Phoenix Am 2005

Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements, Photos by Rob Meronek

Friday, April 01, 2005 at Kinko’s in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona
Unfortunately, Brian chose not to come because his back was hurting him. But we were able to add Chris Lehman to the roster. In addition, Scotty Conley flew himself out here and Abdias Rivera caught a ride from Costa Mesa with the Volcom Crew, so Tampa is all up in Phoenix.

Meronek, Lehman, and I arrived last night and headed right to the Desert West Park, or whatever they officially call it. From what I’ve learned, it’s eight years old and it was the first public park in the Phoenix area. The construction of the park was heavily orchestrated through the dedication of the crew at Cowtown Skateboards, who also run the Phoenix Am. There was a lot of work going on with getting the course situated, but no one seemed to mind that we skated on the sidelines.

From there we went to one of the best (Rob says it IS the best) public skate parks that I’ve ever skated, located in Tempe. They did it just right...free, cement, no rules, and well-lit. It had a great bowl and a well-varied street section. The whole park flowed, it was smooth as a baby’s ass, and the coping was perfectly set. One of my favorite obstacles there was a replica of the Ghetto Banks in Miami...those ones in the MLK area that are angled and go down like five stairs. I had so much fun on it that I twisted my ankle about 30 minutes into the session. No skating for me for a couple of weeks, and now I’m going to be the hang-out-industry-guy for the rest of the weekend.

It’s not like I was contributing much to the session anyway, and it continued to go down with Lizard King sticking out in my mind as one of the true rippers, along with that little dude, David Gonzalez...the kid from Colombia that rides for Flip. The lights went out at 10pm and the Volcom Crew was kind enough to invite us to dinner at Applebee’s on their tab. You can’t go wrong with four or five guys in their 30’s and 12 team-riders in a restaurant. The servers hated us as usual. We thanked Remy, Stevie, and Kevin and headed back to the hotel to crash.

We went to the contest site this morning and I helped with sticker placement since I was bored and unable to skate. A lot of heads were showing up and some ripping was going down. The contest is going to be good for sure. Rob and I are taking it mellow right now and Lehman is skating with the Osiris guys, and Kong, the Team Manager. The Contest starts tomorrow and should be a fun one to watch.

Sunday, April 03, 2005 at Motel 6 in the Phoenix, Arizona Ghetto
It’s not total ghetto around here, but it’s close. There are quite a few sketchers walking around at all times, but especially after dark. Yesterday, some guy totally wanted to fight us because Rob blocked him from turning for only a couple of seconds as I hopped in the van. And it seems like most of the guys around here look like gangsters. Not having tattoos on your neck is a rarity.

Another thing…it’s brutally hot here. Not hot like it is in Florida, but a bit different because it’s not humid. I mean it’s the polar opposite of humid; it’s dry as hell and apparently it barely rains. The mornings are really nice, but as the day creeps on, it gets hotter and hotter. And it was obvious that no one was prepared for that based on the number of sunburned faces that were walking around yesterday. We decided to have our own sunburn contest and Joey Corey was crowned the victor. That dude was straight-up lobster-face last night.

The semis went on and on and on yesterday. Bottom line – none of our guys made the cut. Abdias’ first run wasn’t quite enough to pull it and Chris didn’t really land much in either run. Scotty didn’t make the cut either, but that’s because he wasn’t entered. So to make up for lost skate time he spent the day hustling Shaqueefa gear in the parking lot, harassing kids into buying t-shirts.

I watched so much skating that I don’t really recall too many specifics, but Adam Dyet is really consistent with super-hard tricks. He’s definitely a favorite to take it in my book. It’s nice to see Graham Bickerstaff up in the cut, too. I love hanging out with that kid. I must admit that attending a legit contest and not having to work has been really relaxing. I’m looking forward to drinking beer in the Volcom RV once again today. Check all of the qualifying results in our What’s Up? section and look for the final results to be posted tonight.

