Copenhagen Pro 2009 Weekend
Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 by
I almost got knocked out while I was sitting in the hotel lobby. Some guy was super pissed that I didn't let his rider in the Pro Contest. The hotel staff tried to calm him down but he just kept on yelling at me. He said, "Just take the $150 and let him enter the Contest!!" If only it were as simple as money...
The full story is after the photos and video footage from our weekend at Copenhagen Pro below. If you were there, thanks for coming.
|Torey Pudwill lit the place up during his heat in the Finals|
|On Friday night, the DJ put on Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire, which started this madness. Anyone who wanted to was welcome to hit an 80's style jump ramp and jump through the Ring of Fire|
|Who dat? That's a good looking tuck knee through the ring|
|The now traditional full pig roast always makes me consider being vegetarian. Porky's head there later ended up as part of the Ring of Fire|
|Things really started to get weird when this fire dancer guy came out|
|Let's break this up with a little skateboarding. Inside the park, we have Kerry Getz taking that one Koston handrail move to the transition|
|Ever heard of the Euro Lutzka, Phil Zwijsen? Apparently he won a contest recently called "European Skateboard Championships." I looked at the results and it should have been called, "Ams You've Sort of Heard of But Definitely too Early to Go Pro Championships." I wasn't going to let him enter this pro contest and make what, in my opinion, is a bad career move, but Phil and his sponsor Carhartt insisted that he's pro and he should enter. No more am contests for Phil. You think anyone's going to buy his deck from the skate shop wall? Hopefully in Europe, I guess. This is a frontside 360|
|Okay, back to the fire. Tribal guy here was just standing around waving his hand over his flaming spear giving everyone in the crowd the voodoo crazy eyes|
|Next thing you know, fire guy jumps on the ramp and puts the fire out down his pants. Thanks for the entertainment. What's next? Hot coals up the butt?|
|Hot coals up the butt wasn't as shocking as Oscar Gronbaek's unnatrual fetish for benihannas. Yes, he took the worst trick in skateboarding and did it over this electrical box, did it fakie down the stair set, and then did it out of a manual on this box, too. Besides the bad trick selection, he rips, but in my personal opinion, he blew it by entering a pro contest. I wasn't going to let him enter because he has no history of entering am contests, no board with his name on it out there, the biggest skate nerds in skateboarding have never heard of him yet, no kids know who he his, etc. However, I had to give in to some pressure and he was allowed to enter. I had to write a whole separate story on that here. Going for the instant, overnight skateboard superstardom by entering and attempting to win some contest is not the way to a long skateboard career, in my opinion. Sucks because Oscar is a super nice dude. He's just going about things the wrong way, in my opinion|
|Many of the Brazilians were in the same situation as Oscar. I had such long, duplicate discussions with so many of them that I was getting migraines from over-explaining myself. Apparently the rules in Brazil are different. In the rest of the world, you film a few ripping video parts, get a ton of coverage in the mags, maybe enter some am contests over the years, get your name out there as much as possible, etc. Then when there's a demand for you to go pro and your board company is backing it, you go pro. In Brazil, they're very efficient. You simply say, "I'm pro" and you're pro. I had a rough time in registration. Anyway, who's Carlos Ribeiro? Another ripper from Brazil that took the shortcut to pro status by using a contest. They're all super nice guys, too. Unfortunately, just going about it the wrong way, in my opinion. Maybe Felipe Gustavo needs to give them some pointers. He won Tampa Am and isn't pro yet. He's still busy building his name up as a legitimate am and staying away from pro contests. Oh well, it was fun to watch you skate, Carlos. That's a 360 flip over the hip|
|I don't like being this serious about skateboarding, or anything for that matter. Let's go back to the party. What a great time I had dancing shirtless with these dudes. Thanks for the Tuborgs|
|It seems like Oscar Gronbaek understands where I'm coming from when I break down the pro vs. am thing to him, but I guess he and his sponsor simply don't agree. Oh well, at least Oscar was super cool about it, unlike his team manager. Thanks for sharing your funny cigarette with us, Oscar|
|Blair Alley from Transworld, Brian Schaefer, and Jerson Wilson joined in on Oscar's drum circle, too|
|Back to some skating - look at Koston's nollie inward heel. Wow. He was here with his wife and new born baby girl and has been in Europe for most of the month getting it done|
|Way back in Tampa Am 2004, Torey Pudwill got 2nd. If he would have gone pro at that time, the only people that would have taken him seriously are his mom and dad and maybe his girlfriend. Unfortunately, those people don't matter in this situation. Torey did it right and had a great am career before moving up to being pro and entering pro contests last year. Kids are hyped on him, he will help sell the products from the companies that back him, his board won't rot on skate shop shelves from yet another garage company, and the overall health of the sketchy skateboard industry will stay strong. See how that works? Now if I could just figure out how to say that a few other languages|
|I guess this problem exists all around the world, but I seem to notice more girls with bad gear when I'm across the pond. This is just a small sample|
