Phoenix Am 2007 Skate Photos and Write-Up

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 by Ryan

Phoenix Am 2007
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos by Rob Meronek

Saturday: 50% Chllin’- 50% Skateboarding
Collin Hale - nollie hard flip
Sierra Fellers - nollie big spin lipslide
Marius Syvanen - bsts
Chris Mendez - switch ollie
Dominic Dietrich - frontside 5-0
Alex Olson on the way to a frontside 360 over the bump to big ass barrier
Jordan Hoffart - 5-0 on the bump to big ass barrier
Marius Syvanen - nollie back heel over the bump to fire hydrant
David Gravette - kickflip footplant on Andrew Cannon's head
Alex Olson - 360 flip up the step up
Taylor Bingaman - Suski grind on the bump to ledge
Kurtis Calomonico - nollie cab heelflip up the step up
Nick Fiorini - nollie pop shuv up the step up
Dustin Blauvelt - switch Barley grind on the rail
Alex Olson - fsng on the hubba
Sean Malto - backside noseblunt slide on the rail
Nick Fiorini - nollie frontside feeble grind on the rail
Louie Lopez - varial heel
Chris Mendes - frontside flip
Louie Lopez - frontside flip
Andrew Cannon - tuck knee
Who dat? Nice pants. Frontside big heel is pretty nice, too
This is the third year in a row that Rob and I have hit Phoenix for the PHX AM Contest. We’re not working either, which is certainly a change of pace. Well, if you call baby-sitting Scotty the Body and writing a story ‘work,’ then you could say that we’re working. But it’s still pretty fun anyways, so we’ll leave it at that.

Qualifying was on Saturday and the Contest started early…around 9am, but there was a freak rain storm that held things back a bit. Body was in the second heat, along with Abdias (wearing Circa’s), so we sat around for quite a while before being blessed with the honor of watching them participate in the competition, especially Scotty.

The Arizona sun is brutal, and by around noon if you didn’t have sunscreen on you were in the running for first place in the sunburn contest. Regardless, Clyde kept us entertained on the mic with witty comments and just the right mixture of making fun of people.

So by the time Scotty and Abdias took their runs, it was nearly 3pm. Hungry and tired, we got out of there to fuel up and discuss the destruction that the Skatepark of Tampa Team Riders inflicted upon that unsuspecting course.

From there we went to that Goodyear Public Skate Park…it’s the one that Rob rips on in the photos. Don’t listen to him too much, kids. Just because Rob can’t drop in on anything close to vert and still can’t carve a corner after 20 years of skateboarding, don’t hold it against him. In Rob’s defense though, that park had too much tranny and not enough street stuff.

We headed back to the Contest and met up with some of the Circa crew and made plans for dinner. Hooters became the destination point. Imagine that. After Hooters we went to the art show at the new Cowtown, but they were kicking everyone out just as we rolled up. You know what that means: The party was raging in the parking lot.

I walked towards the bar next door and next thing you know someone tells me that Body is in handcuffs. I guess that Phoenix’s finest wanted to “make an example” of him. There were probably 250 people with open containers, but somehow Scotty was the only one that ended up in handcuffs. Trent from Cowtown saved the evening by talking the cops out of taking him in. Thanks, Trent.

We then went to patronizing the bar next door and were informed that the Qualifying Results were posted up inside. That’s when we got a reality check:

71st – Abdias Rivera – how did this happen?

110th (DFL) – Scotty Conley – and I heard that one of the judges gave him a “1” only because he actually landed his hippie jump over the rail; otherwise, he would have gotten a zero. We still love you though, Scotty. Really.

Sunday: 100% Skateboarding
We got a bit of a late start due to all of the draft beer the previous evening. After treating ourselves to some proper Mexican grub, we headed over to the Contest site to once again fry in the flaming Arizona sun.