Sunday, April 03, 2005 at Motel 6 in Phoenix, Arizona – in the evening
The Contest is over. I’m sunburned and dehydrated, but that’s how it goes when it feels like it’s 100 degrees out. I’m just glad that it’s not the summertime, because I’ve heard that you basically can’t even skate during daylight hours during that time of the year.

We ate some Sonic for breakfast/lunch this morning and then headed over to the Contest site. I’m always in a hurry to do stuff like I’m on my crazy work regiment, but it was just so cool to simply hang out the entire day. I made my way around the skate park a few times and then plopped myself down in a good spot to watch the Semis.

The Semi-Finals are always good, but what everyone really wants to see is the Finals, so I’ll cut right to those, as well as the Best Trick. I didn’t stay long enough to hear the real results, so I’m going to make up my own. I’m sure that Trent from Cowtown will email the real results as soon as possible.

Ryan Clements’ Street Results – These Are Not the Real Results, Just My Opinion
1. Adam Dyet – he started his run with a kickflip fs boardslide and ended it with a kickflip bs tailslide to fakie down the handrail. In between he did a bs tailslide on the quarter amongst other tough moves. That was all in his first run. It was apparent that he won it and everyone else was just going for second place.

2. Sierra Fellers – first trick out the box was a nollie flip boardslide on the flat bar and then in his second run he did a nollie heelflip boardslide on the same bar. A fs 50/50 down the hubba sealed second for Sierra in my book.

3. Gerald Webb – I think that I’m spelling this guy’s name incorrectly for sure, but he absolutely killed it. Gerald did a kickflip inward heelflip over the hip and a bs noseblunt down the handrail. Damn.

4. Ron Deily – this kid from New Jersey rips and he rides for Nieratko’s NJ Skateshop. He had the best fs flips over the tranny hip and a killer nollie bs flip over the pyramid hip going the hard way.

5. Jordan Hoffart – I don’t recall anything in particular that Jordan did, with the exception of an ollie over the entire center section, which was about 18’. He may have deck-checked it, but it was still gnar as hell. Oh yeah, he did a hippie-jump through the car going the wrong way landing into the bank – serious precision right there.

Ryan Clements’ Best Trick Results - These Are Not the Real Results, Just My Opinion
1. Adam Dyet – if the real judges don’t agree with me on this one then they must be out of their minds. This cat did a nollie heel 270 to fs boardslide down the handrail. Yep, that’s some stuff that you pull on THUG. Congrats to Adam for taking both comps.

2. Oliver Buchanan – he did the smoothest, most perfect nollie flip bs lipslide down the handrail that could have ever been done. And extra props to Oliver for wearing those Emerica karate shoes with literally no sole or ankle support.

3. Dallas Rockvam – this dude has the full rockstar name right out the box, so of course he’s going to rip, too. He had a nollie bigspin backlip and a nollie bigspin backside 5-0 on the handrail.

4. Jake Duncombe – I just met this kid for the first time this weekend and he’s one of the coolest 17-year-olds that I’ve ever spoken to. A really big bs 360 ollie and a bs nollie biggie off the side of the bank ramp got him fourth on my list.

Other Notables
- Grant Patterson – this dude is the most G that I’ve seen anyone in a while. He’s even got pull-off silver fronts for his teef Dawg, and a gigantic frontside nollie 180 flip off the side of the bank, too.

- Wieger VW – fakie ollie switch bluntslides are a tough one, but Wieger has no problem with them on handrails.

- Dom Johnson and Brad Cromer – these are two guys from Florida that were virtually unknown about a year ago. During that time they’ve proven themselves as rippers as both made it to the Finals. Much respect.

- Mirko Mangum (the announcer) – he may be black, but he ain’t no Clyde Singleton!

Overall Winner of the Entire Weekend – LIZARD KING!
I could have written this entire story on Lizard and Lizard alone. This is going to sound lame, but this guy is so marketable that you could make a fortune off an entire brand modeled simply after him. His antics, personality, and skating ability were entertaining the entire weekend. Lizard rips and smiles the whole way through. He ended the entire event with a bang when he ollied over the center obstacle the wrong way and landed on the roof of the car and rolled into the bank. Hell yeah!

