Nerdsday Thursday: Pro Skateboarders That Skated the Damn Am Series in the last Decade

Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 by Rob

This week on Nerdsday Thursday, I'm looking at all the skaters who have skated Damn Am over the years that have gone pro. From Nerdsday a few weeks back, we know there has been 5,239 Damn Am contest placings consisting of 1,655 unique skaters. Just over 7% of those 1,655 skaters have gone on to a legit pro career in skateboarding. The list includes three Thrasher Skaters of the Year (Grant Taylor, David Gonzales, and Leo Romero) plus many of today's top pros. I can't belive how we've been able to meet over 120 of today's pros as they were kids coming up and skating contests like Damn Am for the fun and friendships you form at events like that. Take a look at this amazing list of pros that have skated Damn Am. Who's skating Damn Am right now that will be on this list in the future? We'll see. Hit me up to register for upcoming Damn Ams at rob@skateparkoftampa.com. For more information on Damn Am and how it started, check DamnAm.com.

Brandon Westgate

Brandon skated Damn Am from 2003 to 2006 with his giant snaps before going pro for Zoo York.

Austyn Gillette

We first met Austyn at Damn Am Minneapolis in 2005 where he placed pretty far down the list. He won practice as usual, though and it's been amazing watching him grow into going pro for Habitat and skating like he does today.

David Gravette

After first meeting David in 2005 at Damn Am Minneapolis, we traveled to Europe for a month with him skating and partying. He's pro for Creature now.

Wes Kremer

Wes always had good California medical while he destroyed it for all those years since 2002 in Damn Am. He's pro for SK8Mafia now.

Adam Dyet

Adam was known for winning Best Trick contests at Damn Am in his early days of skating them around 2005. He went pro for Darkstar.

Tony Cervantes

Tony says he remembers me from the first Damn Am in 2001 because I gave him and some homies money for a cab ride. He went pro for Zero after five years of ripping Damn Ams.

Kevin Romar

We've watched Kevin's afro grow with his skating since we first met at Damn Am 2005. He's no pro for Blind.

Danny Fuenzalida

Danny's now pro for Think and skated Damn Am in the first year we started it back in 2001.

Bryan Herman

Bryan spent a couple years skating Damn Am before going pro for Baker.

Lindsey Robertson

We already knew Lindsey from his parachute dives off the vert ramp in Tampa. He skated Damn Am in 2004 before going pro for Mystery.

Brian Hansen aka Slash

Slash skated Damn Am in 2003 and is now pro for Deathwish.

Corey Duffel

Corey went pro for Foundation after skating Damn Am in 2002.

Dan Plunkett

Dan has skated Damn Am in both the US and Amsterdam and is now pro for Skate Mental.

David Gonzalez

2012 Thrasher Skater of the Year, David skated both Damn Am Costa Mesa and Damn Am Minneapolis in 2005 before going pro for Flip.

Wieger Van Wageningen

I remember when Wieger checked in at his first Damn Am in 2001. He couldn't speak any English. We had the toughest time trying to get his last name spelled so he finally said, "Just put VW". The ripping ginger is now pro for Enjoi.

Roberto Aleman

Roberto went pro for Consolidated after skater Damn Am in 2003. We've since been around the world with him as a pro on many of our travels.

Shuriken Shannon

Shuriken turned pro for Black Label after skating Damn Am for three years from 2004 to 2007.

Nick Merlino

Nick spent three years skating Damn Am from 2006 to 2009 before Foundation turned him pro.

Nick Dompierre

Nick's had a wild life ride since skating the Damn Ams back in 2005 and 06 then turning pro for Real then losing it all. He's now on the comeback from that and headed to Tampa Pro again.

Willy Akers

Willy brought his always creative lines to Damn Am from 2002 to 2007 and is now pro for 5Boro.

Braydon Szafranski

Braydon was Hollywood even when we first met him in 2005 at Damn Am. Pro for Baker now and still at the party even when sober.

David Bachinsky

Dave first skated Damn Am in 2004 before the kickflip heard 'round the world and going pro for Think.

Torey Pudwill

We first met Torey at Damn Am at his hometown park, Skatelab, where he won it with the most classic little kid bowl cut ever. Looking forward to his Plan B part we've all been waiting for.

Tony Manfre

Pro for Shut right now, Tony had and still has one of the best frontside flips out. He skated Damn Am back in 2002.

