Phoenix Am 2006

Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 by Ryan

PHX AM 2006
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Matt Giles truck bonks at a spot we found right outside the airport on the way home
Random chill shots from our last day in Phoenix
While we were at that bank spot, the Zoo York crew showed up and skated with us. That's Ron Deily getting a sequence done
This is The Wedge skate spot turned skate park somewhere outside of Phoenix
Dylan Perry - backside 180 at the wedge
No Mr. F'in Mini-Van for us. We rented a damn pick-up truck and hosted tailgate sessions. Keep it Florida in AZ
Tommy Sandoval's backside noseblunt on the bump to big ass barrier at the end of his run is what put him in the first place qualifier spot on Saturday
Pedestrian regulation from the sidelines at The Wedge spot - Clements, Body, and Anton
Filmer Sara - thanks for filming and lurking with us all weekend
Ryan Lay made this switch 360 flip while snapping his board in the center during Best Trick
Ryan Clements - back tail at the banks in downtown Phoenix
Random photos from the plane - flying into Phoenix
The Finals results
Marius Syvanen - frontside noseblunt slide on the bump to concrete picnic table
Marius Syvanen - backside big spin up the step-up
Dylan Perry - first try gap ollie to scary narrow landing pad. I just happened to be pointing the camera in that direction
Jeffrey Marshall - 360 flip over the hip
Can't remember the mini Jap kid's name, but he's got some tranny skills for a tiny human pad. He's going to grow up and be good
Matt Giles - crooks on the bump to big ass barrier
Matt Giles - frontside tailslide from low to high at that bank spot
Tommy Sandoval - frontside tailslide to fakie
Foot fetish for this trip
Those two goons on the right were seriously repping those hair pieces. Fakewon (fake Daewon) and Mikey Hair Mouse were just random lurkers in Hooters. Dylan Perry mocked up his hair to fit in for the photo. The goons where hyped
Dylan Perry - kickflip over some rail in downtown Phoenix. He later 50-50'd it, but I blew it and missed it
Dylan Perry - wallie up 5-0 fakie at that bank spot
David Reyes - frontside noseblunt slide. He ended up in 8th place
David Gonzales has expert tranny skills - stalefish hair bomb
David Gonzales - frontside salad. He's still the same size
Kurtis Calomonico was the fake Hooters birthday for the night
Ryan Clements - field goal through the trees frontside tail slide revert at that bank spot
Danny Cerezini - switch flip. I didn't see what board he was riding. He's not on Flip anymore
Who dat? Backside flip over the fire hydrant
Brian Delatorre showed up with a bag of sauce, not to be confused with a Bag of Suck. Both equally butter, though. The bag of sauce was passed around like a goblet at the king's dinner and enjoyed by Dallas Rockvam, Kurtis Calomonico, and Matt Giles
Scotty The Body Conley - backside 5-0
Aaron Artis disappeared for a while last night then showed up with a bloody face. He says some chick backhanded him and cut him open with her ring. He was psyched
Anton Arratia - shifty flip over the fire hydrant that almost killed The Body. If you saw that slam, you're definitely laughing to yourself right now
This was Adam Dyet's last try during Best Trick (900k gif file)
Wow, Rob Meronek not doing a melon grab. That's a 360 flip to fakie at the bank spot
Nick Fiorini nollie frontside feebles his way to first place at Phoenix Am 2006 (800k gif file)
Rob Meronek - he does way too many melon grabs (700k gif file)
Anton Arratia - ollie impossible to fakie at some retirement community near the Peoria Skatepark where the Contest is at. This place was super fun. We were there for a couple hours and didn't get kicked out (1mb gif file)
Matt Giles - kickflip (1mb gif file)
Elmer Fudd would be extra psyched in downtown Phoenix - there are wabbits everywhere
Full-On Skate
Phoenix is a full-on skate town. If you want to skate year-round and have a bunch of parks at your disposal at all times, then this is the place to live. When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we headed straight to the Contest site, which is what everyone calls Peoria. Damn, what an amazing park. The ground is so smooth that it feels like you’re riding on marble, so make sure that you don’t have any flat spots on your wheels if you ever get to go there. Even though it was technically closed at the time, Trent from Cowtown graciously let us ride until we were exhausted.

From there we were all like, “Let’s go skate some more,” but after dinner everyone was beat, so we hit the sack to get ready to rip on Friday. The time change is nice when you’re heading west. It’s two hours earlier in AZ than in FL, so it makes it much easier to get up in the mornings. The first park we hit was Tempe. It’s the one that I twisted my ankle at last year the first 15 minutes of skating and was out for the rest of the trip. This time it was all good though.

There was a guest appearance from Ronnie Creager at Tempe, which was sick. He told me that he was NOT in Tampa a couple of months ago...so that means that the local tramp that claimed that is more of a liar than I ever imagined (that’s insider info).

