Photos by Ryan Clements and Jesse Fritsch
Words and Captions by Ryan Clements
For the first time in nearly a decade, I skipped the Annual Johnny Romano Skate Jam
this year. But when Birdman calls, I listen. A few days before we were all set on leaving for our road trip to Texas, I got a text from Tony Hawk asking if I could announce the vert demo for the Stand Up For Skateparks event in Las Vegas. Would you say, “No Tony, I’m busy?” I didn’t think so. My fourth trip to Vegas in the last two months was booked and a few days later I was headed west yet again.
Stand Up For Skateparks raises money for the Tony Hawk Foundation, where it’s allocated to cities to help them facilitate skate park construction in a park near you. I didn’t get the final total, but last year they raised nearly $1mil. It’s basically the high-end version of the Make-A-Wish Jam, with stars and affluent attendees in abundance. Who better to support skateboarding?
Thanks to Tony and the entire staff for an amazing event and experience. I finally feel normal after staying up all night on Saturday night and catching my 6am flight home on Sunday morning. It’s rare that I get caught up in that $h!tstorm of partying, but I couldn’t resist.
First class with coffee and cake? Foreshadowing the events to come.
This is about 30 miles out of Vegas. Mother Nature done well.
After checking into my room at Wynn, I went exploring, and ran into Elliot Sloan and Kevin Stabb. This is the first of too many pictures of me.
Andy Mac was filming everything with this camera and Sandro Dias flew in from Brazil just to skate the demo.
When I got back to my room there was a bottle of wine with a photo of someone doing an invert on the label. What better place to take a photo of it than in front of the TV in the bathroom. What? Your house doesn’t have one?
The next morning, some executive from Best Buy tracked Shaun White down to give him this guitar. It was a signed gift from Joe Satriani and his super-group, Chickenfoot.
This is the VIP Reception where you can pay extra $$$ to meet Birdman and posse.
Eric Estrada was there with his family. I shot that photo and we was like, “Do you work for Six Flags?” because the label on the sucker said “Six Flags.” Ponch has no idea that he was my first influence on a motorcycle.
This customed-out Sportster-turned-Café Racer built by Roland Sands went for over $30,000.
There were about a dozen food stations like this one.
When he’s not shooting for The Skateboard Mag or skating better than you, Anthony Acosta spends his time at Stand Up For Skateparks.
Jesse Fritsch and yet another photo of me.
Oh yeah, that’s who the red carpet was really for. Holly Madison likes skateboarders.
Tony Hawk and some other really famous guy. Oh never mind, that’s just another photo of me.
Gearing up for the demo, Bucky Lasek had some crazy stretches going on.
This is the extent of the work I did...talked on the mic for 45 minutes. It’s the least amount of work I’ve ever been flown in to do at any time ever. Not complaining, just saying.
Tony Hawk and a 540.
Kevin Stabb still has some amazing bs ollies.
Right after the demo, the band X played. They are one of Tony’s favorites and he was amped that they donated their time.
I ended up hanging with Shaun Gregoire quite a bit. He just finished college and was on a cross-country motorcycle trip.
Steve Van Doren was there to support.
DJ Z-Trip and I hit it off immediately. New best friends!
The beginning of the final evening. This was my opportunity to get the picture of myself and Shaun White that many of my friends and co-workers clowned me so much about.
I know, I know…yet another photo of me, but at least Jesse Fritsch is in there, too. And some serious star power! The story is: Tony and Stabb went to high school with David Spade, who comped tickets for all of us and then invited us backstage. It was pretty rad to meet Joe Dirt.