ASR September 2006 – eS Game of SKATE
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 by Rob Meronek
ASR September 2006 – eS Game of SKATEWords by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
ASR is a place where different skate (and surf) brands sell their product. It’s in a big hall, formally known as a convention center. These different brands rent booths and promote their newest items. The guys from your local shop, wherever they may be located, make their bi-annual pilgrimage to San Diego to check out the hottest gear and place orders for the upcoming shopping season. Make sense?
As Chris Gentry once asked, “This is all about sales?!” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, it’s all about sales. As long as Company A buys from Company B and sells to Customer C, then we’re all able to have these great jobs in the Sketchy Skateboard Industry, as Rob likes to put it.
Generally, all different types of businesses have trade shows, but I would venture to say that the skateboarding industry probably has some of the best trade shows in existence.
Black Box and Random RippingWe all came out a day early to have some extra fun. For so many years now we’ve been flying in, going to the show, and then flying out. Our ‘new’ plan is to arrive a day early or stay a day late and start doing some local exploring of wherever we may be.
We started this trip with a 6am flight out of Tampa. That means that we had to be at TIA at 4:30am. That’s definitely the earliest I’ve ever gotten up. But the good part with leaving so early is that we landed in San Diego at about 10am, which left us an entire day to have fun.
The first place we stopped was Black Box Headquarters, where the crew skated and socialized with the ‘cool’ side of the Industry. A lot of the Mystery, Zero, and Fallen heavy hitters were in attendance, including The Chief. They had free BBQ and tours of the facility for all in attendance. Very nice…
From there we went to two of the worst skate parks of all time. These parks are so bad that they are actually good: Carlsbad and Leucadia (not sure if that’s how you spell it). The crappy transitions, horribly set coping, and lack of quality obstacles didn’t discourage us though…we were in Southern California skateboarding, not sitting behind a desk. Who’s gonna’ complain?
The PartiesWhat is a trade show without a great party? There are actually so many different parties going on each night that it’s difficult to pick which one we’re going to attend. On Thursday night Brian, Rob, and I missed them all and ended up having a late dinner, but the rest of the crew managed to hit the Altamont gig, which I heard was small and classy with free drinks.
The Friday night party was really the only one that I was concerned about attending. It was the Heartaches (Kristian Svitak’s band), Hank III, and Flogging Molly. What a line-up. It was a “private party,” which meant that you either had a ticket to get in for free or you didn’t get in…tickets were not for sale. I had a great time hanging out, drinking, and watching Lizard King offend people. Hank III was definitely a trip. He started with a country set, then it went to punk rock, and he ended it with metal. I had no idea what to expect and it was definitely entertaining.
Our Saturday night party experience was a bit more on the mellow side. Nike SB invited us to take a “three-hour tour” around the bay on a yatch. It was catered with some proper grub and there was plenty to drink. Good times were had by all, but I think that Lako wanted to go skate instead. And of course we ended up hanging with Braydon when we got back to the hotel…
eS Game of SKATELet’s finally talk some skateboarding, shall we? Who in the hell doesn’t love a game of SKATE? eS has really done it right with this event and it couldn’t be any simpler. It’s not like you need a bunch of ramps and some hubbas and handrails to play SKATE, right?
There was $10,000, winner take all, up for the last man standing. And once again it was sort of an upset (not in a bad way though…just surprising), just like last year. But before we get into the final match, let me tell you a few things I remember. I was unable to take notes because I was announcing…and announcing a Game of SKATE to a couple thousand people was like calling a golf game – definitely a weird experience because I didn’t want to yell or freak anyone out by calling them out and messing them up when it came down to $10,000. But here are some tidbits that I recall:
- P.J. Ladd skated. I’ve heard a few times “PJ this” or “PJ that,” but PJ was nothing but cool, polite, and friendly behind the scenes
- I had my money on Jimmy Carlin. He’s the guy that got beat by Jim Bates last year. Jimmy got taken out by Chris Cole and ironically they had played before because Jimmy is on Mystery flow
- Speaking of Jim Bates...where the hell was he?
- Darryl Grogan might piss some people off with his trick selection, but there’s no denying that the guy does his own thing. Check out Synopsis if you don’t know what I’m talking about
- There was some confusion with Sierra Fellers on his final match with Alex Mizurov. Apparently Alex’s shoe fell off and Sierra was asked if he was “going to give that one to him.” The nice guy that Sierra is he motioned or nodded or whatever, “Yes.” So it moved on and Sierra did a new trick and it was forgotten about. But then Mizurov beat Sierra and Sierra told us after the entire Game that he didn’t mean to “give it to him.” Damn, communication can be a bitch sometimes. Sorry Sierra.
- There were a whole bunch of Brazilians there…some I had never seen before. They had there own little cheering section with Adelmo Jr., Fabrizio Santos, and many others making a bunch of noise and being entertaining
- Dylan Gardner is basically this unknown pro that rips flatground. He gave P.J. Ladd a run for his money on the first round. PJ was shaking his head in disbelief when Dylan was landing everything that PJ put on the table
So basically, this Alex Mizurov kid came all the way from Germany and up through the ranks of the Am Game. He put a beating on every other am from around the world, 26 total, and got a spot in the Pro Game. So by the time he worked through the pros and went head-to-head with Chris Cole, he was already on his 12th or 13th Game. Crazy.
I’m not going to try and tell you what went down. I mean, you really did have to be there or would have to watch a video of it ‘cause Chris and Alex seriously did about 40 tricks. I’m talking switch front foot impossibles, double 360 flips, double hardflips, bs 360 ollie kickflips…it was completely insane. The crowd was into it. You could hear a pin drop in the Convention Center. When it came down to it, the final trick that got Cole was a switch bs 180 front foot flip. No one could believe it, not even Chris, that this 18-year-old German kid put a whooping on Chris Cole. The place erupted and went crazy…everyone celebrated the victor. Bummer for Alex when he exchanges that 10 G’s for Euros though.
I could tell you about the rest of the weekend, but it would just consist of more partying and you’ve heard it all before. Plus, I’m sure that Rob took plenty of photos. Thanks to Boost and eS for an amazing time and event…and to ASR for always taking such good care of us.