9th Annual Texas Skate Jam

Posted on Monday, November 07, 2005 by Ryan

9th Annual Texas Skate Jam
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Check out your dad trying to come up in the huge product toss. Thanks to these companies that sent stuff: Adio, Zoo York, NHS, Norcal, Santa Cruz, Spitfire, IPath, Black Label, Flip, Fallen, Ryan Sheckler Family, Baker, Cliché, Stereo, Dwindle, 411, Split, Girl/Chocolate, Hubba, City, Think, Popwar, Stereo, Powell, Zero, Mystery, Plan B, Sole Tech, Thrasher, Consolidated, Birdhouse
I thought Terell Robinson was on Vans. He's backside 360 kickflipping up the step-up here in some Fallens
Stu Graham's backside disaster on that vert wall was insane
The Good Times bar next door had a skater special. Sick. Wouldn't you like to see your name on that sign instead of Chaz's?
I first met Brandon Boehm at the K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico and now we meet again in Texas. Making new friends left and right is the best thing about skateboarding events. This is a backside overcrook on the bump to flat bar
The Toy Machine crew had a nice set of chicks rolling with them the whole weekend. Billy Marks nollie inward heels up the step-up while they cheer for him on the sidelines
If Big Black knew I was doing my Asian Big Black impression of him while we were taking this photo, he probably would have bitch slapped the air out of my cheeks. That's DJ Speed from Ezekiel behind us
Antwuan Dixon signed tons of autographs. He blew up overnight from that part in Baker 3. That stare from the red headed stepchild is looking a little creepy
Ronnie Bertino - inward heel up the step-up
This was the craziest product toss I've seen so far. These kids are fighting over Jereme Rogers' board that he threw into the crowd. There was a mom standing next to me completely freaking out like someone was getting murdered. I told her this was normal and she gave me a look that could have burned holes in my head
This is the kid that got Jereme Rogers' board - he's hyped
Terell Robinson - kickflip boardslide
This was spotted at the After-Party. If Nyjah Huston had a rat tail, this is what it might look like
Josh Kalis - switch big heel up the step-up
Johnny Layton making Ed Templeton proud - ollie impossible tail grab up the step-up
The nerd in me was high fiving myself when I saw how Johnny Layton mentioned the Skatepark of Tampa site in his Skateboard Mag interview this month. This is a triple kickflip up the step-up. You'd think a triple kickflip would look pretty ugly, but it wasn't when Johnny did it
Jereme Rogers - kickflip back lip
Last time I saw Christian Hosoi skate was when I used to watch Savanna Slamma and Mt. Trashmore videos all day back in the last century. It was nice to see him in the bowl. This is a backside alley-oop carve on the vert wall
This is the bar next door appropriately called Good Times. Many good times have been had here. That's Kenny Huges and Brian Wenning at the bar on the left
Not sure what "Free Wil" is or means. Not sure why that photographer is naked, either
A small sample of the extra young female skateboard fans hanging out all weekend
I guess Felix never made it to the end on that reality show he was on. At least he makes it to skate events. This is a 360 flip up the step-up
I'm fanning out on two band members from groups I like. The chick is from The Soviettes. The dude on the right is from this band I was totally feeling called The Epoxies. The lead singer is a chick with serious dance moves that puts on a very entertaining show. They sound like a mix of old punk rock with some 80's thrown in
Greg Lutzka and a dazed and confused Sam Smyth
Dyson Ramones was extra wasted at the After-Party
Brian Schaefer and another supportive and hot skateboard mom, Kim Cherryhomes. Her son Heath Cherryhomes skated in Tampa Am a couple years ago
There's that hot mom, Kim Cherryhomes, with Donny Barley and Christian Hosoi
You're probably going to be seeing more and more of Derek Simon. He rips and he's got the support of his parents, too. This is a frontside flip fatty to flatty. Check back later for more photos
Don Nguyen, please don't feed the animals
Day from last year was hanging out all weekend. She has one of the most popular chick pics on the site
There were cops everywhere just chilling and waiting for something bad to happen at the After-Party. I asked them if it was illegal for them to be in photos. As soon as they said it wasn't, Don Nguyen and I went on a self portrait with cops mission and took a picture with every blue uniform in the place. This is Justin Williams, a random cop, Ryan Clements, Gabe Clement, Don, and another random cop
Chaz Pineda only needed two tries to make this 5-0 on the vert wall extension. I feel like I should move the logo over his butt crack like it's a gnarly upskirt shot
Alex Chalmers and Greg Lutzka get some tax breaks from Make-A-Wish
The lead singer of Against Me! had a SPoT Conge shirt on. There were a lot of punker chicks diving into the pit at this one
This is Travis Howell, another ripping photographer. You can see a little footage of him in the Adio dvd and you can see what skate photos he's taken on the Captain Corporate Coverage Patrol. I can't name the trick yet because it's being used in an online guessing game
This is Eric Derringer. He just got on enjoi flow. Pretty awkward looking position to be in, huh? I can't name the trick yet because this photo is being used in an online gussing game
I met this guy but can't remember his name. This is a bluntslide to front blunt out on the bank to triple parking block stack
This is Gabe Friedman. He's a photographer that's had some work in Slap as you can see by Captain Corporate's Coverage Patrol. It was nice to meet yet another ripping skate photographer. I can't name this trick yet because it's being used in an online guessing game
This photo doesn't do it justice, but flying into Houston as the sun was going down produced the most amazing view. On the left side of the plane, it was nighttime. On the right, it was the sun setting. In the sky, you could see a 10% full moon and a very bright shining Venus
Nice shirt, Charla. Beautiful Losers is at USF in Tampa from November 4 – December 17
What The Jam Is All About
But let’s put aside our petty little problems for the moment and address what’s truly important to us. Skateboarding, right? Not simply skateboarding, but skateboarding for a damn good cause, and that’s what the 9th Annual Make-A-Wish Texas Skate Jam is all about.

