Make-A-Wish Road Trip 2003By Ryan Clements
Saturday the 15thAfter a pretty decent free breakfast at the hotel, the entire crew headed off to Southside and had what ended up being a ‘private session.’ Due to the design, the place is tough to skate with a lot of people. Although it was 10am, all the guys had smiles on their faces. Nate Broussard joined in with the boys and showed us how to skate a step-up, but the “winner” of the session was definitely Rob Meronek. I don’t know how he does it, but Rob is coming up at 32. Hit ‘em up, Rob!
About an hour later, the place started to get a few more skaters coming in and cruising around, but no one was complaining since it was the likes of Trujillo, Drehobl, and Darrel Stanton. Right before 1pm, it seemed like they opened the floodgates; everything was going off – huge crowd with stoked kids and a great vibe that I only get from the Texas Skate Jam. You’ll just have to go for yourself to experience it.
As for the skating, I hope that Rob took enough pics for you to enjoy it because I’m certainly not going to be able to write about everything. Let’s just say that it was very entertaining. There are two things that stick out in my head though. One, that nosepick that Mike V. did on that wall was insane. You should have seen how many slams he took to make one perfectly. He actually made one and rode across half of the bowl with only a slight slide-out, but that wasn’t good enough…he had to do it again. All politics aside – I don’t care about your previous opinions of Mike’s personality – he is one of the gnarliest guys out there and it was rad that he made the trip to Texas.
Two, and this is the best part so I’ll cut right to the chase; Ian Gow won Best Trick on the hubba! There must have been 30 skaters in it and the contest was set up in a jam format. But due to space restraints, all of the entrants literally had to wait in line and take turns. It was rather funny to see them do that considering $5000 was on the line. The pros that I recall are Brian Sumner, Jesse Paez, Malcolm Watson, Matt Pailes, Ryan Sheckler, and a ton of ripping ams like Braden Fitzgerald, Daryl Angel, John White, Aaron Perko, and many more that you’ve never heard of. Sumner was working on the kf back noseblunt, Paez made the 360 flip noseslide, and Fitzgerald nailed a 360 flip 5-0, but Ian Gow’s kf nosegrind was the one that took it.
Just so all of you punks back in Tampa have the story straight, Ian doesn’t have $5000 cash to bring home. Since the event is benefiting Make-A-Wish, the money gets donated to the Foundation in Ian’s name (not like he needs the tax write-off). The least we could do is take Ian out to dinner wherever he wanted to go. He picked Chili’s. I respect modesty. Speaking of being modest, upon returning to the hotel I spent the remainder of the evening chatting with Stacey Lowery about the skateboarding industry. I like his viewpoints.
Now it’s Sunday morning at 9:23am and I’m going to try and get us in on another private session…