10th Annual Make-A-Wish Texas Skate Jam – 2006

Posted on Monday, November 06, 2006 by Ryan

10th Annual Make-A-Wish Texas Skate Jam – 2006
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Brian Delatorre - nollie backside flip over the pyramid
I'm making Karyn from Zumiez buy me one beer for each time I say Zumiez. Here goes. Sierra Fellers ended up with 3rd in the Zumiez Best Trick with a frontside big heel boardslide on the Zumiez Couch that they use on the Zumiez Couch Tour. I missed it. This here is a nollie crook. Now I'm out of reasons to say Zumiez. That should be enough to get my night started, though
Chris Troy - bsng
Never seen this one before. Jake Nunn - rocket bsts
After Matt Miller did this nollie frontside nosegrind 180 out, he then did a nollie half cab switch backside 5-0 on that thing
Torey Pudwill grew up and got damn good. This nollie heel flip crook was huge
Who cares about Garold Vallie's frontside air? Look at the smokin' photographer!!
Charlie Thomas - usually slob airs don't look this good. Usually photographers don't look that good either. Geek in the white shirt - get out of the way!
Karma Tsocheff needs to take this frontside ollie a foot higher so we can see the smokin' photographer behind him
After Evan Smith ollie from the quarter on the left to frontside tailslide, he also did kickflip frontside 50-50
Zered Bassett - wall ride kickflip out
Kenny Anderson made this backside noseblunt on his last try during the Jam
New adidas team rider Rob Gonzalez could use one of those sticks with a water bubble in it to tell you how level this back tail is
Rick Eusey is riding for Kris Markovich's new company, Crimson. This is a back lip
It only took Torey Pudwill a few tries to make this backside noseblunt slide
Chris Troy - kickflip crook
Unless you've seen him skate in person, you don't even know about Alex Olson. You'll know soon. He's becoming one of my favorite ams. This is a backside tailslide
Ben Rayborn got third in the Bowl Jam. Texas is breeding the tranny rippers. Seems like every year there's some new kid in the bowl making everyone throw out the "who dat?"
Chad Knight won the Bowl Jam
I met Cooper Wilt this weekend. He was just sort of laying low all weekend and hanging out
There were cops throwing stuff out at the product toss. Actually there were cops all day long just hanging out
Part of the scene in the parking lot. More cops on the lurk
We should have given the damn cops an award for kicking it all day with us. This is the Crimson crew getting a special thanks award. That's Vince Del Valle, Rick Eusey, Kris Markovich, and Charlie Thomas with Brian Schaefer
Of course Kenny Anderson's backside noseblunt won Best Trick on the Bank to Wall
Lamare Hemmings and Gabe Clement
Lizard King got a new tat - Skatin for Satan. Hell yeah
Damian Herbet and April are on the left. They organize the Texas Skate Jam. Karyn is buying me another beer because I said Zumiez again. On the right are Tommy Austin, the founder of Make-A-Wish, and Jeff Taylor from Adio
Steve Nesser and Clint Peterson comin' up on some Texas BBQ
This is Brian Schaefer with Johnny Romano, last year's Make-A-Wish kid. Johnny's sick - literally and figuratively. He has a Real deck and donated the royalties back to Make-A-Wish this year
Jonny Romano's donated royalty check was over $5,000
Torey Pudwill won the Zumiez Best Trick on the Zumiez Couch they use on the Zumiez couch tour. That's Karyn from Zumiez with him and that's four more beers for me
Back when my schedule was less hectic we took a road trip out to the Jam a couple of times. Those trips were epic. Two days to get to Houston from Tampa, including skate stops. Then two days in Houston, and two days back, including some gambling stops. Those were some fun trips and I hope they happen again like that someday soon.

The Purpose
If you don’t know what the Make-A-Wish Foundation is all about, then let me give you a little bit of insight:

In a nutshell, they grant wishes for sick and terminal kids that would otherwise not have their wishes come true. So if you’re a little eight-year-old and you have cancer and all you’ve ever wanted was to meet Tony Hawk...bam, they make it happen for you. And on the flip side, if you’re a sick little girl and you’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, then the MAW Foundation makes sure that you and your family get to visit Hawaii.

