Surf Expo September 2005 & Volcom Sausagefest

Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 by Ryan

Now I know what a pro ho feels like. One minute, my favorite is Dennis Busenitz here. Then, Justin Strubing becomes my favorite after I watch him for a while. Then Grant Taylor is my new favorite, and on and on. That's the best thing about contests - being able to see everyone skate
Best photo of the weekend without chicks in it - Grant Taylor never bailed these completely proper stale fish grabs. This kid is amazing to watch and he's just 14
Kyle Berard took home $5,000 for wining the Volcom Pro Mini-Ramp Jam - it's called the Volcom Sausagefest
Wagner Ramos can do the very difficult flip but no grab tricks on tranny. This is a huge backside flip
I really liked watching Justin Strubing skate. He skates super fast and ollies out of his smith grinds - nice. Oh and many, many years ago, my sister made out with him at a Tampa Pro contest
Best little kid steez - Spencer Lau
Crappy photo, but nice huge stale fish from Rob Aaron
Mike Peterson's knees are almost higher than his head on this frontside flip scoop up
Normally, a frontside 5-0 photo would be pretty boring, but somehow this one is a little interesting
A lot of people were throwing down the blunt kickflip out. Mike Peterson has them on lock
Fun times in the lobby skating after the event - marble to carpet ollie by Scotty Conley
I know Kenny Hughes had a hard time skating at times due to Brian Schaefer's extra raw, but hilarious mic commentary
Jared Lee won it last year. He ended up in sixth this year. This is a switch 5-0 to fakie
Not quite the coolest name in the business, but he rips. Gugu Ramos - huge melon fakie
A shoe nerd's close up on Grant Taylor's kicks
Anthony Furlong can do frontside blunts with no oxygen required
That cop has a femullet. I had no bad experiences with cops at all this weekend, but that's because I avoided them
Donny Barley is one amazing mini-ramp skater. This is a noseblunt
That's right Dennis, don't abuse the alcohol by spraying it on people
When I was Collin Provost's age, I would have held my mouth wide open if people were spraying alcohol at me. It would have saved my mom a lot of cough syrup
These girls were just walking around the show in hand made bakini's that were real hard not to stare at. Every now and then you could get a quick areola wink
These girls will pose in pretty much any position you ask them - lovely
Sorry, had to move the SPoT logo over on this one. These are two roller skater girls that were wandering around the show using sex to sell whatever busted product they're trying to rep
Are these getting old yet? HELL NO
Kyle Berard gets a nice champagne shower. I wonder if that's the first time that chick has held on to something squirting like that. Yeah, first time this week, maybe
When you slam super hard, this should be what you see when you're laying on your back and you open your eyes. I'd be slamming all damn day
When was the last time you touched yourself while looking at a photo of a bonless? This is Mike Peterson with some nice Sexpo scenery
Surf Expo September 2005 & Volcom Sausagefest
Words by Ryan Clements, Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

If You Don’t Know What Surf Expo Is, Then Read This
Surf Expo is a trade show, and every industry has them. I’ve been coming out to these Surf Expo trade shows for about seven years now and I still enjoy the hell out of them. Expo often hosts cool skateboarding events, plus you get to converse with industry people and pros are chillin’ everywhere. In addition, there are some great parties to go to every night. Actually, there are too many parties to go to every night. But that’s another story in itself.

As for the business side of it, here’s the deal: All of the companies come out and set up booths to display their merchandise. Guys like our buyer, Barak Wiser, have appointments with these guys to view the new lines that are coming out soon. He places orders and they ship us the product and presto, you have a skate shop with the hottest gear out there, just like Skatepark of Tampa.

The Volcom Sausagefest Mini-Ramp Jam
There is no denying that trade shows can get a little boring at times. The guys at Volcom know this, so they make it a point to always liven up the shows a bit. You can count on a new gimmick from Volcom every September and this year was arguably the best one yet...the German theme. They went to the following extremes to make sure that it was a hit:
  • The ENTIRE staff was dressed up in traditional German garb
  • Brats w/ ‘kraut, soft pretzels, and pickles were served all day, each day at no charge
  • 29 kegs of beer were served throughout the weekend at no charge
    • Authentic mugs were provided
    • There was apple juice in case you couldn’t drink beer
  • Their tent was painted like an authentic street in Germany
  • There was a “real” German man playing the acordian
At 4pm on Friday the Volcom Booth (tent) and the Mini-Ramp area was a full-blown party that lasted for nearly two hours. Some of their staff were on top of picnic tables giving beer bongs to anyone with an ID, stuff was getting thrown all over the place, and there was a sound system blasting tunes for everyone to dance to. I was watching from the Mini-Ramp thinking, “I can’t believe they’re getting away with this.”