|There wasn't a vert contest, so Rune Glifberg entered street. Street Rune is cracking a huge ollie over the hip here|
|Koston broke his board and rode someone else's for the rest of the day. That's a nollie half cab heel on Hunter Muraira's Skate Mental Board. Hunter's got a board? Yes, that' better than a lot of people who tried to enter this contest could do|
|Speaking of Hunter, let's go have a drink with him. Here we are having a heavy metal parking lot session at the Contest After-Party. We ran into the Euro version of the classic "I used to skate" dude. Here's the move he busted out. What shoes is Hunter wearing?|
|Meanwhile, back at the Contest, three dudes with anal examination gloves casually stroll across the street course on their way to some kind of dirty work. They look pretty happy about it|
|This is Neverton Casella back noseblunt sliding the gap to electrical box. Another Brazilian ripper that used the drive thru to go pro|
|If you were watching last year, you may remember Georges Agonkouin. He's French and looking like budget Bastien with the headgear|
|How hard and awkward is half cabbing into a frontside nosegrind? Wieger has it|
|Matt Beach always comes up with the smooth, unique combos. That's a wallie backside 360|
|This super hyped kid got Koston's broken board|
|At the Sunday night Contest After-Party, some dude pulled his car over and got out super hot after trying to navigate through the heavy metal parking lot crowd. He spit in the first person's face he ran into, slapped the next dude, then when he got to Chico, Chico punched him and he ran off. Schaefer and crew then attempted to flip his car. Someone else stole his cell phone. Danish road rage gone bad. You can tell a nollie heel is coming from this nose manual|
|You've got to have pretty large snaps on a backside heeflip to do it to back lip on a rail. Look at that perfect roll away. Wieger was winning practice for sure|
|Go Street Rune! Lipslide on the a-frame rail|
|There was a vert demo this year instead of an actual contest. This is Neal Hendrix. I'm going to have to show him how to put some oriental into those lien meron grabs|
|Here again is Neal with a meron to fakie. Definitely needs some Asian flavor. Maybe add some MSG, soy sauce, and sticky rice so we can get that front knee closer to the back foot. Oh wait, maybe it's harder when the ramp is over 4 feet high|
|While the vert demo went on, these wacky dudes played the entire time. Check the video footage|
|As usual, there were children getting hammered at the Park all day|
|As usual, there were hung over children in the Park from getting hammered the day before. These three dudes slept through the Finals|
|While doing registration, I had to find the best and most polite way to explain what a pro skater is to a lot of people. Maybe I could have showed them this photo of filmers to relate. Can you tell who's pro and who's not?|
|Looks like Schaefer is bringing back some Danish ringworm with the barefoot street course stroll|
|See Jimmy Cao and Lem Villemin sitting down there? They understand the difference between am and pro and that's why they're not looking silly entering a pro contest too early. See you guys at AmsterDamn Am next month. I spy Wednesday's with that one guy|
|Here's a sequence of Matt Beach's wallie back 360|
|I spy a horse...nevermind, you don't have to spy it. That amazing Euro horse mullet is so obvious it will stab you in the eye|
|Reda is here and he took over Neal's Fuel TV interview and turned it around on him|
|Time for a Tuborg check-in. Here's the party scene out back|
|These are your hosts for the party and the entire weekend. Simon and William run things at the Copenhagen Skatepark. They're the ones that make this entire shindig go down. I wish I knew to bring one of my wacky suits|
|Almost forgot about the mandatory foot fetish. That's Camilla's shoe with the toe slots like a glove for your feet|
|Zered Bassett - switch crooked grind on the electrical box|
|DVS made a special edition of Chico's shoe for the Copenhagen Pro. Chico's shoe is one of the best one's they've made|
|DJ Wade and I are just sort of getting lost around the city right now. What floor would you go to in this elevator? The bro floor of course|
|We spotted this in the local newspaper. What's that mean? Did something happen while we were gone?|
|While on the city lurk, I shot some plain old normal non-skate and non-party photos. It doesn't get dark in Copenhagen until after 10pm when this photo was taken. I put more on my personal website meronek.com|
|Let's go back to the party. Everyone get out of the way, room temperature Tuborg delivery coming through|
|Does your local skate park have disco balls in it? Nope. They like to party here|
|Someone set up full blown legit odds for betting on people in the Finals and also on certain things happening like "Bennihana in the Finals." You would have won 2.5 to 1 on that bet since Torey did one as a joke, as all Bennihanas are. Maybe you shouldn't come out swinging with every variation of those in your first self-declared pro contest? I don't know, that's just my opinion. You're welcome to start your own website and put your opinion out there, too. Everyone's doing it|
|Wieger - long frontside bluntslide to fakie|
|Paul Shier - back lip on the electrical box|
|Go Street Rune! Frontside pop shuv over the hip|
|Koston is going to frontside half cab out of this backside 180 fakie 5-0. I get back pains just thinking of that|
|Street Rune of course was killing at the vert demo. That's a huge 540. I spy P-Stone's beer holding filmer stance|
|Koston - backside noseblunt slide. He doesn't bail these|
|Nicky Guerrero - finger flip lien to tail|
|Rune Glifberg - frontside tailgrab. I spy Hellraiser|