So where does the skateboarding industry fit into all of this? Well, a gentleman by the name of Damian Herbet, who also happens to own South Shore Distributing, decided that skateboarding as a whole really has something to contribute to the Foundation. He got with Southside Skatepark 10 long years ago, and since then, as they say, the rest is history. South Shore and Southside Skatepark are on the “skateboarding map” indefinitely.

But it’s not all about hyping up what we’re all doing. After all, it IS for the kids. Yeah, for the kids...

Bowl Jam
The day I arrived in Houston it was a bit chilly and then it got even colder that night. So I’m guessing that it got down into the 50’s, and possibly even 40’s at the coldest. I don’t take well to cold, so I was hyped when I woke up on Saturday morning and didn’t even need a jacket when leaving the hotel. In addition, it was very sunny...not a cloud in the sky. Could you ask for more?

The first event of the day took place in the bowl. It’s nearly 6’ deep, layered in birch, and has a 6’ vert extension in the far wall. The Jam went down for 30-minutes and here’s who prevailed:
  • 1st – $5000 – Chad Knight – haven’t heard much out of Chad Knight recently? I can assure you that he’s doing very well and that his skating hasn’t missed a beat because he earned his placing by ripping the entire Jam and throwing down both a pivot fakie and blunt fakie (grab and no grab) on the vert wall
  • 2nd – $1000 – Mike Peterson – out front before we walked in Mike said, “I need to learn how to skate again. I drank so much beer last night that I don’t think I can skate.” But as we all know, skating talks and BS walks. Mike ripped the damn thing with airs all over the place and lines for miles
  • 3rd - $500 – Ben Rayborn – who is Ben Rayborn, you ask? That’s the same thing I was thinking when he first joined the session. But his skating certainly did the talking when Ben threw down great lines all around, a gymnast plant revert, and then ended the session with an invert on the 6’ of vert!
I want to throw an Honorable Mention out there to Karma Tsocheff for weaving in and out of more people than anyone and skating about twice as much as the rest of the skaters. The Bowl was soon over, so next we made our way to the Street Course.

Street Best Trick
Just like last weekend at Damn Am, we once again thought that everyone had seen enough handrail contests, so the choice was to do the Street Jam on the bank-to-wall. It was a nice change and showcased some great skating.

I’m by no means hating on handrail events...I love them like I love all skateboarding (for the most part), but it’s cool to see some different stuff and to give some prizes away to some potentially different guys. One of the many major beauties of skateboarding is the diversity of us all and the different skating we do.
  • 1st – $5000 – Kenny Anderson – is there a better style in skateboarding than Kenny’s? There’s no arguing that he’s not at the top of the list when it comes to steez. To go along with an amazing style and trick selection, Kenny is one of the coolest and most humble guys that I’ve ever met. His bs noseblunt that he did on his last try was the deal-sealer for his top placing
  • 2nd – $1000 – Mike Peterson – there goes Peterdong again all ripping it in the Jam. Literally seconds after Kenny did the bs noseblunt, Mike rolled up and did a blunt kickflip fakie on the thing...and it was his last try, too! That was amazing and the place went absolutely nuts
  • 3rd – $500 – Steve Nesser – Adio’s own took it up a level with a heelflip from the bank all the way up to an axel stall on the top of the bank-to-wall. He was working on a kickflip to backside nose pivot, too, but had to settle for a nosestall revert
  • Official Honorable Mention – Nick Matlin – TM of Creation, Yellow, and Satori skated the wall like a true pro. Ol’ Weird Beard had many moves, including a fs heelflip revert from the bank to the steep wall
Zumiez Best Trick
The new sponsor to the event decided to kick in an additional $2000 at the 11th hour, so we had to come up with something on the double. There was already a skateable Zumiez Couch on site, so Schaefer picked what he thought was the best spot and we let the 30-minute Jam ensue. For a second I thought that maybe the thing was too damn high, but silly me...the skaters stepped up to it like pros and ripped that piece a new one!
  • 1st – $2000 – Torey Pudwill – if anyone is growing into his own it’s OG Shortys ripper Torey, who now rips for The Sect and kills all. I said to Rob that he reminds me of Dylan Rieder because he’s growing up and starting to REALLY kill it. He’s going to be bigtime in the future, but right now things aren’t too shabby because he nailed a perfect bs noseblunt and nollie heelflip backside nosegrind on the top of the “Couch”
  • 2nd – Matt Miller – it sure is nice to see Zoo Yorker Matt place in an event. Who was going to deny his fs 180 nollie nosegrind (switch fs 5-0)?
  • 3rd – Sierra Fellers – I was gone by this point and this trick was relayed to me via telephone, but Schaefer told me that that Sierra nailed a frontside bigspin heelflip to boardslide. WHOA!
There were so many tricks that went down on this obstacle that it’s impossible to recognize everyone that killed it, but I did want to make a mention of Vince Del Valle’s fs 270 ollie to switch fs boardslide...that was gnar.