The Mini-Ramp Jam was right in line with the German theme and aptly named “Sausagefest.” The ramp had cardboard cut-outs of beer everywhere, lights under the coping, and literally the largest banner that I’ve ever seen on top of it that read “Sausagefest.” The best part about all of this Volcom stuff is that it was a surprise because it was never officially announced as Sausagefest, only as the “Volcom Mini-Ramp Jam.” Hats off to Volcom.

Sausagefest Am Jam
This was supposed to be a “top am” contest, but some overzealous parents didn’t really get it. I was so hungover and over it in general that I’m sure that I was rude to a couple of people that were bugging me to get in the Am Jam, but if someone was throwing comments like this at you, you would have been short with them, too:
  • One dad actually told me, “My son is ranked number one in Florida.”
  • A random mom said, “My son isn’t going to win the Contest,” and then followed up with, “So he has to be sponsored by companies like Rip Curl and Billabong?” I tried to tell her that maybe she wasn’t familiar with the way we run things, but she insisted she was. I gave up at that point.
Out of all of our Skatepark of Tampa crew, the only guy to make the finals out of nearly 30 skaters was Matt Giles. Lehman, Abdias, Dark Jay, and Scotty Conley all took a big poop. Here’s how the top 10 ended up:
  • 10th – Johnny Randolph – old friend from NC still has it
  • 9th – Evan Smith – this kid had more mini-ramp skills than I thought
  • 8th – Chris Rothrock – Chris took some heckling from the announcers for his Smolik-like appearance, but he came through with switch front blunts and blunt kickflips to fakie
  • 7th – Mario Da Silva – took a flight all the way from the west coast to blast airs into the finals
  • 6th – Jared Lee – last year’s champ ripped, but just not hard enough, although he now has the Peterblunt on lock
  • 5th ($100) – Matt Giles – Giles put together long lines and stayed on, earning himself a money-spot
  • 4th ($200) – George Evans – Jacksonville’s finest started his runs by nollieing in on the extension and ended with kickflips and nollie flips in...damn
  • 3rd ($300) – Ben Andrews – fast, solid, and under control, Ben does the best backside bonelesses ever and can even do a backside boneless rewind...try and picture that one
  • 2nd ($400) – Grant Taylor – he qualified first and was favored to win in the eyes of many, but Collin’s last couple of runs did him in. Grant still came through with the most stylish stalefishes off the extension and a kickflip stalefish to fakie about three feet out
  • 1st ($500) – Collin Provost – this was a first place finish well-earned with huge lein melon disasters, and grinds, tailslides, and lines worthy of top honors, not to mention the longest lipslide of the weekend