Tampa Am is my favorite event of the year. The raw energy and busting-out that goes down is second to none. But the Texas Skate Jam is my second favorite annual skateboarding fiasco. There’s just something about it that makes for a cool vibe. Basically all companies and teams are invited. It’s really simple. Show up and skate for a few hours, skate in the judged Jam if you like, and then go out to the After-Party. But there’s a bit more of a purpose behind the whole deal.

I’ve known about the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a long, long time. I first received one of their requests for donation in the mail over 10 years ago, describing how the organization grants wishes for terminally ill kids. No matter how big or small, they do whatever they can to make the dreams of a sick child come true. I’ll never forget what one of the pamphlets said: One terminally ill little girl wanted to have her mom be able to have a shopping spree at Wal Mart for her final wish. No trip to Disney World. No swimming with dolphins. No standing at the top of the Empire State Building. Shopping at Wal Mart for her mom is all she wanted. If that doesn’t tug at your heart-strings, then nothing will. I wish that I still had the innocence of that child.

So that’s why Schaefer, Rob, and I have been going to Southside Skatepark in Houston, Texas for the past few years. It may sound cheesy, but truly, it’s for the kids. Everyone volunteers, no one gets paid, all money raised goes to MAW, and we end up having a damn good time.

Bowl Jam
The bowl at Southside was built by Team Pain. It’s a little over 5’ deep and layered with that Finland birch plywood. I tried to skate it for a minute, but my traveled-out, alcoholic legs weren’t working. That didn’t prevent me from working up a sweat in 15 minutes though. That place was hot as hell, especially for early November. Since I was announcing all day I wasn’t able to take legit notes. Here are some things I remember from the Bowl Jam:
  • Chaz Pineda just turned 16 and is absolutely amazing. I was talking to some guy at the bar after the event and he said Chaz’s skating was “magical.” That’s quite a compliment
  • Jud Heald got jacked hard when the Jam first started from a collision, but that didn’t stop him from ollieing out to tail on the railing and hopping back in to revert
  • Garold Vallie did a Chris Baucom-esque layback air on the vert extension
  • The crowd and organizers tried their damndest to get Lizard King to do a nosegrab blunt fakie on the 6’ of vert. He stuck a couple, but just couldn’t ride away. That was crazy
The guys ripped up the whole bowl for over an hour, but they were actually being judged on what they could pull on the 6’ vert extension. When it was all said and done here’s who came out on top:

3rd – Chaz Pineda (Black Label) – fs pivot fs yanker out
2nd – Stu Graham (Osiris) – bs disaster and body jar at the last second
1st – Alex Chalmers (Adio/Flip) – invert and feeble to fakie - $5000 was donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Alex’s name

Street Jam
Instead of doing various best trick contests on different obstacles, Schaefer had the idea to just let the skaters use half of the course and do whatever they wanted. That ended up working very well because that meant that no particular “type” of skater would be excluded since there were so many different obstacles available to skate. $h!t went off for over an hour. Here are the Honorable Mentions:
Results
With all of the moves that went down, it was tough for the judges to pick a winner. And since there’s really no money at stake, only bragging rights, they decided to honor both Greg Lutzka and Jereme Rogers with a 1st place tie. Jereme and Greg both got $2500 donated to MAW in their names, giving them a nice write-off to send to Uncle Sam at year-end. They both did so many tricks that it’s ridiculous, with Lutzka doing full-on lines the entire Jam. Jereme’s switch ability is second to none and he put a whooping on the long handrail. Fourth place went to Terell Robinson, who did bs nollie bigspin over the entire bank-to-bank to flat. And finally, third place was bestowed upon Billy Marks thanks to his kickflip boardslides and lipslides. That was out of order, but you get the point.

Product Toss
Right before we announced the results we did a product toss, and it was damn near the biggest product toss of all time. I’ve never seen kids go so crazy over skateboarding product. I was actually worried about the safety of the kids at one point; it looked like a pit at a punk rock show with the way the crowd was swaying back and forth. You little bastards in Tampa have it made. These kids in Texas are product-toss-deprived.

Thanks
After the raffle, auction, and everything that was done to raise loot, we had around $40k. That’s a ton of money right there. I’m stoked that some random kid that’s ill is going to get to do something cool because of the Make-A-Wish Jam. We all should be proud of that. Thanks. And here are some special thanks that need to be taken care of. Normally we don’t do this extended list of ‘thank-yous,’ but this situation is different:

Judges
  • Jason Rothmeyer from Accel (and for the notes to write this piece, too)
  • Justin Williams from Venture
  • Heath Brinkley form DC Shoes
Sponsors
  • South Shore Distributing for putting it all together
  • Southside Skatepark for the use of the facility
  • The Adio crew for making it happen
  • Spitfire
  • Transworld
  • 411VM
  • Zoo York
  • The large number of volunteers that spent their day at Southside
  • Everyone else who sent product to help out
This story is already ridiculously long and I haven’t even gotten to the After-Party, so I’m going to spare you the raging details. Oh yeah, I almost forgot…right before the After-Party we all went to see Against Me! and the Soviettes at some cool bar in downtown Houston. I’m sure that Rob’s photos will be a story in itself.

The Ditch Session
Here’s a funny one: Rob and I did a last-minute flight change to make sure that we were able to attend a session in this local Houston ditch on Sunday. I woke up so hung-over on Sunday morning that I was thinking, “Why in the hell did I think that I would want to skate today?” I have to give a special thanks to the Adio After-Party for that one. It just happened to turn into one of those nights, you know?

Back to the ditch session...I know it sounds gay, but it was seriously epic. We caught a ride over there from our Surf Expo friends, Martha and Pete Kelly. I was feeling like crap and almost puked when Pete lit up a smoke with the windows up in the rental car. We arrived and I was just totally psyched. Travis Howell and the crew from Adio showed up and brought the tent, beers, and grill. There were so many rippers that I’ve never seen before that it was just totally inspiring. I probably skated for three of the four hours that we were there. The ditch was sick, the skaters were very friendly, and Todd Prince told us stories about Brian Schaefer way back-in-the-day. We made friends with Trent from Oklahoma City and he kindly drove us all the way back to Hobby Airport. Skateboarding and friends...is there anything else more important?

Ryan

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