Automatic Mag’s Battle of the Shops 2006 Presented by Adio

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006 by Ryan

Automatic Mag’s Battle of the Shops 2006
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Active Erica and Felix at the Circa Premiere. Erica is in marketing over at Active and Felix is in marketing for himself. If you want to come and work in the sketchy skateboard business, marketing seems to be one of the more fun things to be doing
Alex Pedrosa is floating a nollie down the double set. There's mic man Brian Schaefer behind him. He should be jumping down these stairs like that ten set from a while back
Ryan Bobier - frontside nosegrind
Josh Moore - backside flip down the double set
Joshua Grossguth - late shuv down the double set
It's great going to California and getting a tour of skateboard company offices that our friends work at. This is Giant Distribution, home of Popwar, Stereo, Bueno, and more. Looks like lots of serious meetings regarding the sketchy skateboard business go down here
Remember Jimmy Carlin from the eS Game of Skate last year? He got second behind Jim Bates. I don't think Jim Bates can ollie high enough to make it down this double set. Jimmy has all the snaps, though. Double your pleasure, double your fun, double your kickflip, and double your stairset
Jimmy Carlin's got a good looking hard flip. No illusion flipping here
Everyone's favorite loud mouth - Chris Troy. He's bringing this disaster on the side of the quarter pipe in to fakie
Colin New - frontside feeble grind
Part of the street course at Giant Distribution
Outside the Circa Premiere, there were at least 20 people doing wristband operations so they could get into the VIP party. We had to leave just when things were starting to cook up. Hopefully Graham Bickerstaff and his crew here made it in
Ryan Dewitt is on the left - he's the Element team manager. Tom Curran is in the center. He used to be the World team manager but is now currently looking for a new job in the sketchy skateboard business. That's Chris Haslam on the right with possibly some sort of new gang symbol being thrown out
This alley oop Jay Thorpe did over the channel was quite large
Joshua Grossguth - he rips. This is a backside flip
That's Justin Williams from Force Trucks reaching into Jereme Rogers' big baller Mercedes ride. Everyone had their best rock star gear on at the Circa Premiere and I think Jereme was best dressed champ. I felt underdressed
This was nuts - Justin Gordon ollied up from that quarter to fakie rock on the brick vert wall
The line formed early and long on Hollywood Boulevard where the Circa Premiere was. Peter Ramondetta should get his own star on the sidewalk
A nice VIP spot to watch the Contest from. That's Joey Brezinski with a beer instead of a skateboard. He's a spectator now because he's pro. Last year he won the Tech
Who dat? I don't know, but he's not old enough to be melon grabbing
When you add up all the placings from the four best trick events, Pharmacy's riders placed the best and had the lowest total. They got $5,000 for first
Who dat? Pole jam melon grab. Not many people were hitting the pole jam thing. Also, not many people had crooked hats and mullets like this dude who got in the way
Rammy Issa has no gang symbols or funny faces to throw out
If you like staring out of plane windows like I do, this is what flying out of San Diego looks like
Tommy Sandoval - back tail to fakie leveled out right
This is Stacey Lowery at the Giant facility doing a nosebonk on the shark fin rail that somehow ended up here from the Vans Downtown Showdown
On the left is the Capitol Records building. In the center is some chick getting a Brian Schaefer and Tony Tave sandwitch. On the right is the limo the Circa crew rolled up in for the Premiere
It was pretty tough to take photos for the Tech obstacle part of it. This is just a small part of the chaos on that thing
The theater was packed for the Circa premiere. If you wanted to drink, your wallet had to be packed, too. I bought three Bud Lights in a can, handed over a twenty, and got two bucks change back. I thought I was missing a five or a ten
Serious sketchy skateboard industry partying going down at the Circa Premiere
Tony Cervantes is no longer on hair bomb status
Windsor James had a ripping part. I know he irons his jeans. Does he brush them, too?
Seeing the Sights before the Battle
I had already been in California for several days for “meetings” (reasons currently undisclosed) prior to picking Brian and Rob up from the airport on Thursday. They came out a day early to check out the sights and skate a bit. Our first stop was Carlsbad Skate Park (http://www.socalskateparks.com/park/Carlsbad). It’s real bad, and not designed by Jeff Taylor.

The next morning we stopped by the event site and realized that there was basically nothing for us to do, so we made our way up towards LA with a quick stop at the Giant Distribution Warehouse in Huntington Beach. A heated skate session was going down in their TF and we got to witness Chad Tim Tim and Stacey Lowery proceed to destroy a ledge for about an hour. The course was fun and after working up a nice sweat we got a tour of the offices and distribution areas. It’s always cool to see how others work behind-the-scenes.

Circa Premiere – It’s Time
From Huntington we headed up to Hollywood for the Circa Premiere. It cost $20 to park in the lot next to the Avalon – damn. We walked up and there must have been 1000 kids in line out front.

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few video premieres in California and they’re always eventful. You get to see all of skateboarding’s VIP’s…damn, that sounds lame even writing that, but that’s how it seems when you’re there. Other than the video itself, which consisted of great skating, music, and editing, the premieres are sometimes more entertaining than the videos themselves. Here are a few things that I remember seeing:
  • Ragdoll was hanging out next to the bar (imagine that) and snagged a bottle of liquor when the bartender turned around
  • Jereme Rogers, with girlfriend Stephanie in tow, looked like he belonged on the red carpet for real. They rolled out early in a 5 series Mercedes with wheels that I’ve never even seen before. To add to the style, they had their little tiny puppy in the car, too
  • Muska was there
  • The was a really long line for the drinks, and when you got up to the bar the cheapest one was $7
I know I’m making fun and all, but the video was sick and their entire crew had amazing parts. From the vets to the new guns, Circa has a crew of rippers.

