Surf Expo September 2005 & Volcom Sausagefest
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 by Rob Meronek
Surf Expo September 2005 & Volcom SausagefestWords by Ryan Clements, Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
If You Don’t Know What Surf Expo Is, Then Read ThisSurf Expo is a trade show, and every industry has them. I’ve been coming out to these Surf Expo trade shows for about seven years now and I still enjoy the hell out of them. Expo often hosts cool skateboarding events, plus you get to converse with industry people and pros are chillin’ everywhere. In addition, there are some great parties to go to every night. Actually, there are too many parties to go to every night. But that’s another story in itself.
As for the business side of it, here’s the deal: All of the companies come out and set up booths to display their merchandise. Guys like our buyer, Barak Wiser, have appointments with these guys to view the new lines that are coming out soon. He places orders and they ship us the product and presto, you have a skate shop with the hottest gear out there, just like Skatepark of Tampa.
The Volcom Sausagefest Mini-Ramp JamThere is no denying that trade shows can get a little boring at times. The guys at Volcom know this, so they make it a point to always liven up the shows a bit. You can count on a new gimmick from Volcom every September and this year was arguably the best one yet...the German theme. They went to the following extremes to make sure that it was a hit:
- The ENTIRE staff was dressed up in traditional German garb
- Brats w/ ‘kraut, soft pretzels, and pickles were served all day, each day at no charge
- 29 kegs of beer were served throughout the weekend at no charge
- Authentic mugs were provided
- There was apple juice in case you couldn’t drink beer
- Their tent was painted like an authentic street in Germany
- There was a “real” German man playing the acordian
The Mini-Ramp Jam was right in line with the German theme and aptly named “Sausagefest.” The ramp had cardboard cut-outs of beer everywhere, lights under the coping, and literally the largest banner that I’ve ever seen on top of it that read “Sausagefest.” The best part about all of this Volcom stuff is that it was a surprise because it was never officially announced as Sausagefest, only as the “Volcom Mini-Ramp Jam.” Hats off to Volcom.
Sausagefest Am JamThis was supposed to be a “top am” contest, but some overzealous parents didn’t really get it. I was so hungover and over it in general that I’m sure that I was rude to a couple of people that were bugging me to get in the Am Jam, but if someone was throwing comments like this at you, you would have been short with them, too:
- One dad actually told me, “My son is ranked number one in Florida.”
- A random mom said, “My son isn’t going to win the Contest,” and then followed up with, “So he has to be sponsored by companies like Rip Curl and Billabong?” I tried to tell her that maybe she wasn’t familiar with the way we run things, but she insisted she was. I gave up at that point.
- 10th – Johnny Randolph – old friend from NC still has it
- 9th – Evan Smith – this kid had more mini-ramp skills than I thought
- 8th – Chris Rothrock – Chris took some heckling from the announcers for his Smolik-like appearance, but he came through with switch front blunts and blunt kickflips to fakie
- 7th – Mario Da Silva – took a flight all the way from the west coast to blast airs into the finals
- 6th – Jared Lee – last year’s champ ripped, but just not hard enough, although he now has the Peterblunt on lock
- 5th ($100) – Matt Giles – Giles put together long lines and stayed on, earning himself a money-spot
- 4th ($200) – George Evans – Jacksonville’s finest started his runs by nollieing in on the extension and ended with kickflips and nollie flips in...damn
- 3rd ($300) – Ben Andrews – fast, solid, and under control, Ben does the best backside bonelesses ever and can even do a backside boneless rewind...try and picture that one
- 2nd ($400) – Grant Taylor – he qualified first and was favored to win in the eyes of many, but Collin’s last couple of runs did him in. Grant still came through with the most stylish stalefishes off the extension and a kickflip stalefish to fakie about three feet out
- 1st ($500) – Collin Provost – this was a first place finish well-earned with huge lein melon disasters, and grinds, tailslides, and lines worthy of top honors, not to mention the longest lipslide of the weekend
Sausagefest Pro ContestThis is what everyone had been waiting for. I don’t think that anyone realized how much fun a legit mini-ramp contest would be until Volcom came up with the idea about a year ago. And then add a $20,000 purse in the mix and you can get all of the heavy hitters to come out. Here are some of the guys that didn’t make the cut that I wish would have:
- Justin Strubing – if you’ve never seen Justin skate in person then you’re missing out. He was blowing minds all weekend, but he couldn’t pull it together in the qualifiers
- Garold Vallie – you may not know who Garold is, but he’s my homey from the mid-west and he supports everything we do. Garold had the run of his life, but it just didn’t match up to those that made the cut
- Barker Barrett – if I have to explain, then you wouldn’t understand
- One intro run – skate until you fall
- 20-minute jam
- One final run – skate until you fall
- 10th – Gugu Ramos ($500) – all the way from Brazil and just like the rest of them from there, he rips tranny. I specifically liked his fs ollie tailgrabs
- 9th – Kenny Hughes ($600) – Kenny was another victim of Schaefer on the mic, but these comments were a bit more personal. You had to be there because I’m not repeating them. It didn’t affect Big Kenny though, because he front feebled to revert all the way home with six bills
- 8th – Chris Senn ($700) – Chris summed it up when he said, “Aloha,” instead of ‘hello’ when he greeted me. You can tell that Hawaii was a great move for him and his skating, which was as fast and exciting as ever
- 7th – Donny Barley ($800) – how sick is it that Donny skated a mini-ramp contest? He showed up last minute and basically didn’t get any practice, but that didn’t stop him from ruling the ramp and nailing a proper backside 360 flip in the Jam
- 6th – Bruno Passos ($900) – another Brazilian with mad tranny skills. Someone called him Bob Burquist’s stunt man. That sounds pretty accurate because his backside bluntslides and back lips were possibly even better than Bob’s
- 5th – Benji Galloway ($1000) – all-terrain destroyer came out and showed Orlando that he has an endless back of tricks. He skates switch no problem back and forth and nailed a 360 eggplant on the extension
- 4th – Mike Peterson ($2000) – scaredom (inside joke) couldn’t keep this redneck down. Peterdong annihilated the ramp with a smile on the entire time
- 3rd – Anthony Furlong ($3000) – vert ripper hadn’t skated a mini-ramp all summer, but it certainly didn’t look like it. His Madonna’s on the extension showed that he’s been killing the vert, but his blunt combos and 5-0’s to fakie were proof that he’s a mini-ramp champ
- 2nd – Dennis Busenitz ($4000) – does it seem weird that Volcom’s riders placed so highly in both the Am and Pro? If you were there then you would understand how gnarly Busenitz got. For those that don’t ride ramps, Dennis makes riding ramps cool. His flow, style, and the ability to react without thinking in a jam session is what separates the boys from the men
- 1st – Kyle Berard ($5000) – fifty big ones aren’t a bad day’s work, huh? Just for the record, Kyle was at the hospital until 7am the morning of the Jam getting his heart checked out. He was a little worried, but it certainly didn’t show. Berard made us all proud by literally dominating both of his runs and the Jam. A couple of my favorites were the full cab front blunt and the back d front revert. Nice work, Son
Too Many PartiesI had the opportunity to roll into Orlando on Thursday night and get the partying started early, but in hindsight I’m really glad that I didn’t choose that option. Instead, I got started on Friday night with a trip to Typhoon Lagoon. It was 100% free if you were an attendee of Surf Expo and there was free beer if you had the cool-guy wristband. The entire park was open to be roamed; hence, the lines were short so you could pretty much ride anything as fast as you could make it back into line. My highlight was swimming with the sharks.
On Saturday night the Skatepark of Tampa crew was invited to dinner at Charley’s Steakhouse. The food was good and the company was even better. Rob sent his steak back as usual and Scotty and I devoured the appetizer seafood platter. My filet was excellent...thanks to Timothy and everyone else from Sole Technology for the good times and for picking up the tab.
After dinner I got dragged over to Pointe Orlando, to this bar called Lulu’s. I heard that Two Live Crew was supposed to be playing, but it was free to get in, so I figured that that was misinformation. But lo and behold, Two Live Crew played a set and the place got loose. You could catch your favorite pro skateboarders getting down and dirty with the girls dancing on the tables. It was definitely a fun time. Thanks to everyone that bought me drinks that night. It was great to not spend any money, but it didn’t seem like a great idea the next morning.
So all in all it was another truly successful weekend. Thanks to Volcom, Expo, and Team Pain for making the Sausagefest a success. Our judges, Allen Russell, Tito Porrata, and Jason Rothmeyer did an excellent job. Thanks to all of the pros that came out and the great crowd that we always get at Expo to cheer them on. If I forgot you...you know who you are.