickflip lipslide on the flat bar, Jimmy Carlin with a kickflip front tailslide bigspin out on the bench, and Chris Cole, who dropped jaws with a 270 switch backside tailslide on the bench. Joey Brezinski was trying a backside powerslide backside flip out on the manny pad. He unfortunately never pulled it, but it was still sick. At the end of the tech center jam Chris Cole won with a 270 kickflip lipslide on the flat bar, Daniel Espinosa got 2nd, and Joey Brezinski got 3rd with a half cab flip manual front board 270 out on the manual pad to flat bar.

Awards & Thanks
Awards were then given out to all the winners and Jamie Thomas premiered the new Zero and $lave videos. The next day we were out to Baton Rouge to get in a little street skating. I'd never been to Baton Rouge and it's an amazing city with great spots and friendly people. We skated the brick tranny walls for a few minutes before a cop peaced us out and then hit up a ledge spot. Jake Smith from Volcom joined the crew from Texas to Mississippi, as well.

We got a hotel room in Biloxi, Mississippi at a casino. Body went to work on video poker while most of the crew crashed after a long day. The next day we hopped back in the 350 one last time and rode back to lovely Tampa to get back to the real world.

Thanks to Southside Skatepark, South Shore Distribution, Red Bull for helping us out, the Romano family, all the other skaters who made the trip, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation for all your support. See you next year!

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