Remember, those are the Fake Results. Rob will post the Real Results as soon as we get them from Trent at Cowtown.

Thanks so much to my crew – Rob Meronek, Scotty Conley, and Chris Lehman, for being here for the fun times. Thanks to Cowtown Skateboards for putting on an authentic event, and to everyone I shared a laugh and a beer with. Thanks to Tempe Skate Park for taking out my ankle – we’re coming back to Phoenix to skate for sure.

Ryan

The official results can be found in this PDF file:
Phoenix Am 2005 Full Results.
You can also check the Phoenix Am Website.
No that's not Dave Metty the filmer, that's a real cop. Sick - people were getting arrested at the skate park. There were about 6 police cars patrolling around the entire time during the event on Saturday. I bet there isn't six police cars total in the sketchy area of town we stayed at
Every contest has to have the fully padded little kid that rips. Even Nyjah Huston used to be that kid. For this contest, it was Chazz Ortiz. This is a backside 50-50
If you want to get a sign to show your support for racial separation, there are plenty of places in Phoenix that sell stuff like this
Dominique Johnson kickflip crooked grinded his way to the Finals
Jake Duncombe shows those Aussie tranny skills with a frontside tucker over the volcano thing
This kind of crack is good for you. As usual, click here to zoom in
The VIP's and judges get the shady spots. That Arizona sun will fry you like a chicken egg roll
Is Hawaii going to be the new Brazil? Gerald Webb is from Hawaii along with Dyson Ramones who was also there this weekend. Gerald finished off a super good run with this backside overcrook
I didn't stick around to see if Branen Fitzgerald made this 360 flip to frontside 5-0, but he was coming pretty close while I was watching
Sierra Fellers - nollie heel flip boardslide
I can't remember who this is, but I didn't forget the trick because I've never seen it done before. This is a frontside 180 to switch frontside feeble - sick. I'm not sure if he ever made it
I can't remember this guy's name that was doing switch back lips
This is a nollie backside 5-0 that Dallas Rockvam is doing, but he was also doing nollie shovs to back 5-0, too
How does Graham Bickerstaff always end up in a nice chick sandwich photo? Oh, it's because I organize it for him. Shaqueefa represent
Cute girls, huh? They also skate and they're pretty damn good
A better place to throw stuff for the product toss would be onto a cactus instead of in the trees like this. It could be the Phoenix Am version of the Tampa Am World Industries Moat Race
Check out the Charlie Brown van
In the middle of the Finals, this band showed up and played as long as they could before being bombed with water bottles from the crowd and then being escorted out by the cops
Adam Dyet had two amazing runs in the Finals. This is a backside noseblunt slide he landed in both runs
As far as I know, these girls are associates of the Bones Wheels crew that attend University of Arizona
Lizard King had the crowd chanting for this gap to car roof across the barge thing
I don't know who this is, but he's got a nice nollie frontside nosegrind
Wieger Van Wageningen - front blunt down the rail
Check the D3 twins out. If that's not entertaining enough, check out the chick with the water bottle and use your imagination
Matt Miller, turn around and see what's up with those Arizona chicks
Andrew Cannon has these backside 360 kickflips on lock
Graham Bickerstaff and some random Arizona punker chicks
I'm not sure what's more gargantuan - Jake Duncombe's 360 flip off the side of the bank or that mullet he's rocking. Check that thing flying in the wind like a superman cape
Check that spot in downtown Phoenix
Chris Lehman floats a huge frontside melon from that toumbstone on the right and into the hip
Looking down on the clouds from the plane
Yes, Abdias Rivera is here. That's why Angel Ramirez is here, too. Angel and Abdias are like Mexican Saimese twins joined at the hip. This is Angel kickflipping the car obstacle
Angel Ramirez - backside flip over the car
Chris Lehman floats one over the strange quarters that surround the park with no coping and paint that makes it kind of hard to see and judge the tranny before you hit it
Danny Rosario backside flips over a car that's built into one of the obstacles
Slide Show: Tempe, Arizona's public skatepark

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