Damn Am Awards 2009 and The Skateboard Mag’s YBAm

Posted on Thursday, February 04, 2010 by Rob

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions By Rob Meronek

We’ve been attending ASR for over a decade. In the heyday of the industry’s financial success, every company was trying to outdo each other. That led to the spending of serious amounts of money and tons of hype around the parties each evening. Getting passes to the best party of the night sometimes became the mission of that day at the show. To attend said party, you had to have special VIP passes, then wait outside, and finally get in late to only find a bunch of industry kooks that you didn’t want to hang out with, a crappy DJ, and over-priced drinks. So much for VIP, right?

Over at Damn Am and SPoTlight we used to joke about throwing our own party. We discussed the idea of a fun time with no cover and no security, free beer to those of age, and just a good ol’ time focused around skateboarding. Pair that up with the fact that we wanted to recognize the ams that participate in the Damn Ams and Tampa Am and the Damn Am Awards were born in 2008.

Due to the fact that we couldn’t secure any big financial sponsorship contributions (imagine that), we took the festivities for 2009 from the San Diego Convention Center and brought it just outside of downtown San Diego to the Tum Yeto HQ. Thanks to Red Bull for hooking it up with the sound and other infrastructure and a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone at Tum Yeto (Toy Machine, Foundation, Pig, Dekline) for all of the hard work and for allowing us to take over your warehouse for the evening. 10 kegs of Natty Light and Miller High Life flowed to those of age, skateboarding happened all night long, and we had the opportunity to recognize the skateboarders that make the Damn Ams and Tampa Am possible. They are the future of skateboarding after all.


Abdias Rivera, Tampa translpant

Ashton Maxfield, fellow pawn in the sketchy skateboard industry working public relations at etnies.

Bid'niss Barak.

Paul Flores won the Best Mexican Award.

Schaefer and Consolidated crew - Leticia and Roberto Aleman.

We're the first ones here to set up and rehearse for the Awards. Clem is taking a break on one of our favorite obstacles of all time.

Clint Walker won the Zumiez Overall Destroyer Award for the year.

Colin Clark and I were the documentation geeks for the night.

If you were in this crowd, thanks for coming to our skateboard shindig.

More heads.

David Reyes and Yonnie Cruz, the latest Tampa transplant.

Ryan Dewitt, caretaker of the amazing spectrum of personalities on the Element team.

Lacey's mom, Donna Baker, with Paul Schmitt and Jenna.

It's just Erica now, not Active Erica.

Kyle Leeper, Heath the etnies TM, Tyler Bledsoe, Jeff Taylor, Rob Brink, and Jim Thiebaud after Tyler received his award from The Skateboard Mag.

Felix was last year's TM of the Year. Thanks for the nice words on the mic, Felix.

Luan's in Brazil, but the rest of the Flip team was here to accept his Damn Am of the Year Award for him.

A foot fetish with Sierra, Porpe, and Shawn Hale.

Frosty, thanks for being door guy all night.

Ryan Clements and Neal Hendrix from Fuel TV are champs of boob tube appearances.

Grant Brittain, a legit photographer, unlike the one who shot this photo.

There's a mini-ramp here, too. That's either Jared or Cody Hager. I still can't get it right.

Jason Adams, thanks for hanging out.

Porpe, Jata, and Yonnie. Jata could be a new Tampa transplant, too.

Jeffrey Marshall - runner up for the Mad Snaps Award.

Jamie Hustle reminds me of the black version of Body.

The Former SPoT Employee Club (FSEC) runs deep in every city. Here's two of them: Jon Mann and Yonnie.

The most impatient dude in the building, Justin Williams.

Women have finally reached equality, but only when it comes to hardflips. Lacey Baker has the Better Hardflip Than You Award and Andrew Cannon has the Most Entertaining Award.

Lacey Baker and Jeffrey Marshall are half siblings.