Additional Awards
There is so much going on and so much team participation at the MAW Jam that it’s cool to bring a little attention to those that might have ripped all day and possibly not made the top three in any of the disciplines. Here’s how the rest broke down:
  • Top Am of the Day – $2000 – Alex Olson – I saw him skate the bowl the day before the Jam and thought, “Holy $h!t, he’s insane!” His speed, style, and ability to throw tech moves in while he’s hauling ass is absolutely ridiculous
  • Top Pro of the Day – $2000 – Mike Peterson – I love when my friends win money, and it’s just that much better when it’s someone as deserving as Mike. I’ve known Mike for a long-ass time and we got to share dinner at the airport on the way out of Houston. He’s the real deal and loves skateboarding and his position in skateboarding. Hopefully you get to meet him someday, too
  • Top Team Performance of the Day – $2000 – Crimson Skateboards – oh hell yeah! How rad is it that Kris Markovich’s new company is on top of their game like that? Ben Rayborn destroyed the Bowl, Vince Del Valle had moves on everything, and even Kris helped out by judging the Bowl Jam. A job well done, fellas
  • Best Bull Ride of the Day – $1000 – Leticia Ruano – you’re probably saying, “What the hell is Clem talking about?” and no, I haven’t lost my mind. Spitfire sponsored a Pro/Am/Industry VIP Bull Riding Contest on a mechanical bull in the “village area” and the beautiful Leticia from Consolidated Skateboards stepped up and represented with a hot ride
Keep in mind that all money that was earned by individuals was actually donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in their individual names. That’s not money in the pocket, but it’s a nice, charitable tax deduction at the end of the year.

After-Party
This was a full-on rock-star trip for me. I was only in Houston for a total of 30 hours. I needed to jet back to Tampa to handle some personal business...fun business, but I still needed to go. But I’m just going to guess that Philip Vaughn put together yet another great Party and Rob Meronek shot plenty of great party photos.

Thank You
  • Tommy Austin, the founder of Make-A-Wish, for being there to witness it all
  • Whomever it was that had the great idea of “village area,” good thinking
  • Jeff Taylor and the rest of the crew from Adio
  • Damian Herbet and April from South Shore Distributing
  • Tommy and posse and from Southside Skatepark
  • The sponsors...Automatic, Volcom, Black Label, Listen, Electric, Zero, Mystery, Fallen, Planet Earth, Adio, Satori, Creation, 411VM, Thrasher, Spitfire, Zoo York, and Zumiez
Between the raffles, auctions, tickets, sponsors, etc., a total of about $82,000 was raised and donated to Make-A-Wish. That now brings the 10-year total to a little over $300,000! Can you believe it? That’s amazing and something we should all be proud of, so the final and biggest ‘THANK YOU’ goes out to everyone that was there. Thanks to all pros, ams, workers, photo-geeks, video-nerds, team managers, marketing dorks, company owners, and every last spectator that paid their hard-earned money to attend. You all rule. See you next year. I love Texas.

Ryan

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