After that spot we went to what’s called The Wedge. It’s basically a legendary, old skate spot that they just turned into a legit skate park. It has the actual “wedge,” which apparently used to have hips, but they skate proofed them. The rumor is that Randy Colvin ollied the 20’ deck way back-in-the-day, but I don’t know if it’s possible (maybe Reynolds can do it). There’s still plenty of natural terrain to ride there though, but the ‘planned’ skate park is absolutely horrendous. I mean, it’s so poorly designed and built that it’s actually fun. It crossed the other spectrum of bad and turned out so bad that it’s really not that bad at all.

At this point it was only 4pm and we were all sunburned, dehydrated, and exhausted from the day’s activities. The night came to a close back at Peoria, where we watched all of the heads roll into town to get their lines down for the Contest.

Qualifiers (April Fool’s Day)
The conversation went like this:

Ryan: Laura, what time does the Contest start tomorrow?
Laura: 9am.
Ryan: Yeah, but what time do the actual runs start?
Laura: 9am.
Ryan: Why so early?
Laura: We have a lot of people.

That trading of words took place the day before April Fool’s Day, so I thought that maybe Laura was getting a Joke in on me early, but I guess not, because she wasn’t smiling. Needless to say, the crew wasn’t too stoked when they heard the news that we had to be there at 8:45am.

When we rolled up the park was packed with spectators and skating was already going down. They did actually get it started pretty close to 9am. Ironically, Jeffrey Marshall and Matt Giles were 1st and 2nd respectively to get things started. Yeah, it sucks, but someone’s got to go first in every Contest.

To make a long, long, hot, tiring, sunburned, long day of Qualifiers short, here’s how our guys ended up:

- PeeWee Kirks – 44th
- Scotty Conley – 39th (April Fool’s – he got 93rd)
- Dylan Perry – 51st
- Matt Giles – 71st
- Jeffrey Marshall – 85th
- Anton Arratia – 100th

Scotty had a great quote though:

I really got to start landing some $h!t or it’s gonna’ be really embarrassing.

I guess that didn’t work out so well for him. And damn, I guess we didn’t need to worry about making it to the Semi-Finals on time on Sunday either, huh?

I tried my hardest to get people all day long with April Fool’s jokes. I think that some of them went over well and others didn’t. At least I talked the Element crew into having dinner at Hooters with us. And to our surprise the Dwindle guys showed up, too. And it happened to be Kurtis Colamonico’s b-day (April Fool’s to him).

Here are some random things that I remember from the day:

- David Loy is a little ripper and his mom is a hottie. I heard that David gets bummed when you say stuff about his mom being hot, but considering he weighs about 46lbs. I don’t see him really saying much to me about my comment
- Lizard King slammed so hard over the bank-to-barrier that they had to get the paramedics over there. He ended up being okay, but felt like hell and blew it in his run
- Grant Patterson is much less gangsta’ and he did a nollie 180 heel down the gigantic stair set in his run
- Since Cody McEntire did the best bs nollie biggie down the double-set at Tampa Am, it seems like it’s the trick to do. A lot of people had them up the step-up and over the fire hydrant, but only Sierra Fellers had them over the huge bank-to-barrier
- Rob Meronek 180 meloned that bank-to-barrier. That was ill...
- We skated an amazing banked planter spot that was only minutes from the Contest site. The spot was actually in the shade and mere feet from a man-made lake. I don’t think the scenery could have been any better, and to top it off, the Zoo York crew, including Rob Welsh, sessioned it with us. That was a highlight for me

Finals and Best Trick
After frying out in the sun all day yesterday, I thought that it would be better to go skate in the morning and show up at the Contest site right as the Finals started. We hit downtown Phoenix, which definitely had some great spots. Our first stop was a Chase building with banks all the way around it. We got kicked out after about five minutes, but then went right back to it after a Starbucks stop and got to skate for about half an hour. The highlight would have been Dylan making his front blunt, but that didn’t happen.

The next spot had to have been some type of Federal building or something because the security guard that kicked us out took it really, really seriously. He came out hot as hell, but then chilled once he realized we weren’t resisting or anything. At the final spot we once again got kicked out, but this time it was by the legit cops...and it happened right when Dylan was about to get his move. The officer got out of the car smiling and said, “Did you guys get your photos yet?” Only if all cops could be that cool...

We arrived at the Contest site and the Semis were still going on, so I just hung low until it was time to take notes for the Finals. The PHX AM definitely attracted the top dogs. When it really got down to it, every single kid ripped, and here’s how it went down.

