A Damn Am 2018 Primer Article at Skatepark of Tampa

A Damn Am 2018 Primer

Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 by Paul

The Damn Am is a global amateur skateboarding contest series. Established in 2001 by Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT), the series built on the success of Tampa Am by taking that experience on the road. Over 5000 skaters have participated in Damn Am events including most of today’s top pros. The Damn Am series serves as the only qualifier to both Tampa Am and the SLS Pro Open. In its 17-year history it has become the number one amateur skateboarding contest series in the world.
Back in 2001, Volcom’s parking lot was the site of the first-ever Damn Am and Dylan Rieder [RIP] won that historic event. SPoT / Damn Am founder Brian Schaefer built that course from scratch and continued to do so for the next decade until Volcom built their permanent TF. Over the years the Damn Am has included stops in Shanghai, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Vancouver, Sydney, Portugal, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and New York City. The 2018 Damn Am series will consist of six stops including our first ever Japan event.
Anyone who is up to the standards of the Damn Am will be able to skate, girls included. Registrations will be accepted for skaters based on the criteria below:
  • Prior participation in Damn Am / Tampa Am events
  • Support and backing of established industry brands
  • Footage showing their ability and skill that we think could be potentially enough to place in the top 10

To register for a Damn Am go to DamnAm.com and click on the event you’d like to enter. Click the link to REGISTER at the top of the page. Registration will generally open two months before each stop. For personal registration requests email Derick at DamnAm@skateparkoftampa.com.

There are typically about 100 skaters in any Damn Am. Different formats are used depending on the number of days of the event, but Qualifying rounds are jam format, with three skaters on the course for three-minutes at a time. A top 30 placing is required to make Semi Finals. The Finals consist of the top 12 skaters of the weekend and each skater gets three one-minute runs. A skater’s best run counts.
Judging has elements of the objective and the subjective. Each Damn Am event has a three-judge panel of skaters that have deep roots in skateboarding and the respect of their peers. Many of our judges are former pros. Judges assign scores based on the following factors: difficulty of tricks, style, technique, variety of tricks, use of course, flow, consistency, originality, and whatever other intangibles a skater might bring to their run. The judges’ scores are averaged to determine a final score on a 100-point scale.

  • APRIL 27-29: Los Angeles / ETN HQ
  • MAY 4-6: Shizouka, Japan / Higashi-Shizouka Skatepark
  • AUGUST 10-11: Chicago / Grant Park Skatepark
  • SEPTEMBER 14-15: NYC / LES Skatepark
  • *TBD: Barcelona
  • *TBD: Australia

The top 10 skaters from each Damn Am automatically qualify for Tampa Am Saturday Qualifier, meaning they will already be in the field of the top 90 skaters at Tampa Am. The winner of each Damn Am receives $500 towards travel to Tampa Am and a Straight Shot to the Semi-Finals, meaning they will be among the top 30 skaters at Tampa Am. (Skaters who have not placed in the top 10 at a Damn Am are not guaranteed a spot in Tampa Am, but those that do get accepted to skate will be slotted in Friday’s Open Qualifier, meaning they will be going up against as many as 150 skaters all trying to make the 10 cut into the Saturday Qualifier).
Skaters are free to enter as many Damn Am stops as they want, with a skater’s best two finishes counting towards their Damn Am of the Year status. The Damn Am NYC stop is the Damn Am Final and a win there beats a win at any of the other 2018 stops. So if a skater gets their second win of the year in NYC they will be Damn Am of the Year. The Damn Am of the Year gets a Straight Shot to the 2018 Tampa Am Finals and an invite to skate the 2019 SLS Pro Open.

Here are all of the previous Damn Ams of the Year…not a bad group of dudes.

2008: Felipe Gustavo
2009: Luan Oliveira
2010: Alec Majerus
2011: Ishod Wair
2012: Auby Taylor
2013: Nassim Guammaz
2014: Anthony Anaya
2015: Yoshi Tanenbaum
2016: Zach Saraceno
2017: Ivan Monteiro
There are two ways to qualify onto the SLS World Tour through the Damn Am series.
1. Win Damn Am of the Year. From there you’ll be invited to skate the SLS Pro Open where you’ll need to finish in the top two among all of the other non-SLS pros.
2. Guarantee your spot in Tampa Am by placing in the top 10 at any Damn Am event. Win Tampa Am. From there you’ll be invited to skate the SLS Pro Open where you’ll need to finish in the top two among all of the other non-SLS pros. Good luck!
Visit DamnAm.com for more information and follow @SPoTTampa –93 ‘Til Infinity


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