SPoT Team Trip to Pensacola

Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 by Ryan

SPoT Team Trip to Pensacola
Story by Ryan Clements, Captions and Photos by Rob Meronek

Day One:

Apparently, thinking that we could fit a total of 11 people in my truck with my new topper installed was a mistake on my part. The next trip will be planned with emphasis on seniority.

As we passed Ocala the rain began, and Allen Russell informed me that my brand new topper was leaking through the skylight. Sucks for him, because the front of the truck handled the weather quite nicely. I don't mind the rain, but the sad realization was that we wouldn't be able to skate the buttery Tallahassee park. For the next couple of hours the rain would be heavy, and then mellow out, and then pour hurricane-style to where we were going 45mph with our hazards on. But then, when we were about 10 miles outside of Tallahassee, the skies parted and the rain ceased. Go figure.

The Tallahassee park is just how a public skate park should be run. It's free, open from dawn to dusk, and no pads are required. I wrote about it in an article on the way to Texas last year, so I'm not going over it again. Check the photos of the crew.

Derewenko had this great idea to hit some hubba in downtown after the park session. After a failed mission, losing Scotty, finding Scotty, running into my next door neighbor in traffic (No joke. What are the chances? I would have been more likely to win the damn lottery!), and proceeding to get lost, we got back on I-10W and drove in the rain for another three hours to Pensacola.

Pete Kelly, organizer of the event, hooked up a great rate at Holiday Inn. We were actually welcomed from the manager as if they were stoked that skateboarders were at their hotel. When was the last time that happened? In addition, they have one of those free, all-you-can-eat breakfast deals with 24 hours per day free coffee.

Since it was still wet outside, instead of going to the skate park that the contest was being held at, X Park, we were directed to Big Air Skatepark. Now I don't know what's in the water in Pensacola, but where in the hell are they getting the names? No disrespect to anyone, because we were treated great by Ray from Big Air, but I feel weird just typing the name. It reminds me of the Phat City - cool park, silly name.

My eyes were shot from driving all day, so Derewenko, Russell, Rob, and my session consisted of talls in the parking lot while the kiddies tore up the street course. Ray even went as far as to give the guys free pizza and sodas. Thanks for the great hospitality from Big Air.

The legendary BC invited us to some crazy strip bar that's only $5 to get in, served beer for free, and had $1 lap dances. I know what you're saying, "That's too good to be true," but from what I heard, that's what went down. Unfortunately I missed out on the action because I chose to bring Jeffrey Marshall on this particular trip, so I had to act responsible and all of that stuff. Jeffrey and I had a nice dinner at some busted Mexican restaurant across the street. Being step-dad is a hard job - playing step-dad for the weekend is pretty fun. We watched Sponge Bob Square Pants and went to bed.

Day Two:
I don't know how the rain ceased, but it did. Everyone in my room (Jeffrey, Derewenko, and Rob) was bummed because I had the alarm blasting at 7am.

Editor's Note: I started typing "Day Two" in the hotel room after the contest. I didn't get too far because I stopped to enjoy the music, conversation, and companionship. Giles proceeded to take over after I sent him home from the bowling alley in a cab with the rest of the kiddies. I guess I left my laptop on and he took the opportunity to be heard.

This part is by Matt Giles (and edited heavily by Ryan Clements):

And then me and the big crew chief (AKA Team Manager Clem Diggy Fat Ass) decided to get everyone out of bed so that the Skatepark of Tampa Team could roll in and put a hurting on everyone. Well, we showed up at the X Park and the only ones who were ripping right off the bat were Scott Conley and Ian Gow, like always. The other skaters were Tommy 4 Prez, Abida Buda Batta, Dirt, and his look alike, Giles (me). Big Allen Russell was in the mix, but was stuck in the truck in the parking lot for some odd reason. So therefore he didn't rip to full potential.

When the contest began, Abdias blew it by trying every flip trick over the pyramid both runs and not landing a thing. Tommy 4 Prez had some hot moves, but couldn't put it all together. I didn't land crap, like always, and ended up trying to do the hot moves Clements gots on lock to show him that I rip. Boy, what an ill faded attempt that was. I landed a few hot moves, but I was so sun burnt at the end that I went for the Beast around 5pm and never stopped. In other words, I didn't do much of anything.