Andrew Langi, Theotis Beasley, David Loy, and some kid who could have pretended to be Luan Oliveira winning Damn Am of the Year.

Luis Tolentino with the Damn Am Babies. Luis tied the world record ollie again this weekend. It's time to put something legit together and give this dude the official title.

The amount of energy and smiles Manny Santiago brings to every event is amazing.

Mark Muller from 3rd Lair, aka Wolfie.

If SPoTlight Productions was a mullet, Jason Rothmeyer would be the bid'niss up front and Vern Laird would the be party in the back.

Neen Williams, low key shredder.

Nick Tucker and Kevin Romar - thanks for hanging out.

Norman Woods is in every city I'm in these days.

Steve and Oliver, top ranking dudes in my book of sketchy skateboard industry contacts.

There was a short video montage of the awards that didn't have a stage moment. We were trying to keep it short and sweet this year. Ben Gore always makes the cut but never wins, so he gets the Definitely Never Going to Win Award.

I just wanted to document a skate photo in my grandfather's suit. This thing is like 50 years old. Had to keep it simple with a soggy pivot to fakie to avoid risking damage to the threads.

Raymond Macken all the way from Down Under. Someone do an event there so we can go back to Australia.

Robert Lopez-Mont and Luis Tolentino, almost Puerto Rico brothers from different mothers.

Rodney Johnson got the Team Manager of the Year Award this year. He should also get an award for Best Acceptance Speech.

Sierra and Ethan Loy, brother of David Loy. Big brother better watch out for little brother. He's killing it.

The stage was the artifact formerly known as the World's Biggest Skateboard.

It was nice to get a photo with the dude I dressed up as for Halloween.

Tyler Bledsoe is The Skateboard Mag's Year's Best Am.

Another legit photographer, Allen Ying. Thanks everyone for coming to the Damn Am Awards and backing all our events for the year. See you everywhere in 2010.



Damn Am of the Year Results

  • Team Manager of the Year: Rodney Johnson - Runner-ups: Felix, Mike Sinclair
  • Most Improved: Shawn Hale - Runner-ups: CJ Dixon, Cameo Wilson
  • Just for Showing Up: Caesar Fernandez - Runner-ups: Curren Caples, David Loy
  • Zumiez Overall Destroyer: Clint Walker - Runner-ups: Ben Hatchell, Shawn Hale
  • Tampa Am Winner: Luan Oliveira
  • Damn Am of the Year: Luan Oliveira (1st place Damn Am Costa Mesa and 1st place Tampa Am) - Runner-ups: Felipe Gustavo, Chris Mendes
  • The Skateboard Mag’s YBAm: Tyler Bledsoe
  • Never Gonna Win: Ben Gore - Runner-ups: Marius Syvanen, Abdias Rivera
  • CanadiAm: T.J. Rogers - Runner-ups: Magnus Hanson, Will Marshall
  • EurOK: Youness Amrani - Runner-up: Adrien Bulard, Eniz Fazliov
  • Done Growed Up: David Loy
  • Better Hardflip Than You: Lacey Baker
  • Pro Before You Know: Nick Merlino
  • Mad Snaps: Luis Tolentino - Runner-up: Kechaud Johnson, Jeffrey Marshall
  • Little Big Man: Louie Lopez - Runner-up: Chase Webb
  • Came Out of Nowhere: Mark Suciu - Runner-up: Cory Huber
  • Best Attitude: Theotis Beasley
  • Most Entertaining: Andrew Cannon
  • Best Black Dude: Norman Woods
  • Best Mexican: Paul Flores
  • Gratitude Award: C.J. Tambornino
  • You Choked: Mike Thompson
  • Winner of Every Practice: Evan Smith
  • Thanks to our Supporters: Billabong, DC, Volcom, Zumiez, Independent, The Skateboard Mag, Mob Grip, Red Bull, ASR, Cons, Transworld Skateboarding, SBC

Chill Cam Footage From The Awards

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