Well it's official, we now have our final two pre-qualified Semi Finalists for Tampa Am. For those that have been asleep in class, the first and second place finishers at every Damn Am stop get to bypass that pesky qualifying round at Tampa in December. At Woodward West, the distinction went to Jared Cleland who came second, with his Beachy casual command of the shred, and Gage Boyle who saved his very best for his very last run of the finals. You don't need me to describe it for you, that's what the video is for, but the 50-50 gap to 50-50 backside 180 out ender came as a complete surprise, and once he rolled away from it clean, there was no doubt he'd wrapped up the win. On a strange coincidental side note, it was Gage's 17th birthday, just like it was Yoshi Tanenbaum's birthday last week when he won the New York stop.
I also can't not shout out the two little SHREDDERS from Tokyo who no speak English but both finished in the top ten. One of them even did a Benihana in his run and, seeing as the move is named after a Japanese restaurant, I fully backed it. Also a big up to Tyson Peterson for representing Florida, great style, and butter backside noseblunt slides for third place.
The Independent Trucks Best Trick contest was honestly one of the best of all time. Watch the footage and I'm sure you'll agree. Although you won't see a clip of this part of it because he never made it, Dylan Williams came crazy close to tre flip crook to nollie flip out on the bump to hubba. That's right, a NAC nollie flip, Street Dreams on 'roids! But Nate Greenwood, Stereo rider and Ned Flanders lookalike and the dude we had the most fun joking about on the mic all weekend long due to the creep factor of his 'stache, did the front 180 fakie 5-0 to fakie flip out SO good that he claimed the top spot and at the same time, exempted himself from ever having to do that trick ever again in his entire life. Although I'd love to see it any time he might feel like tossing one out there. But add to that Nate's being crowned the Zumiez Destroyer Award for bringing the heat all weekend and you've got a guy you might want to start paying some more attention to. In summation of the whole shebang, the Damn Ams are always the best, and this one topped 'em all.
Words by Paul Zitzer
Photos and captions by Bart Jones
You think these contests just miraculously work out?! Nah Dawg, the Skatepark of Tampa crew has their morning meeting; making sure everything’s tiptop.
Pierce Brunners kicks off the semi-finals with some Up N’ Down Boardslides
On Flow crew holdin’ it down.
I’m not sure if Austin Calvello was actually in the Semi-Finals, and I’m also not sure if they still call frontside 270 flips El Nino flips; but whatever it happened.
Wardrobe Fiasco!! Good guys don’t always wear white.
Marcos Montoya didn’t quite make the cut for the finals but still came thru with some solid goods like this frontside hurricane.
Say what you will about camp cafeteria food, I’m backing it!
Berronte Ramirez rocks ruff n tuff with his afro puff.
The sun was beatin’ down like a mofo but these guys were willing to tough it out just to watch the homies get some.
Mateo Rael sticks with a classic the backside tailslide.
I apologize about so many photos of this yellow hubba thing but that’s where the majority of the action was, Ducky fuels the fire with a kickflip frontside boardslide.
Bree copped herself a brand new shiny red Supra hat.
Jared Cleland killed the Semi-Finals qualifying himself first for the Finals, ollie up To noseblunt.
“Only God Can Judge Me” and these guys...
Qualifying first from Saturday with the Golden Ticket that advances him to the finals allowed Austin Lenahan to chill all day and then do giant blindside ollies to fakie, getting the Finals poppin!
Some how Austin Zito was popping out of these backside overcrooks early, it was really cool looking.
...And then even though Austin has a clothing sponsor, Schaefer hooked him up with a new pair of pants considering his were dusted.
The crew from Tokyo just straight killed it all weekend long, Daisuke Ikeda kickflip frontboards with the quickness.
Up next is the Best Trick Contest. DJ Wade was so excited for it he tried to cut the tent in half.
Waldo Diaz takes a page out of Burnquist’s book and gets the Best Trick contest started with a one-footed backside smith grind.
I know this photo might look a little ridonkulous, but it’s a land, my man... Jamie Foy tre flip noseblunt slide.
Now since I’m stubborn and don’t like to shoot sequences, you're just gonna have to imagine how Nate Greenwood won the Best Trick Contest by 180ing into this fakie 5-O and then kickflipping out; or if you don’t have an imagination just wait for the footage.
Trophies and the people that give them to other people.
Gage Boyle’s parents won an award for being cool supportive parents, but in my head the award was for the free beers they were hooking up. Thanks guys!
Gabe Clement got a trophy for making the trophies...wrap your mind around that!
Anthony Anaya got 3rd place in best trick with a 180 nosegrind the hard way back to straight, check the Insta for the photo and follow while you're at it!
Anthony Estrada received 2nd place in Best Trick with some crazy flippy spinny alley-oopness that made no sense as a photo, but sick nevertheless.
Not only did Nate Greenwood win the Best Trick Contest, but followed it up with winning the Zumiez Destroyer Award as well.
Backside noseblunt slides like this are just the tip-of-the iceberg of tricks Tyson Peterson rifled off to come in 3rd place.
Backside 5-O Grind over the humpty-dump is easier said than done, unless you're Jared Cleland that is.. bringing him in at 2nd place.
I have an uncanny ability to botch the winners' photos at every contest, keeping up the tradition, here is a crappy photo of Gage Boyle doing a perfect kickflip frontside 50/50. This and about a million other tricks that he squeezed into his run got him 1st place in this year's Damn Am.
Any end-of-contest without a Product Toss would be uncivilized.
Team Florida is down with Gage.
Not only did Gage Boyle win Damn Am on Sunday, but it was also his 17th birthday. Congratulations Gage!!!