SPoT Takes Skate COPA: Atlanta, Georgia

Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2014 by Chris

Words and photos by Aaron Austin.
Video by Jean-Luc Vida.

If someone would've told me 2 weeks ago that I'd be spending my 24th birthday filming in Atlanta with the SPoT crew, I wouldn't have believed a single word of it. With no desire to go out and get wasted with my friends, all it took was a last minute invite to the Adidas Skate Copa contest at Kennesaw Skatepark in Atlanta, Georgia, permission to bring along my vx1000, and I was aboard. It was a Shop vs. Shop Contest in the South East and with 17 very strong and honorable shops. Undeniably outstanding talent and creativity out in the field, but ultimately, it was the SPoT team that prevailed in the end. They were awarded some cash and all an all expense paid trip to Skate Copa Finals at The Berrics in July.

I just want to extend my gratitude to Skatepark of Tampa for making this birthday one of the most memorable ones of my life thus far. Good luck out west SPoT crew and safe travels.
The team met up at the Skatepark of Tampa and got on the road early Friday morning on our way to the Adidas Skate Copa outside of Atlanta, Georgia, in a nice little town called Kennesaw. We stopped off at a lovely little Waffle House just north of Gainesville for a quick brunch.
To all of our surprise, the Westside Skateshop team stopped at the same exit. We watched their carload pull into the restaurant across the street, so we called them over for a quick rendezvous.
We arrived in Atlanta sometime in the early evening on Friday, then went to check out the course in Kennesaw, but unfortunately it was wet from rain. Alejandro Burnell was too stoked to be on a trip to sleep, so the videographer for the trip, Jean Luc Vida and I took Adro to a famous street spot just down the street from our hotel in downtown.
After a few hours sleep, we hit the road early Saturday morning to get to the skatepark in time to warm up, which wouldn't prove hard to do, since it got brutally hot.
L to R - Rich, Jess, Bobby and Cullen from Adidas. Thank you so much Adidas for hosting such an awesome event. Everyone in the contest got hooked up with free shoes, too!
Dylan Perry came on the trip and got the course warmed up with this lipslide. Dylan solidified his role as party team captain a little later, but got the team psyched up to skate their heats not long after I shot this photo.
James Cobb blasted this kickflip over the rail during practice, but decided to take it fakie down the massive set of stairs in the SPoT team jams. He frontside flipped over this same rail, too.
Dennis Busenitz and Skin Phillips. It's fitting that these two are holding a soccer ball. After all, Adidas is gearing up for the World Cup, not to mention the first Busenitz shoe is modeled after a famous soccer boot, the Copa Mundial.
This contest pitted skateshop team against skateshop team in a battle to the finals. Here, Sheldon Jernigan of Relief Skate Supply brought the wacky-yet-massive tricks to the table. What a split on this Benihana.
Westside's Jimmy Mastrocolo had a nice frontside noseslide down the handrail. This course was originally a Street League course, and the obstacles were pretty big. Jimmy handled this noseslide with ease though.
Plus Skateshop made it up with a small team of Chad Poore, Chris Blake and the other Brian Schaefer, Bryan Schaefer. Kevin Perez came to document and Keith Gibbs managed the team. They're buddies.
Justin Brock came out to support the local scene. He lives not far from this park in Atlanta. His teammate on Real Skateboards, Jake Donnelly, was at the contest with Adidas.
Jonah of Hazard County Skatepark grilled up a plethora of meats for all the carnivores at the park. He also brought his team to skate the contest, fueled by barbeque chicken and smoked sausage.
Eli
Here's one of Jonah's team riders, Eli Williams, doing a fingerflip to tail on the quarter pipe. Hazard made it to the semifinals, but didn't make it to the head to head finals.
Another local shop, Stratosphere, made it to the contest to compete. This is Troy Cobucci doing an incredible frontside kickflip on the quarter. Stratosphere made it through the qualifiers, but didn't make the finals.
Did I mention it got brutally hot? Well, it did. This guy had the right equipment to beat the heat. I need to invest in one of these things for the next one.
There were all kinds of interesting sights in Kennesaw. Best dressed goes to this guy, Khalif Ali Muhammad.
Tim
Best well spoken goes to Scotty the Body Conley and Tim O'Connor, the microphone killas of the contest.
Anthony Williams of Comfort Skateshop had these nollie heels over the bank to bank all day. Check out the extension on those dreads.
Schaefer and ATL hip hop artist Reese.
The judges had a hard time at this contest with all the great skating. Stephen Mullen, Jason Rothmeyer and Jeremiah Babb review their scores and decide that the SPoT team and Plus had the moves to take them to the finals.
Schaefer even helped the team make it to the finals. What a team leader!
James broke his board on a huge frontside flip over the handrail during the semifinals, and still got some tricks after it snapped. Eventually, he switched his deck with Schaefer's. Thanks boss.
If you look closely, you can see that this is Schaefer's deck that James is flipping fakie down the stairs during the finals. James even made a fakie frontside flip first try in the last seconds of the SPoT team final jam on a board that wasn't even his. He killed it.
The SPoT team was on a roll. Markus Jalaber followed up James with this proper kickflip frontside boardslide down the rail.
Jereme was on autopilot all day, flying around the course like he owned the place. Here he is on a high speed backside tailslide on the quarter into the bank. I think he may have landed more tricks in the final jam than some teams landed combined in their previous jams.
Hazard County ended the day in third place, mostly thanks to the skating of Jonah's son. Just kidding, but he's going to be winning contests like this one day for sure.
The results came in and the Skatepark of Tampa team took first place, winning an all expenses paid trip to the Berrics in LA to skate in the Skate Copa finals. Plus skateshop held their own and took home second. Congratulations to you guys.
I think the Plus team had a great time, and it looks like they're pretty psyched to take home the second place money. Nothing beats skating with your friends.
It ain't over yet, though. Rothmeyer had $500 to hand out for bangin' tricks down the impact zone during a best trick jam.
Chris Blake made this silky smooth switch frontside bluntslide during best trick and walked away with a fistful of cash.
Who
This interesting character, Sethafarian, plays by his own rules, of life, fashion and his own religion, too. I don't even know what is going on here. Neither does the kid in the yellow shirt looking on.
Congratulations to Skatepark of Tampa for winning the Adidas Skate Copa. We'll be representing Tampa in the finals out in LA soon.
Before leaving the skatepark, Alejandro had to get a photo. This no comply over the bank to bank is proper! Back to the hotel to recharge the batteries and head to the pizza party in East Atlanta.
Alec Majerus turned 19 over the weekend, so Adidas surprised him with this Adidas shoebox cake. How cool is that? It was delicious.
I wonder what Alec wished for before blowing out the candles?
Ed
The next morning, the SPoT crew and MIA Skateshop team caravanned back to Florida. Ed and Schaefer checked our progress at a rest stop somewhere in central Florida.
This is where we split, as the MIA team hit the Turnpike on their way back to Miami, the SPoT team to Tampa. Last minute handshakes with Danny Fuenzalida and the rest of the homies.
Back in Tampa we were greeted at the Skatepark by the Jitt Squad. Thanks Atlanta for the great time, but it's good to be home.

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