Ron Deily

Ron skated a few Tampa Ams starting in 2004 before skating Damn Am in 2006 and later going pro for Zoo York.

Theotis Beasley

Theotis left his nice guy impression on everyone the first time he skated Damn Am in 2005. Pro for Baker, he's just as nice as he is ripping at skating.

Nick Trapasso

Yep, Nick wore funny pants even back in 2004 when we first met him skating Damn Am Costa Mesa.

Joey Brezinski

The manny champ went pro shortly after skating Damn Am in 2003 in Costa Mesa.

Windsor James

I can't remember if he was ironing his jeans back in 2002 when he skated Damn Am. Windsor turned pro for Mystery.

Dylan Rieder

Dylan won the first Damn Am in Costa Mesa as a little kid. He was like 11 or something. We watched him grow up skating Damn Am for the next four years and then blossom into one of my favorite skaters. I still can't believe some of the things I get to witness from start to finish doing all these Damn Am contests.

Adam Alfaro

Adam skated Damn Am in the beginning in 2001 and went pro for Black Label.

Tyler Bledsoe

Tyler was one of the Billabong kids when Rodney Johnson used to bring him to Damn Ams starting in 2001. He skated them for six years and is now pro for Alien Workshop.

Mike Anderson

Mike's not a contest guy, but he did get one Damn Am back in 2002. It's been amazing watching him grow up and become one of my favorite pros on Krooked.

Jake Duncombe

Jake skated a few Damn Ams in 2006 before going pro for Blind. He always kept the parties live.

Keegan Sauder

Keegan went pro for Zero after he skated Damn Am Minneapolis in 2005.

Levi Brown

Levi skated Damn Am for a couple years before going pro for Element.

Jose Rojo

It was a pleasure to see young Jose Rojo at Damn Am for the first few years we did it before he turned pro for Enjoi.

Billy Marks

Even back when we first met him in 2002, Billy was doing kickflip roast beefs with a crazy list of weird ass sponsors. He got good and legit quick.

Ernie Torres

Ernie went on to go pro for Real Skateboarders after skating several Damn Ams up through 2004.

Guru Khalsa

It was a pleasure having Guru skate Damn Am for the few years from 2001 to 2005 before he went pro for Habitat.

Chris Troy

Chris got thrown in the dunk tank by Body at his first Damn Am right before his run. We stayed friends, though. Chris turned pro for Black Label after years of skating Damn Ams.

Collin Provost

We watched Colin go from vert baby to street machine in his eight years of skating Damn Am. He's pro for Toy Machine now.

Leo Romero

2010 Thrasher Skater of the Year, Leo skated Damn Ams for two years out in California before going pro.

Sierra Fellers

We all knew Sierra after the blew the doors off SPoT in 2004's Tampa Am where he won Best Trick, Qualified 1st, and put down one of the most memorable runs in the history of the Contest. He skated Damn Am for a few years after that before going pro for Foundation.

Ryan Decenzo

Ryan made it to the Finals at his first Damn Am in 2006 after qualifying 2nd out of a list of 80 rippers. He's pro for Darkstar now.

Greg Lutzka

Greg skated Damn Ams in the first year we started doing them in 2001. You might remember a short period of being pro on Krooked after that.

Chaz Ortiz

Chaz was a little pad baby when we met him first killing it at Damn Am Minneapolis.

Kevin Spanky Long

Spanky went on to win Tampa Am then turned pro for Baker.

Lizard King

When we first met Lizard King, he was already on the fast track to becoming pro and one of the best personalities in skateboarding.

Manny Santiago

Manny slayed it all in Damn Am from 2005 to 2010 before going pro. He won Damn Am Minneapolis in 2006.

Jack Curtin

Jack made the cut at his first Damn Am back in 2001. He was pro for DGK withing a few years.

Walker Ryan

Walker went pro and went to college. He kills it in the classroom and on wheels, pro for Organika now.

Daryl Angel

Daryl is no pro for Habitat and started his Damn Am career where many rippers do: at the bottom. He got near last place in his first one but it's been all good since then.

Luis Tolentino

Luis skated Damn Am for a couple years starting in 2008 and is now pro for Shut.

Dan Murphy

Dan turned pro shortly after skating Damn Am at Volcom in 2002. I'm pretty sure he had his dog with him back then, too.