|Kilian Heuberger got a mummy head wrap and some staples shortly after this nollie frontside bluntslide went wrong during the Finals jam. I could feel the ground vibrate with my feet when he hit. He was back at the Contest and hanging out later that day, though|
|Eric Koston - frontside hurricane|
|Torey Pudwill stopped to puke a few times during the Finals jams|
|After puking, Torey threw down carnage like this back lip up and down the a-frame|
|It seemed like it was Koston vs. Pudwill all weekend long. Congrats to both for killing all weekend at Copenhagen Pro 2009. Here are the Finals results|
|Contest is over, now it's back to the party time. That's Colin Clark and he's seriously on top of things when it comes to getting his footage together. If you have a skateboard shindig you want filmed, this is your guy|
|That's DJ Wade. He's definitely not on top of anything, but we still hire him anyway|
|We spent some time getting lost around the city on bikes one night. The bike lanes are regulated like traffic lanes here. They even have actual right and left turning lanes and people get hot when you ride your bike going the wrong way on the path|
|Only 25 for a frisky sandwich? Sounds like something you get in a strip bar|
|This hot box is where the Sunday night After-Party was. It was warmer than the beers in here. Is that dude wearing an Emerica skirt?|
|Back at the hotel, the party usually continues. This is DJ Wade's room. For some reason, there's this crazy huge stuffed Space Invader thing in the corner. The rooms here are all different and have some kind of flair in them like this|
|Good-bye, Copenhagen. My nine hour flight back was upgraded to First Class and started with "Good morning sir, my name is John and I'll be your waiter for the flight." For the entire nine hours, it's like a fancy restaurant in the sky with legit meals, baked cookies and milk, ice cream sundaes, fine wine, great beer, laying down seats, and all the new movies if that's your thing. It sure makes traveling all day as easy as it can be. Thanks to DVS for throwing this shindig for the third year in a row. See you next year|
Friday Night in Copenhagen: The Ring of FireEvery night during Copenhagen Pro at 10pm, the Skatepark turns into a crazy party scene with madness like a jump ramp through a ring of fire and Brazilian techno dancing. I left the party early, but still witnessed plenty of partying Vikings getting loose. Keep the Tuborg away from me.
Our Last Couple Days and Nights in CopenhagenHung over teenage wastelanders passed out at the Contest, DJ Wade techno dancing, a crazy ass band playing during vert, dance party at the Skatepark, and a beer storm during the awards.
It's Not Copenhagen Open, It's Copenhagen ProSome dude came and sat down super hot next to me in the lobby just now and said, "Is there a problem!?!?! My rider is not in the contest????" I asked, "Is he pro?"
"He's pro in my eyes," he replied. That's all the backup he could give me.
He said if I was Danish he would have knocked me out. Then, he accused me of not letting him enter because I was afraid his rider was going to win. At this point, the hotel staff began to come out from behind the front desk to try to calm him down and also let him know he would have to leave with his cigarette. He refused. He then rattled on about how us Americans are coming here and running this pro contest with our noses turned up. He said, "Just take the $150 and let him enter the contest." If only it were as simple as money.
His rider is 19, has never skated a legit am contest, never had a legit video part, and couldn't even show me a board company website with his name on it. The few Brazilians that are in the contest that you've never heard of at least could show a history of entering am events and a website with their board company and name on it as a pro. All this guy could tell me is that he's good and he should be in the contest. That's not only not pro, that's not even am at this point. Everyone who skates on Sunday in Tampa Am is "good" and could win this contest. They're not pro so they're not entering. Why? Because this is a pro contest, not a contest for anyone with a switch flip and $150. Lem Villem is here, he's am and sitting on the sides. Jimmy Chao is here, he's am and sitting on the sides. Both of them kill it but understand they're not pro yet.
Enter a pro contest as a nobody when you're 19 and your skateboard career is over before it starts. Anyone remember Jeff Ward? Who? Exactly. No one does, no one cares. There are many others like him. Unfortunately emotions and other factors sometimes make this tough to break down to people. There's no explaining to this guy that we are trying our best to correct the contest grey area that has emerged here between am and pro status and that we are in fact helping his rider out by not letting him enter Copenhagen Pro. He's more than welcome in AmsterDamn Am or any other Damn Am or Tampa Am contest because he's am. Skate some am contests, get some mag coverage, film a couple banging video parts - all to get your name out there then when your board company turns you pro, you will actually be able to sell skateboards, not have yet another mom and pop company with rotting wood on a skate shop shelf.
Dude left off our conversation saying he would be at the contest telling everyone how much I suck. His loud ranting continued out in front of the hotel. The staff had to call their manager to have him removed. Should be a fun day today. Things get started at 4pm. See you there, my friend. I hope we can have a much more calm discussion this time.
UPDATE: All weekend, I never saw they guy after that encounter in the lobby. After several discussions with everyone involved with the event, we decided we would move on and let him skate it. His rider was the bennihana champ. Oh well, see you next year.