The Semis were about halfway done and I got to see some great skating. There were a few guys out there that I wish would have made it into the Finals. But as the saying goes…it is what it is. These are my two boys that I wish would have made it:
  • Andrew Cannon – I’ve know this man-am for several years and he’s just one of those skaters that makes whatever event you’re at a fun time. Always smiling, always friendly, and he’s got an upside down cross tattooed on his shoulder
  • Collin Hale – the kid from Vermont turned quite a few heads. One guy said to me, “He just doesn’t really have the “look” where he’d really be ripping, but then you see him on his board and he kills it!” I think that’s a nice compliment
Both Andrew and Collin didn’t make the cut, but that’s how is goes sometimes. When it came down to the Finals, there was some serious ripping going down. Each skater got three runs to show their moves on the street course (it’s big and spread out) and here’s how it turned out:
  • 12th – Tanner Zelinsky – it’s sick to see Consolidated riders place in contests all of the time. Tanner is super-cool and he had the best bs tailslide on the long quarter of the weekend (every try)
  • 11th – Jordan Hoffart – the most snap out of anyone, Jordan does lines that others don’t even think of. He couldn’t land the varial heel to bs 5-0 on the big hubba, but he definitely had the skills to win
  • 10th – Alex Olson – I’m not trying to mark-out too much, but Alex is seriously amazing and completely entertaining to watch on a skateboard. I particularly liked the full-speed kickflip up the five-set. If he landed the fs 360 over the gigantic barrier then he would have placed a bit higher
  • 9th – Scott DeCenzo – straight out of Canada and the brother of the winner of Am Getting Paid in Montreal last September (Ryan, who was also there). Scott is super-smooth and skates with much control
  • 8th – David Gravette – hands down the most entertaining guy of the weekend. He skates for fun and his skills STILL landed him in the Finals. I couldn’t believe how much he was smiling. It just got me stoked for skateboarding
  • 7th – Kurtis Calomonico – the Poor Man’s Jereme Rogers has tech skills that rank above most, but for some reason he kept falling on the first trick in each run, which happened to be a 360 flip over the fire hydrant. Go figure
  • 6th – Sean Malto – Girl’s other am weapon (along with Alex) in the Finals has the style to fit right in over at the Gril Camp. He’s also got THE best fs crooks on the handrail of all time, and just happened to throw a bs noseblunt on the handrail into one of his runs, too
  • 5th – Nick Fiorini – last year’s winner could have taken it again if he landed the nollie to fs feeble on the rail, but he couldn’t quite make it happen. Much respect to the “RIP Shane Cross” that was written on his tie-dyed shirt
  • 4th – Taylor Bingaman – one of the leaders of the new breed of ATV machines. He’s bs Suski grinding a bank-to-ledge at one moment and bs crailsliding to revert the vert quarter the next. Definitely super-fun to watch ‘cause you never know what he’s got next
  • 3rd – $1000 – Magnus Hanson – switch bs 5-0 down one of the smaller hubbas without even trying is just the beginning of what Magnus has to offer. He caught me off guard with the kickflip to 5-0 on the huge hubba!
  • 2nd – $2000 – Dustin Blauvelt – my boy from Detroit came through with a nearly flawless second run that included a switch Barley on the big rail, a bs 360 ollie down the large stair-set, and a fs 270 board to come out fakie (the hard way). Now go buy that car you wanted, Dustin
  • 1st – $3000 – Collin Provost – what describes Collin? Consistent. Powerful. Confident. He landed everything in his second run and had the crowd behind him with the nollie noseblunt on the bank to ledge every try and a proper-ass fs feeble on the handrail
Immediately following the Finals the course was swarmed with tons of spectators trying to get a good view of the Best Trick Contest that went down on the handrails/stair area. I’m not usually the biggest fan of the “winner take all” prize breakdown, but in this instance it worked out great because Sierra Fellers nailed a nollie frontside bigspin lipslide and earned the $2500. Damn, Sierra, not a bad couple of months of income, huh?

Lest not forget, the trophies were really cool. Thanks to Trent, Laura, Ed, and the rest of the Cowtown staff and sponsors for putting on a really fun event. Someday I want to go back to Phoenix to just skate and hang out.


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