Manny Mania – Venice Beach

Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 by Rob

Manny Mania – Venice Beach
Words by Ryan Clemnets
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Aaron Snyder - frontside 180 switch nose manual. Later he did switch tre out of that
Chico Brenes - varial heelflip manual
Daniel Castillo - frontside 180 switch nose manual frontside half cab out
Daniel Castillo - nose manual up shuv-it body varial to manual down
Joey Brezinski - half cab noseslide manual backside 180 out
Joey Brezinski - nosegrind backside 180 out
Joey Brezinski - nose manual up, nollie heel, manual down
Kenny Anderson - yeah, it's just a switch nose manual, but it's Kenny Anderson
Chris Roberts - half cab manual backside 180 out
SAD - switch manual up, manual down
Silver Ball Guy
Zered Basset - fakie ollie switch nose manual up and down
Zered Basset - switch 360 flip up the step up
Have you ever been to Venice Beach? That place is a spectacle. I want to remind everyone that lives in CA that writes stuff about how dirty Tampa is that Venice Beach is just as much of a dump as Tampa is any day of the year. If you’re into street art, street performers, and street people, then Venice is your place! There are quite a few local characters that will give The Senator a run for his money, too.

With that being said, it’s still a great town with great people. We felt welcomed by everyone, the burritos were filling, and the beach view from the hotel room was perfect.

But we’re not here to compare Tampa to Venice Beach, right? We’re here to help host Red Bull’s Manny Mania, the Joey Brezinski-inspired manual Contest. What a great idea, but I’ll tell you, getting pros to show up to events nowadays is not an easy thing to do.

Everyone’s got plans…tours, demos, filming, or they’re just not feeling it. We invited every heavy-hitter that we could think of only to get a few to show up. But for those that did, a fun time on a great obstacle is what they encountered.

The Format
The only way to really get this done right was to do it in a jam-style format. That way there’s less pressure on everyone and it’s more of a fun time and vibe out there. With only 12 skaters (which was great), we broke the guys into three, four-man Heats and they got 10 minutes to attempt to make the Finals. We took top three overall from the Heats and they skated in a 15-minute Final Jam, which happened to be Joey B., Daniel Castillo, and Chico Brenes.

Note: I know that I mentioned that the Contest was actually held on Venice Beach, but more specifically it was held right next to those famous basketball courts that you’ve seen in some of your favorite movies like White Men Can’t Jump and American History X. That one scene in American History X where the white guys play the black guys for control of the courts…that’s right where we were. Pretty cool when you’re from Florida, I guess.

The Contest
Even though 4th through 12th place didn’t actually make it to the Finals, they still got paid. You might as well make everyone happy, right? The Contest was short and sweet – we started at about 1:30pm and it was over by 4pm or so. Here’s how they broke down:
  • 12th – $200 – Danny Supa – you don’t see Supa skating in contests on a regular basis, but that’s what makes it something worthwhile to watch when he chooses to participate
  • 11th – $200 – SAD – Simple As Death or Jay Stevens? Call him what you want, but SAD’s still got a great switch flip manny
  • 10th – $400 – Rob Gonzales – “I didn’t even do anything,” said Rob G., but I beg to differ. Rob’s got a great style and a great attitude…he’s just one of those guys that’s fun to watch
  • 9th – $400 – Aaron Snyder – who? I saw him roll up and thought, “That’s sick…I wonder if he’s still ripping?” How about a 180 to fakie manny 360 flip out on the tall ledge? It was after the Jam, but we still gave him an additional $100 for making that trick happen
  • 8th – $900 – Kenny Anderson – he was a bit injured, but at the risk of kissing his ass too much, Kenny’s style reigns supreme above all. He doesn’t really even have to do anything for me to be stoked on him, and he even gave ME $20 because he couldn’t land the backside flip to switch manny
  • 7th – $900 – Danny Montoya – Long Beach’s finest took a break from the editing studio (working on the new Listen flick) and made a late, but proper, appearance on the manual pad. His switch bs 180 to nose manual 180 out always confuses me
  • 6th – $1,000 – Zered Bassett – I knew that Zered killed all terrain, but I didn’t know he had nollie 180 heels to switch manny on the short ledge and switch nose manny up switch manny down the pyramid like THAT
  • 5th – $2,000 – Malcolm Watson – how many times can I say that he’s the nicest brother in skateboarding? I guess once more because he is! The move of the day could possibly have been the krooks on the ledge to nose manny on the sidewalk nollie heel out. He didn’t make it during the Contest, but his mohawk was still ill
  • 4th – $3,000 – Chris Roberts – we’d never met Chris in real life before, but considering he lives with our long-time friend Leonard Trubia in LA, we KNEW that he was down. Chris apparently had a good time because he said, “You guys need to do more Contests like this.”
  • 3rd – $4,000 – Daniel Castillo – as far as I know this was Daniel’s first pro contest, and top three isn’t exactly a bad showing. One of my favorite moves of the day was what he pulled on the wedge – nose manual to shove-it body varial manual down…try and picture that one
  • 2nd – $6,000 – Chico Brenes – Chico is what I call a ‘true professional.’ He’s been in the game longer than many of you reading this have been alive and still skates like a well-oiled, calculated machine. He’s got class and style for miles and it was an honor to have him at one of our events
  • 1st – $10,000 – Joey Brezinski – Koston didn’t win his Game of SKATE, Reese Forbes didn’t win his High Ollie Challenge, but Joey B. won the Manny Mania. Even though it wasn’t titled after him, we all know that it was ‘his’ event. Joey has so many tricks that it’s ridiculous…in the 10-minute Qualifying Heats he did 11 noteworthy tricks. The 10 G’s couldn’t have gone to a nicer guy
If everyone had as much fun as I did, then the Contest was a success. Immediately following was a party at some joint named Nicky’s. It was open bar and free food…you know how Red Bull does it. Everyone was getting happily toasted and having a fun time as the sun went down. I stayed too long as the bar transformed from all skateboarders to 90% jocko-biffarellis.

Thanks to everyone at Red Bull, Bruno Musso, the skaters that showed up to rip, everyone that watched the webcast courtesy of 411VM, security who was cool as hell, and of course our fabulous judges (Rothmeyer, Milligan, and Moul).

Oh yeah, there are also several more am versions of this event all over the country this summer, with the first one happening at Skatepark of Tampa next Saturday, May 26th. In addition, we’ll be traveling to NYC the second weekend of August for the final pro stop. See you there! Go to redbullmannymania.com for more info.

Ryan

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