Grant Taylor

2011 Thrasher Skater of the Year, Grant skated Damn Ams for five years before going pro for Workshop and growing up in front of our eyes as they popped out of our heads from disbelief.

Ben Gore

Ben is another one we got to watch grow up while he skated Damn Am for several years. He's pro for Stero now.

Emmanuel Guzman

Emmanuel was there when Damn Am first started in 2001 and skated them for three years before going pro for Santa Cruz.

Justin Figueroa aka Figgy

Figgy skated Damn Am 2005 before his growth spurt and is now pro for Baker.

Luan Oliveira

Luan blew everyone away when Volcom brought him around for his first Damn Am in 2007 where he ended up qualifying first. He's pro for Flip now and has won both Tampa Am and Tampa Pro, too.

Gilbert Crockett

Gilbert had those king sized snaps even back then at Damn Am Minneapolis in 2006. He's pro for Alien Workshop now.

Andrew Allen

We got to see Anti-Hero's ripping ATV back in 2006. For some reason, he never skated any more Damn Ams or Tampa Pro after that. His amazing video parts do all the talking he needs.

Nyjah Huston

I remember shooting photos at the first year of Damn Am where I met Nyjah as a full pads little kid. He was doing early grab backside 360's on tranny. He went on to win Tampa Am just a few years later. You know the rest of the history.

Tommy Sandoval

Tommy skated Damn Am in 2004 and 2005 before turning pro for Zero.

Ishod Wair

Ishod has won two Damn Ams, both in Atlanta and Amsterdam and of course needs no introduction. Pro for Real now.

Ryan Sheckler

Sheckler skated his first few Damn Ams in 2001 with a helmet on when he was just 11. He didn't get to skate too many before turning pro a couple years after that.

Lewis Marnell

RIP Lewis. You are missed, friend.

Vincent Alvarez

We weren't sure what stance Vincent was when we first saw this shredding at Damn Am Costa Mesa in 2007. He had one of my favorite part's in Pretty Sweet. Pro for Chocolate now.

Bobby Worrest

Bobby spent some time in Minneapolis in 2005 skating Damn Am with us. He's pro for Krooked now.

Dennis Busenitz

At his first ever Damn Am in 2001, Dennis came in super hot and qualified first. He ended up in 5th in the Finals and we all know the story after that. He went on to win Tampa Pro twice, one of which was the best contest runs in the history of contest runs.

Chima Ferguson

Chima came to Amsterdam to skate Damn Am with the Volcom crew in 2009 and went pro for Real shortly after.

Johnny Layton

Johnny skated Damn Am for five years before going pro for Toy Machine.

Matt Miller

Nollie cab switch backside noseblunt on that picnic table in the DC ad - yeah, that's what Matt went on to after skating Damn Am for several years.

Gareth Stehr

Gareth killed it Damn Am 2003 and went on to go pro for Foundation.

Gailea Momolu

Last I heard, Gailea was running the party scene up in Vancouver. He ended up pro for Darkstar after skating Damn Am the first year we did it in 2001.

Emeric Pratt

I remember Emeric and his kickflip melons when he first came around in 2001 skating Damn Am. I think he went pro for Consolidated.

Ramiro Salcedo aka Furby

Furby's pro for Deathwish now. He skated Damn Am in 2001 when it first started.

Jereme Rogers

Is there a Damn Am of hip hop careers? Maybe Jereme should try that.

Taylor Bingaman

Taylor skated Damn Am for four years before going pro for Creature.

Ronnie Gordon

Ronnie turn pro for a local board company in his hometown. He's a teacher and has been skating Tampa Pro for years now.

Anthony Mosley

Anthony still has a tab at Skatepark of Tampa he needs to take care of, I believe. Ha! He quickly turned pro and just as quickly disappeared.

Matt Allen

Why can't I remember Matt Allen's board company? He skated Damn Am for years.

Louis Taubert

Louis is a Euro friend of ours that's skated mostly AmsterDamn Am but has also met us around the world as far as Prague, Costa Mesa, and South Africa.

Angel Ramirez

Angel kept it raw on the board and at the nightlife during Damn Ams back in 2003 to 2005, then went pro for Foundation.

Josh Harmony

Josh skated Damn Am Costa Mesa in 2003 and went pro for Toy Machine shortly after.

Corey Sheppard

Before going pro for Blind, Corey skated Damn Am in 2001.

Ryan Bobier

Ryan won Damn Am Costa Mesa in 2003 and then went pro for Mystery.

