Damn Am Canada 2009 Presented by Billabong

Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Not sure why Nathan LaCoste didn't skate the main Contest, but he sure ripped in the Bowl Jam
It's been so long since the original Flip Sorry video came out, a lot of you probably don't know that Alex Chalmers had a part in it. This is a sideways backside disaster in the Bowl Jam with a nice sample of Canadian gangsterism painting
There's a creature in every bowl. Can't remember this guy's name. Who dat?
I had to break my "I only eat hot dogs at Skatepark of Tampa" rule. I wonder if hotdogs in Canada are just as sketchy as ours are. Thanks to Schaefer, Clem, and Vern for the entertaining homophobic mic banter about everyone putting weenies in their mouth
Two things guaranteed - Paul Flores without a shirt and DJ Wade in what he calls "Leather Jacket Season"
This must be Grant Patterson's dad
I would guess that punker chick back there is Mr. Patterson's daughter being rebellious
Canadian creepers where everywhere in the Park. When this sketchy lady saw us laughing at her trying to steal this Indy banner, she tried to play it cool and just stand there like she was watching. Her boyfriend ducked behind the banners. We later spotted her sneaking off with it
If we were at SPoT, all this stuff would be wrapped around the power lines. Here I guess it just goes on the roof
Joe Buffalo skated Tampa Am back in 2002. I vaguely remember sort of. Seven years later, he hasn't lost any pop
Paul Machnau joined in on the Ollie Pop High Ollie Contest
Everyone who made it past the high 30's in snaps was way taller than you. That's Chad Dickson who tied for first with Jeffrey Marshall
Jeffrey Marshall tied with Chad Dixon for the Ollie Pop High Ollie Contest
Steve Rohl, this backside shifty looks good. Some of your other trick selection resulted in a Public Service Announcement
Ben Gore 360 flipping early in the morning before anyone arrived. Well, for us at least, 9am is early in the morning. For DJ Wade, 9am is really late at night
Vern Laird called this the new am shuffle - the nollie big spin. That's Mike Mains
After this super sketchy landing, Jay Brown went back and made this backside 360 perfect. I like the sketchy landing one, though. This is a classic example of the "contest make"
Arte Lew has serious crouching tiger set up. Must be from his ancestors. That's a switch hardflip
Arte Lew - crouching tiger, hidden switch 360 flip
I like this one and need to remember to try and learn it - frontside 360 pop shuv. Who dat? I can't remember. Oops, it's Will Marshall
The only shirtless dude north of the border, the Canadian border that is, Paul Flores
Jeffrey Marshall - back smith
Brandon Del Bianco got the Zumiez Destroyer Award for the weekend. That's a switch pop shuv backside, which is much harder than frontside for some reason
These guys kept me and hopefully everyone else laughing all weekend with their microphone chatter
I know, I know, ugly tricks can be real fun, just like ugly chicks sometimes. However, they're still ugly. Jeff Muirhead doesn't care how a footplant nosegrab down the stairs looks
Chad Dickson could have done pretty well in the Finals but he blew it in the Qualifiers. He did have a couple bangers like this nollie back heel, though
Chad Dickson - kickflip frontside nosegrind
Did I mention there's dope everywhere here? This kid skated across the course with this bong, ollied up the curb, walked into the skate shop, and took a rip. Aparrently it's that loose here with the lazy smoke
