Another Day In Paradise
Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 by Rob Meronek
Another Weekend in ParadiseWords & Photos by Ryan Clements
Once again, Rob Meronek was unable to attend because we had a BMX Contest going on at Skatepark that he needed to work. So I was left with photo duties, along with managing the Team. Being the TM is the easy part – if you can handle getting made fun of, then being a team manager is a cake job.
Satellite BeachSatellite Beach is such a cool beach town. Whenever I spend time near the water I always wonder why I didn’t buy a place closer to the ocean. In addition to being on the Atlantic, Satellite is also host to a pretty cool cement skate park. No one was watching/working the park when we arrived, so we just hopped the fence and made ourselves at home. When the attendant finally arrived, he asked Pat Steiner and Tommy Presley, “Who’s the best one here?” What in the hell difference that makes is beyond me, but I think that Chris Lehman stole the session based on the amount of moves he pulled on the tight quarter.
As the session was winding down, I realized that I was supposed to be shooting photos. Fortunately, Mike Derewenko tagged along last minute and had all of the dope gear set up and was shooting away. He hasn’t gotten back to me with the snapshots yet, so be looking for those on the site sometime soon.
Finding a Hotel/Hurricane DamageFrom Satellite we drove over to Merritt Island for a session at Paradise Funplex. The inside course is really fun and thanks very much to Wayne and Dennis at Paradise for comping our session. As the sun set, the crew collectively was over skating so we grabbed some talls and headed for the hotel. Afro-Jim had already booked the room for us and it was 12 miles away! I was like, “Why don’t you book something closer? There are hotels all over the place in that area.”
After driving around and seeing the damage to literally every building, now I understand why there are no rooms available near the water. Every other hotel is missing pieces of their roofs and the hotels that are open are housing all of the people that are missing parts of their homes. It’s not like it’s total destruction or anything, but you can definitely tell that a couple of hurricanes went through the area.
Globe Wildcard Series – The Actual ContestI made sure to get everyone up early so we could eat breakfast and arrive on time. Upon our arrival I found that the place hadn’t even opened yet. Apparently the guys from Globe weren’t able to find a hotel room and had to drive all the way to Orlando for accommodations. Damn hurricanes.
The joint opened up a little after 10am and all of our crew got signed up to skate. Much to my pleasant surprise there wasn’t a fee to skate in the contest, or skate at all for that matter. Props to Globe for covering the cost for everyone for the entire day. One thing that I found peculiar was that even though the place was open, no one was permitted to skate the indoor street course. I had to pull the ol’ ‘get the rep and have him tell the kid at the door that you’re cool’ trick so I could skate without 100 kids on the course.
By the time the contest actually started at around 2pm I was already pretty much worn out. There were four heats – Pat, Tommy, Ian, and Scotty all skated in the first one, so that made it easier to watch. Giles was hurt and Lehman didn’t want to skate it, so us cool guys just watched from the sidelines. I thought all of the guys skated well, but then the waiting game began after the first heat. Who was to make the finals?
I spent the next few hours hanging out in the parking lot, which was rather entertaining. Now I’m about to drop some names…there were some stars up in that place. I saw and overheard Danny Renaud prank calling Brian Schaefer. DJ Chavez, Mike Peterson, and Jaya Bonderov were there from Globe. There were beers being drunk and games of S.K.A.T.E. being played. The highlight of the afternoon was when Tony Reddington from FTK set up a 4’ tall bank ramp to the back of the tailgate of a trailer. The thing was monstrous and intimidating as hell, but a few people tried it and a couple of boardslides were landed. Even more entertaining (and funny) were the kids that couldn’t even make it over the ramp.
By about 5:30pm I realized that they had just finished the second heat. By those calculations, the contest was going to run until about 10pm – which puts me at home at about 2am. I got the inside scoop that both Ian and Pat made the finals, but they weren’t feeling the extended-stay either. After another free burger provided by Mike Duffield, Globe rep, we packed up and headed home.
I got an email the next day that informed me that Brad Cromer won and Dominic Johnson took second. The final prize for the series is a trip to Australia after some more competition – good luck fellas.