11th – Magnus Hanson – I’ve heard this kid’s name before, but I had never seen him in person. Apparently he’s good because he made the cut, but he just couldn’t pull it together for his Final runs

10th – Marius Syvanen – Once Marius quit Hawk it was all uphill from there. He lost the little kid moniker and started ripping like a man. His noseblunt slides on the bank to tall ledge were proper, but he couldn’t put it all together in his run to make it past 10th place

9th – Jarold Webb – This is the second year in a row that Jarold Webb was in the Finals at PHX. Coming off an impressive 2nd last year, Jarold’s consistent, smooth style barely got him in the top 10 this time around

8th – David Reyes – Even though I took notes I don’t really remember this guy, so I looked him up on our Skater Search at www.skateparkoftampa.com and it came back. He had a photo doing a fs noseblunt slide in a recent issue of Skateboarder Magazine, which is exactly what he pulled down the big rail

7th – Brandon Westgate – I saw him pay homage to Suski and 5boro with a proper Suski grind on one of the bank to ledges. I’m a huge Brandon fan. Considering he’s still super-young he’s skating at an excellent, well-rounded, and entertaining level. His style is ill and he’s going places

6th – Tulio De Oliveira – This Brazilian is making MN home at the moment, but I’ve been seeing him everywhere. He’s got the switch lipslide on the big rail every single try without fail. I even saw him roll up to it kind of sketchy and still bust the switch lip like it was nothing. I heard that he was skating with a broken foot or something, too

5th – Tommy Sandoval – Tommy Guns is a beast and he’s the last guy in the world that I would expect to be in the Finals of nearly every contest he enters, but he knows how to put a run together...and that’s what counts when it comes to contests. He did so much stuff, but fell on his haymakers, so that’s what kept him out of the top three.

4th – Jordan Hoffart – He ain’t no little kid no more, is he? Jordan is now a grown-ass man and is skating like one, too. The trick that stands out in my mind is his varial heel to bs 5-0 on the bank to tall ledge – he can pretty much do that one every try. In addition, he was ollieing over entire obstacles instead of skating them

3rd – Taylor Smith – Okay, what’s the deal with this kid? Is he on Plan B or what? I hear that he is and then I hear that he isn’t, so I’d just like a straightforward answer, okay? Regardless, he absolutely killed it in his 3rd run with a cab kickflip up the step-up and a krooks back lip on the big rail. He was one kickflip front board away from 2nd place

2nd – David Gonzales – Put on some AC/DC and watch him rip. This kid is literally a skateboarding machine and quite possibly may turn into one of the best skateboarders of all time. It’s documented – I said it. His kickflip bs 50/50 on the huge hubba was after time, but it didn’t really matter because he ended up in 2nd without it. With that in mind, he would have probably won the whole damn deal if it had been before time was up

1st – Nick Fiorini – I kept asking, “Who is this guy?” when he was skating and finally got an answer from Kong, the Osiris TM. Not to take anything away from him, but apparently Peoria is Nick’s home park. It didn’t matter though because he’s got the nollie on lock. His move is the nollie fs 5-0 on the big handrail. In addition, Justin Williams from Force Trucks said, “I like this kid because he does that trick,” referring to Nick’s nollie half-cabs on the quarter. It was a well-deserved first place for the hometown kid

Best Trick
This was a tough one for me to watch because all of the spectators barged the course, so viewing of the handrail/stair area was a bit limited. I did my best to catch what was going down though, in between conversations and asking, “What the hell was that?” when Tyler Hendley was trying double hardflips and/or double porpoise flips (if you don’t know what those are, then you’re not alone). Unfortunately he didn’t make one. Here’s some other stuff that stood out during Best Trick:

- Terell Robinson actually didn’t land anything, which is pretty rare because he’s the Best Trick type and loves to step it up when the heat is on. Since he didn’t land anything I’m going to tell him his new nickname...it’s Brother Darkness. Reason: He’s black with an afro, but he rocks the tight gear and concert shirts to throw everyone off. Terrell also told me, and I quote, “This is worser than the Tampa rail.”
- Sierra Fellers did a frontside bigspin boardslide...damn
- Lizard King threw down a bs 180 one-footer. The crowd liked that one, but who doesn’t like Lizard?
- Ryan Lay joined in the Best Trick and I don’t think that he was even in the Contest at all, but I could be wrong with that one. He did a switch tre down the stairs...wow

When it was all said and done, one of the first tricks that gone done ended up winning the whole damn deal. Robbie Brockell did a kickflip bs 360 down the stairs and landed damn near perfect. When it went down people were yelling, “It’s over! It’s over!” and it had just begun, but in reality it WAS over. Nice job, Robbie.

Two weekend vacations in a row make me feel a bit guilty. I think that I should be back behind the desk right away or something. Soon enough. Before that happens I would like to thank the fine folks at Cowtown for their hospitality and thanks to the Arizona sun for the melanoma.

Ryan

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