TJ Rogers - 360 flip
Looks like Andy Mac is in the streets, but that's Cory Wilson frontside flipping
Arte Lew - 360 flip
Jeffrey Marshall - kickflip back lip
Adam Fontaine - feeble grind
Matt Berger ripped all day even though Schaefer was giving him constant crap on the mic for the wacky shirt
Magnus Hanson had the curse of qualifying first so he wasn't in first in the Finals - bigspin front board
Matt Berger - feeble grind to back lip
Magnus Hanson - kickflip back smith
Magnus Hanson - frontside shuv to backside nosegrind
Those ladies came straight out of a Billy Idol video from the 80's. That one has the same 80's phone as Clem's Boost Mobile brick
I wonder what these skate girls think of that Leticia Bufoni Secret Deodorant ad where she's boarsliding in high heels and a dress?
Back in the early 90's, I met my lifetime friends Schaefer and Clements at a skateboard contest. I would like to think that besides a plain old fashioned good time at all these skateboard shindigs we do, good friends are made like what's happening here. These two skate rats that just met might still be friends in 10 years. And they'll probably be married. To each other
This photo is here just to prove that Paul Flores actually does own a shirt
Jeffrey Marshall - backside noseblunt slide
Adam Hopkins was doing everything from 540's in the bowl to 360 flips down the stairs. Somehow I keep thinking "the Canadian Matt Giles" whenever I see him skate
After Dallas Ives did this switch big spin boardslide, he did switch frontside 360 over the rail and won Best Trick
Thanks to Dakine for hooking up a large pile of bags plus large travel bags for the top winners
Thanks to Dean Guitars for hooking up the axe for both first and second
The Zumiez Destroyer Award comes with a fully charged saw tool thing. There's some kind of name for that tool, but I'm not blue collar enough to know it
Sierra Fellers randomly showed up
Even more random, while driving back from the Contest, we spotted Mark Appleyard, his brother, and Corey Sheppard on bikes
We tried to be tough ass cage figher jocks and order shots of Jager, but then they served them up in these wine glasses. Oh well, stick a pinky out and down it
We're now ready for a joyride on the Coors Light party bus. We aren't even on yet and Schaefer is already sweeping the girls off their feet
The night's already starting to get fuzzy and we haven't even got off the bus yet
Too many Coors Lights means I'm throwing ice at my friends and pouring beer on their heads. Thanks for the good times
The After-Party was in a full blown dance club. We all danced while DJ Wade drew straws
And of course, pause for a foot fetish
Schaefer's trying to dance his way into the circle of Canadian heavies
Desmond Hoostie, what's the drinking age here?
Paul Flores wears his shirt in the club
This guy however...
Colin Clark and Erica were the last photo in my camera. I guess I pulled my Whodini act shortly after this. See you all next year since the Canadian border jockeys are cool with us now. Thanks for the memories
Surprisingly enough, Brian, Rob, and I were welcomed into Vancouver, Canada with basically no hassle at the border. We were expecting the worst as far as holding and questioning, but I walked right through with those guys following only a few minutes behind. It was already late at night, so after we met up with DJ Wade, took the Metro (train), and found the hotel, we all went to bed to the dismay of DJ Wade.