On the other hand, Dirt and Ian made it to the finals. Dirt ripped with fs flips, kf 50-50's, and kf fs boardslides, but didn't put it together when it came to his runs. Ian had one of the sickest runs I have ever seen, consisting of nose blunts down the handrail, big kick flips, kf fs 50-50s, back lips, fs flips, and even a fly-out nose grab. Though to disappointment, Rob Aaron won the contest with boardslides to fakie, smith grinds, and huge grabs. Maybe he did a 180 and a half cab, but you are the judge.

Editor's Note: No disrespect to Rob Aaron whatsoever. Rob rips. He is super-rad on a skateboard and one hell-of-a nice guy. He even tried to give Ian some of the money after the results were announced. Hats off to a true gentleman and skateboarder.

Back to Giles:

So in the end, Ian got 2nd and everyone else on the Team was worthless, besides the great time. Then when we were all done, we agreed to a bowling tournament at the lanes next to the skate park. After we all went to the hotel to freshen up, off to the lanes we went. The tournament consisted of the whole team, a lot of yelling, side betting, and money being lost. It looked like Mike Derewenko was going to take the gold in the beginning, but the tables turned as the Ragin' Asian hit the sweat shop and nailed strikes in the 7th, 8th, and 9th frames. So at the end, Rob had an extra $20 or $30. That can buy you a lot of lap dances at the strip club that he ended up going to, courtesy of B.C.

Back to Clements Writing the Story:

I guess that's all that Giles had in him. His account of the day's festivities was pretty accurate. I just want to stress that in no way are we hating on Rob Aaron. The contest runs were based on someone's ability in a 60-second time period. Myself, and several others that I spoke to, just happened to believe that Ian's run was better than Rob's. So once again, no disrespect to Rob - just the judging. No one would have even mentioned it if there wasn't $1000 up for first place.
Day Three:
Want to talk about boring? Try riding with me on a road trip. We cruised out of Pensacola at 8am and arrived back at Skatepark of Tampa at 4pm. To everyone's displeasure but my own, we only stopped once. That's how you get somewhere without wasting any time. All of the guys said their 'thank-yous' and 'goodbyes'. Scotty actually followed me out back, opened the door, and yelled, "Clements. Thanks." As I drove away, I thought, "No, thank you guys. This is what's keeping me having fun in the most youthful way possible - on my skateboard." Ryan

Tommy T4PREZ Presley - switch nosegrind
Jeffrey Marshall - backside 50-50
Jeffrey Marshall - crook
Matt Giles - frontside tailslide
Ian Gow - backside 180 nosegrind
Ian Gow - frontside flip
Look right behind Jocko Bifarellie - you'll see Matt Giles boardsliding that rail in downtown right before we got the boot
Matt Giles is playing it safe while he recovers from a dislocated shoulder - backside 5-0
Fun with air barreling out of the quarterpipe
Allen Russell in downtown Tallahassee
Abdias Rivera - switch flik
Abdias Rivera - backside noseblunt slide
Abdias Rivera - nosebluntslide
AJ - 360 flip
AJ - frontside flip
Duuuude, trippy photo, maaaan. That's a reflection of Matt Giles and Allen Russell in the front seat on the glass between the rest of the crew in the truck bed
Napping all the way home
Tommy Presley - pivot fakie
Abdias Rivera, Matt Giles, and Rob Meronek rearranged signs on a late night adventure through town
Scotty Conley just turned 21, but he still doesn't know that beers are heavy and they break through the bottom of weak bags - good bye quarts
Scotty Conley - staple gun
Ricky Martin - back smith
Ryan Clements - tail block
Scotty Conley and Allen Russell show you how to chill
Pete Kelly - frontside ollie tail smack
Pete Kelly - lipslide shove out
Ricky Martin - back lip
Matt Giles and Jeffrey Marshall - Joe Dirt, Sr. and Joe Dirt, Jr.
Pat Stiener - front feebs
Jeffrey Marshall - kickflip
Jeffrey Marshall - melon over the hip
Ian Gow gets second place
Ian Gow - varial heel
Fred Tan - kickflip
Matt Giles - backside overcrook
Ian Gow - back lip
Ian Gow - noseblunt slide
No, that's not fake. That sign was really hanging up next to the boards
Matt Giles and Jeffrey Marshall look like a father and son team during the snake session that brewed after the contest was over
Abdias Rivera - feeble down the rail
Abdias Rivera - frontside flip
The cool guys
This is a wide view of the park. The ground's a little rough and slow, but other than that, the park itself is pretty good

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