Battle of the Shops
For the past three years Automatic Magazine has hosted a shop vs. shop contest at the Adio warehouse (I’m calling it Adio even though all of the shoes are now shipped out of Reno) in Carlsbad. This one-day-event hosts some of the best am talent that Southern California, and skateboarding in general, has to offer. The format consists of four, 30-minute jams on four different obstacles and each shop has one skater in each jam. A winner is crowned for each jam and then the shop with the overall highest points ranks supreme.

Tech
Rob walked up to me and said, “It’s impossible to get a decent photo of anyone skating this obstacle.” I’ll have to add that it was equally difficult announcing it. There were so many tricks going down on the manny pad, up (curved) ledge, regular ledge, and so on that it was hard to comprehend each maneuver and announce it before the next one was pulled.

When it was all said and done, Justin Schulte from Val Surf was the victor and received $1000. I do remember him pulling a manual up the up-ledge, rolling down fakie, and then kickflipping out, which I’m sure made Daewon proud. A close second place went to Danny Wallace from Pacific Drive who many thought was going to take it before the event even started.

Double Set
From the Tech Center we immediately started practice for the four-flat-four stair gap. And other than an ollie, it’s not like the skaters really needed much practice. The crowd was super-hyped and kept creeping closer and closer and closer to see the action first-hand with a front row seat. When that happens several spectators are bound to get a board to the shins. This time it just happened to be me that received one.

For the two Battles prior to this one the winner of the gap has been Jimmy Carlin from Street Machine, and this time he didn’t let anyone down either. I remember him doing a double kickflip so perfect that it was ridiculous. The rest of his bag was so deep that now as I write this it’s just a blur to me. He might not have won the $15k that was up for the Koston Game of SKATE (he got 2nd to Jim Bates in that one), but he earned his G at the Battle of the Shops.

I imagine that 2nd and 3rd was a tough decision for the judges, but results ended up being Josh “Doogie” Moore from Settlement and Joshua Grossguth from Pharmacy respectively.

Tranny
SoCal has a lot of kids that rips ramps. There were a few older guys in the mix, but I would venture to say that the average age out there was probably about 20. For me, this was the most entertaining event of the day, but maybe that’s because I had a nice, cool spot in the shade to view it from. Here’s what I recall:
  • There was some kid wearing knee pads that I really held back the urge to clown, but didn’t
  • Justin Gordon from Utility did a feeble fakie on the center tombstone which had about 4’ of vert
  • Drew Potter from Pacific Drive skated smooth and stylish
  • There were a couple of sketchy kids in there that looked like they really had never skated a ramp prior to that session – one of them kept trying fs bonelesses to tail
  • Jay Thorpe did an alley-oop melon over the channel so smooth and perfect it looked like he was on a vert ramp
The dust settled and I’m sure it was a unanimous decision by the judges that Josh Mattson was the tranny champ. He had more tricks than anyone and a few really unique ones like the bs 50-50 to fs 270 boneless out. Josh was so stoked when he won his $1000 that he kissed the check.

Handrail
This is what we were all waiting for, right? Doesn’t any and every skateboarder want to see some serious handrail carnage?

The jam was about five minutes in and all was going well, when some Richie Belton-little-kid-look-a-like threw a can at Andrew Pott and covered the runway with beer. I approached the kid to tell him to get off the property and he keeps walking faster and faster away from me. I assume that many thought hat he was about to get an ass-whooping because about a minute later I realize that there were several others following me that pretty much want to give this idiot a beat-down. Right then I saw a cop car drive down the street, I told the cop what was up, and I made my exit.

Last I heard was that he got hit over the head with a board and ended up in the hospital. That’s not so good for him, but he completely brought it upon himself.

There may have been a lot of commotion, but that didn’t stop the handrail rippers from skating. The beer had dried up and everyone was hucking themselves upon my return. One kid was like, “Is this Contest going on or what?” I replied, “Hell yeah, it’s going on! Do this!”

In the background I realized that the entire Carlsbad Police Department had rolled up with lights flashing, K-9’s, and there was even a ghetto bird flying around. I got the “hurry up and get this done” tap on the shoulder. When it was all said and done, here’s how the Handrail ended up:

5th – Cameron Brooks (Urban) – I’ll be damned if I can’t remember a single thing about Cameron…sorry
4th – Jake Smith (Utility) – Same goes for this kid
3rd – Michael Prince (Asylum) – I’m a big fan of this kid. He’s entertaining to watch and he gives a 100% effort
2nd – Charlie Castelluzzo (Pacific Drive) – His switch fs 5-0 was gnar, but not quite gnar enough
1st ($1000) – Marquise Preston (Pharmacy) – You don’t get picked up by Chocolate for nothing and Marquise has the bag and style to back it up

The scores from each obstacle were tallied and the overall Shop Winner was Pharmacy, who was psyched to take $5000 back home.

Special thanks to Mike Migdol, Jeff Taylor, all of the Adio staff, Four Down, and the rest of the staff and volunteers that worked to make this event possible. Thanks to the little bastards that didn’t steal the banners, too.

Battle of the Shops Full Results

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