Sausagefest Pro Contest
This is what everyone had been waiting for. I don’t think that anyone realized how much fun a legit mini-ramp contest would be until Volcom came up with the idea about a year ago. And then add a $20,000 purse in the mix and you can get all of the heavy hitters to come out. Here are some of the guys that didn’t make the cut that I wish would have:
  • Justin Strubing – if you’ve never seen Justin skate in person then you’re missing out. He was blowing minds all weekend, but he couldn’t pull it together in the qualifiers
  • Garold Vallie – you may not know who Garold is, but he’s my homey from the mid-west and he supports everything we do. Garold had the run of his life, but it just didn’t match up to those that made the cut
  • Barker Barrett – if I have to explain, then you wouldn’t understand
When it came down to the main event, the format went as follows:
  • One intro run – skate until you fall
  • 20-minute jam
  • One final run – skate until you fall
I think that all of the finalists liked the format, because if you’re not into skating gnar snake-session jams, then you still have two runs to shine. But since the Finals were judged as a combination of your runs and the Jam, you pretty much have to dominate both the runs and the Jam to come up with a top placing. Here’s how it came out:
  • 10th – Gugu Ramos ($500) – all the way from Brazil and just like the rest of them from there, he rips tranny. I specifically liked his fs ollie tailgrabs
  • 9th – Kenny Hughes ($600) – Kenny was another victim of Schaefer on the mic, but these comments were a bit more personal. You had to be there because I’m not repeating them. It didn’t affect Big Kenny though, because he front feebled to revert all the way home with six bills
  • 8th – Chris Senn ($700) – Chris summed it up when he said, “Aloha,” instead of ‘hello’ when he greeted me. You can tell that Hawaii was a great move for him and his skating, which was as fast and exciting as ever
  • 7th – Donny Barley ($800) – how sick is it that Donny skated a mini-ramp contest? He showed up last minute and basically didn’t get any practice, but that didn’t stop him from ruling the ramp and nailing a proper backside 360 flip in the Jam
  • 6th – Bruno Passos ($900) – another Brazilian with mad tranny skills. Someone called him Bob Burquist’s stunt man. That sounds pretty accurate because his backside bluntslides and back lips were possibly even better than Bob’s
  • 5th – Benji Galloway ($1000) – all-terrain destroyer came out and showed Orlando that he has an endless back of tricks. He skates switch no problem back and forth and nailed a 360 eggplant on the extension
  • 4th – Mike Peterson ($2000) – scaredom (inside joke) couldn’t keep this redneck down. Peterdong annihilated the ramp with a smile on the entire time
  • 3rd – Anthony Furlong ($3000) – vert ripper hadn’t skated a mini-ramp all summer, but it certainly didn’t look like it. His Madonna’s on the extension showed that he’s been killing the vert, but his blunt combos and 5-0’s to fakie were proof that he’s a mini-ramp champ
  • 2nd – Dennis Busenitz ($4000) – does it seem weird that Volcom’s riders placed so highly in both the Am and Pro? If you were there then you would understand how gnarly Busenitz got. For those that don’t ride ramps, Dennis makes riding ramps cool. His flow, style, and the ability to react without thinking in a jam session is what separates the boys from the men
  • 1st – Kyle Berard ($5000) – fifty big ones aren’t a bad day’s work, huh? Just for the record, Kyle was at the hospital until 7am the morning of the Jam getting his heart checked out. He was a little worried, but it certainly didn’t show. Berard made us all proud by literally dominating both of his runs and the Jam. A couple of my favorites were the full cab front blunt and the back d front revert. Nice work, Son

Too Many Parties
I had the opportunity to roll into Orlando on Thursday night and get the partying started early, but in hindsight I’m really glad that I didn’t choose that option. Instead, I got started on Friday night with a trip to Typhoon Lagoon. It was 100% free if you were an attendee of Surf Expo and there was free beer if you had the cool-guy wristband. The entire park was open to be roamed; hence, the lines were short so you could pretty much ride anything as fast as you could make it back into line. My highlight was swimming with the sharks.

On Saturday night the Skatepark of Tampa crew was invited to dinner at Charley’s Steakhouse. The food was good and the company was even better. Rob sent his steak back as usual and Scotty and I devoured the appetizer seafood platter. My filet was excellent...thanks to Timothy and everyone else from Sole Technology for the good times and for picking up the tab.

After dinner I got dragged over to Pointe Orlando, to this bar called Lulu’s. I heard that Two Live Crew was supposed to be playing, but it was free to get in, so I figured that that was misinformation. But lo and behold, Two Live Crew played a set and the place got loose. You could catch your favorite pro skateboarders getting down and dirty with the girls dancing on the tables. It was definitely a fun time. Thanks to everyone that bought me drinks that night. It was great to not spend any money, but it didn’t seem like a great idea the next morning.

So all in all it was another truly successful weekend. Thanks to Volcom, Expo, and Team Pain for making the Sausagefest a success. Our judges, Allen Russell, Tito Porrata, and Jason Rothmeyer did an excellent job. Thanks to all of the pros that came out and the great crowd that we always get at Expo to cheer them on. If I forgot you...you know who you are.

Ryan

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