The next day was absolutely beautiful outside. It warmed up to about 75 without a cloud in the sky as we registered the skaters and they got their practice on to DJ Wade’s tunes. Later in the afternoon the grill got kicking and we did a little Bowl Jam where we gave away about $300. Highlights include…
  • Local Alex Chalmers tailsliding around the big corner
  • Nathan LaCoste bs smithing, bs tailing, and nailing a stylish half cab stalefish
  • Adam Hopkins skating like a Canadian maniac and spinning 540’s with no luck on the landing
Ollie Pop High Ollie Contest
Right after the Bowl Jam we got our snaps on with a High Ollie Contest courtesy of our pal Nik at Ollie Pop, who barely made it over the border in time with the gear. The bar started at 30”, with several skaters making it over that height. As the height increased the skaters started getting weeded out, with only five guys left at the 38” mark. But three of them couldn’t clear it, so their highest point was 36”. The final two skaters cleared 38”, but couldn’t quite get over the 39” point, ending in a tie. High ollie contests are so damn fun and exciting every single time, so thanks Ollie Pop.

Qualifiers & Finals
We awoke to a wet and dreary Downtown Vancouver, but by the time we made it over to Bonsor Skatepark at about 10am on the outskirts of town, it was sunny with barely a cloud in the sky. Canadians apparently sleep in, so we started the Contest a little bit late, but since the weather was cooperating, it really didn’t make a difference. There were a total of 11 Jams with three or four skaters each and they all got five minutes to make the top 12 for the Finals.

One huge advantage of making the top 12 in a Damn Am event is that you’re automatically qualified for Tampa Am in December. Yet an even better advantage would be placing 1st or 2nd because that means that you don’t have to skate in the Tampa Am Qualifiers at all and you got straight to the Semi-Finals. Not a bad deal. I think that I say this every time, but the consistent upping of the level of skating never ceases to amaze me. No Semi-Finals are needed for a one-day Damn Am, so it was Qualifiers straight to Finals:

Thanks to Billabong for kicking down $1,000 in travel for 1st and 2nd so they can make it to Tampa and Zumiez for the $500 Gift Certificates for top five.
  • 1st – Matt Berger – I heard that Matt had a five-hour train ride home after the Finals. That leaves him plenty of time to think about his tricks like the fs bluntslide bs flip out
  • 2nd – Magnus Hanson – local from Vancouver that is residing in Huntington, but made it up to kill it for the event
  • 3rd – Jeff Marshall – tie for 1st in the High Ollie, 3rd in the Contest, and 3rd in Best Trick…our boy from Tampa is on the come up
  • 4th – Brandon Del Bianco – repping Element and straight outta’ Mississauga
  • 5th – Will Cristofaro – came from Montreal with a bigger bag of tricks than I realized he had at the King of Vancouver a few weeks ago
  • 6th – Arte Lew – who is this guy? Don’t know, but he certainly surprised us with his skills
  • 7th – Micky Papa – everyone knows Mickey rips and if he would have landed more of his tricks, he would have been top three
  • 8th – Desmond Hoostie – kickflip manual up the curb to nose manual up the ledge to nollie flip out pretty much says it all
  • 9th – TJ Rogers – I will remember TJ for his outgoingness and good attitude
  • 10th – Will Marshall – he made the trek from Toronto and is now taller than his dad
  • 11th – Cory Wilson – Vancouver local and crowd favorite
  • 12th – Adam Fontaine – hurt his knee so he couldn’t knock out all of the switch moves he has on lock
Best Trick
Immediately following the Final Jams, the Best Trick took place on the stairs, rail, and natural rock/big three area. The natural rock was gnarly and it would have been sick to see Brian Wherry pull his 360 flip manual on it.
  • 1st – $500 Zumiez Travel Voucher – Dallas Ives – switch fs 360 ollie over the rail and switch fs bigspin boardslide on the rail
  • 2nd – $200 – Brandon Del Bianco – switch bs flip, switch varial flip, and switch 360 flip the stairs
  • 3rd – $100 – Jeff Marshall – backside noseblunt and kickflip back lip on the rail
  • 4th – Tyler Gaucher – kickflip crooks and nollie noseblunt slide on the rail
  • 5th – Dustin Montie – frontside shuv it to backside lipslide on the handrail
Zumiez Destroyer Award – Brandon Del Bianco
Zumiez hooks it up tight with an award for the overall ripper of the weekend at every Damn Am. This time it went to Mississauga resident Brandon Del Bianco. After killing it all day he walked away with a custom Sawzall and knowing that amongst his peers he stood out as the destroyer of the day.

Thanks


Without Risto from Billabong Canada and Rodney from Billabong here in the States working on this event, it wouldn’t have happened, so thanks fellas. Thanks to all of our Canadian friends and especially Alex Chalmers and Paul Machnau for judging. Also, thanks to Push.ca, Monster, Zumiez, Ollie Pop, Indy, Dakine, Dean Guitars, Push Skate Shop, Momentum, Underworld, and Toy Machine for stepping up, too.

Colin Clark Footage from Damn Am Canada

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