DAY TRIPPIN' TO THE EAST COAST Article at Skatepark of Tampa


Posted on Saturday, March 6, 2004 by Ryan

March 6, 2004
Words by Ryan Clements, Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

We made 90% of the 2.5 hour drive without stopping, and then had a killer Bob Evans breakfast. The park was only another 20 minutes or so way, but when we arrived, they made us wait to skate because they were trying to get organized. But then for no reason they opened the gates and let everyone in. Go figure. It was really crowded, but very fun at the same time. Rob and I skated for nearly two hours, but that's about all of the energy that I had for a real session.

The park is good, but there seems to be some type of element missing - although I'm not sure exactly what. Maybe it's just a small, mellow quarter-pipe, or possibly a step-up, but I'm not sure. Step-ups are the 'feel-good obstacle of the early 2000's.' Who doesn't enjoy skating step-ups? The fear factor is at an all-time low and doing tricks up them is relatively easy.

I spent the rest of the day doing some serious hanging out with the crew. It turned into what we called a "tailgate party," but we didn't have BBQ or booze. There was a fair amount of cat-calling going on, too. One guy claimed, "Hey Man, that's my girlfriend." It was cool though, because EVERY female walking by was addressed. We don't believe in discriminatory harassment. After the cat-calling got old, we got so bored that we went 4x4ing in the sand dunes right next to the skate park. That was the first time that I've ever put my truck in 4-wheel-drive. Now I'm hooked.

The contest was kind of dragging on with the age groups, but around 5pm the sponsored division went down. It was entertaining watching a very diverse group of skaters ride that park. There were the really tech dudes that couldn't carve and there were carvers that couldn't ollie. When it was all said and done, Jack Baird took 1st, can't remember who took 2nd, and Randy Browne got 3rd. I personally thought that Ian Gow's fs blunt on the big rail amongst other moves in a pretty decent run would have garnered at least a 3rd place. But I guess the judges saw things differently.

Everyone was exhausted on the drive home. Upon reaching Lakeland we found that I-4 was at a complete stop. Pat, knowing his way around Lakeland, took us to an old Lakeland Hooters. It was nearly 10pm and we barely made it in there in time to order food. The crew sitting next to us were a bunch of good ol' construction working, jock Lakeland boys. When we finished our wings and headed out to the truck, we found the jock crew already outside. It was such a lame Lakeland scene. One of the jocks was arguing with his girlfriend, who also happened to be a Hooters waitress, and the rest of their crew was watching. As we walked to our truck, their attention went from watching their buddy argue to staring us down. There wasn't a single one of them under 200lbs., but they felt the need to get all tough and macho on us. It was a lame feeling and very nice to get home to Tampa.

Thanks to the volunteers at Satellite Beach Skate Park for throwing a fun contest.


Usually when you're hopping the fence at a skatepark, you're sneaking in. Ian Gow is hopping the fence from the bank ramp to get out.
Sorry, can't remember who this blunt slider is.
Ryan Clements and Scotty Conley look like they're on a postcard or something.
Forrest Cunningham throws himself at every skate obstacle like girls throw themselves at Brian Schaefer. Here he's on a frontside 5-0.
Click here to see video footage of it. Then, click here to see a crazy ankle bender he had while trying it.
Forrest Cunningham - frontside 5-0 on the hubba.
Forrest Cunningham tail slides to fakie on the hubba after being handed a full beat down by the thing while he was trying it.
Only little kids can take a fall like this, get up, laugh, and make the trick after. Check out Forrest Cunningham's crazy ankle tweaker.
Forrest Cunningham gets ready for some extreme scootin'.
Even if you add their ages together, it's probably still illegal.
Ian Gow frontside blunt slides the rail.
Ian Gow frontside bluntslides the rail. Click here to see the video.
Ian Gow - perfect kickflip back lip.
Ian Gow - perfect kicklfip back lip. Click here to see the video.
Jack Baird is another one of those locals in another town where you're like, "Who's that kid?" He rips. This is a backside tailslide.
Shakka bra.
A wide view of the park.
Pat Siener backside lipslides the rail during practice.
Pat Stiener is just having fun here kids. Just because someone smokes and drinks doesn't mean you need to. Same rule for benihanas. Got it? Good.
A real photo nerd would never take a photo directly into the sun like this, but I'm not a photo nerd. I'm a computer nerd with a point and shoot camera. This is Pat Stiener sitting on a frontside ollie to tail on the fence.
I rarely ever art fag out on the photos like this, but this one of Scotty Conley hopping up to frontside rock on the fence looks kind of decent.
Scotty Conley cleans up the hubba with this boardslide ass dragger.
Scotty Conley - 50-50 during his run.
Another view of Scotty Conley's 50-50.
Scotty Conley finger flip lazy board slides down the hubba.
Belly the Kid, Scotty the Body, etc. Scotty Conley has a host of nicknames to choose from. This is a frontside rock on the fence.
Scotty Conley tries hard to suck in the gut on this nose stall on the fence.
The SPoT Team.
Another reason you shouldn't take photos directly into the sun. They look like this nosegrind on the rail. I can't remember this kid's name, but he works there.


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