Keelan Dadd

Keelan skated Damn Am in Minneapolis and California before going pro for DGK. I hope you saw his part in Parental Advisory. He's killing it.

Anthony Shetler

Anthony went pro for Birdhouse after skating Damn Am for a few years since we started it.

Justin Brock

We knew Justin for years from him skating Tampa Am prior to him skating Damn Am. One of many pros for Real that have been in Damn Am.

Danny Morrin

I remember Danny always being consistent and in the Finals in both Damn Am and Tampa Am, but he never won one.

Max Genin

Max is another Euro friend of ours we me through Damn Am that recently started skating Tampa Pro.

Sam Baptista

Sammy was one of the Shorty's kids when he first started skating Damn Ams back in 2003.

Aquil Brathwaite

Aquil skated Damn Am for years with his big giant kung fu kick 360 flips then went pro for Selfish and Famous.

Anthony Schultz

Anthony skated Damn Am for seven years and is now pro for Slave. He won Damn Am Minneapolis in 2007.

Pat Rakestraw

Last I heard from Pat Rakestraw, he was living in Mike Sinclair's closet in SF or something.

Timmy Knuth

Timmy was always in the Finals for years skating Damn Am before going pro for World.

Andrew Cannon

Andrew skated Damn Am for years in the heavy set rippers club before going pro for World.

Terell Robinson

Terell was killing it at every Damn Am for years before going pro for Darkstar.

Danny Cerezini

Danny went pro for Blind after skating Damn Am from 2004 to 2007.

JT Aultz

JT is another pro for Real that has some history in the early years of skating Damn Am.

Chris Dobstaff

Chris needs no introduction either, just a pair of D3's.

Jon Goemann

Jon would kill it at every Damn Am he went to and ended up winning one in Minneapolis in 2003. He's pro on Slave right now.

Spencer Hamilton

Spencer went pro for Exepdition after skating Damn Am for a couple years in 2008 and 09.

Leticia Bufoni

Leticia was another ripping female who always turned heads at Damn Am. A couple years ago, she stepped it up and skated Tampa Pro.

Tyler Hendley

Tyler won the Damn Am Costa Mesa in 2005 and skated in for several years before going pro.

Cody McEntire

After blowing everyone's mind as a flow dude at Tampa Am, Cody continued to kill it at Damn Ams for a couple years before going pro for Think.

Tony Tave

I remember first seeing Tony at Damn Am because of his amazing looking kickflips. He eventually turned pro for Element.

Lauren Perkins

If I remember correctly, Lauren went pro for World? She was one of the few female rippers in Damn Am that skated it from the start.

Austen Seaholm

Austin's been throwing down his unique trick selection at all our events since Damn Am first started in 2001, going pro shortly after.

Adam Taylor

Adam grew up into holding down at the Mega Ramp.

John Motta

John skated Damn Am in 2004 and is now pro for Skate Mental.

Andrew Pott

Andrew was first introduced to us at Damn Am Costa Mesa in 2001 by Bill Dorr, one of the oldest skateboarders I've ever seen. Andrew ripped at Damn Am for seven years before going pro.

Chris Cudlipp

My sister brags about hooking up with Chris at Tampa Pro years ago. Last I heard is he's back in Hawaii.

Jordan Hoffart

Jordan was always coming with the giant ollies even back in 2002 when we first met him at Damn Am Costa Mesa. He's pro for Powell now.

Morgan Smith

We've had many Canadian homies come through Damn Am and go pro. Morgan's pro for Blind now after skating Damn Ams for four years.

Moses Adams

Moses is from Cape Town, South Africa where we saw him this summer at Maloof. He first skated Damn Am back in 2005.

Nestor Judkins

Nestor was pro for Enjoi after skating some of the first Damn Am's back in 2001.

Matt Bennett

When I first met Matt at Damn Am in 2004, he asked me to shoot a photo of his trick. That backside 180 switch back smith ended up becoming named after him. Matt turned pro for Toy Machine after a few years of skating Damn Am.

Sid Melvin

Sid skated Damn Am in 2001 and then went pro for Santa Cruz.

Derek Fukuhara

Derek ripped in Damn Am for a couple years before going pro, now for World Industries.

Aaron Snyder

Aaron rode for Darkstar. I remember him being in some commercials here and there, too. Last I heard, he's a key judge at Street League.

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