Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Kenny Anderson - one of my favorites - backside noseblunt slide
Abdias Rivera switch 360 flipped the double set
This was the scene we rolled into - not too fun skating in a crowd like that, but at least the course is super good
Bam made this ssbsts once but the filmer spaced. A few tries later, he stuck it again, then filmed a cheering clip for Viva La Bam. That's a pretty high bump to ledge
Danny Montoya - backside 180 nosegrind to forward on the hubba
The Bam Van - thats Bam's mom and Jeff Taylor in there being swarmed my mongo pushing kids
A small sample of the crowd outside
They have a nice mini ramp at MIA. That's Brian Sumner
Steve Nesser was an autograph hound victim
A random kid kickflipping down the double set
Kenny Anderson got cornered behind the soda machine by autograph hounds
Guru Khalsa - nollie heel down the double set with double flash
Brian Delatorre has a better looking switch ollie than you do
I guess Felix didn't make it to the end on that one reality show - The Cut. He announced the demo while Bam hyped up the teenie boppers and filmed for his show
We stopped and smelled the roses. Check out a few photos from a rest stop in the Florida Everglades
Chris Williams and Matt Cantor dealt with the salty cops. Chris doesn't look too psyched right this second
Chris Troy - switch no comply down the double set - that was crazy
Here are some of my favorite movie quotes:
  • "You must have eaten, like, a hundred bucks worth of pot, and, like, 30 bucks worth of shrooms, Man. So I'm going to need a hundred thirty buck, Man."
  • "Welcome to Dippas, may I take your order?" "Yeah, give me a double-bacon cheeseburger." "Double-Bacon Cheeseburger - it's for a cop."
  • "Do I look like a cat to you? Do you see me jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree?"
  • "It's not so funny meow is it?"
  • "I don't want a large Farva. I want a goddamn liter of cola!"
  • "Littering and...littering and...littering and..."
  • "Hey, let's pop some Viagras and issue tickets with raging, mega-huge boners."
  • "Where'd you get the Canadian tuxedo, Denim Dan? You're the President, Chairman, and CEO of Levi Strauss."
Brian Delatorre is warming up on the double set with this nollie
Must be nice to have a not so disfunctional family where you can take them on skate trips with you. Bam brought the whole crew - April Margera, Phil Margera, and Don Vito
The award for most cheers ever received for a crooked grind goes to Bam Margera
The Plan:
Drive to Miami to help celebrate the Grand Opening of MIA Skatepark and hopefully get a few photos of Bam in the process. The guys behind MIA are close friends of Skatepark of Tampa, so we naturally feel a brotherhood between skate parks. In addition, two of MIA’s three owners used to work up here under the Skatepark of Tampa roof. Chris Williams used to be the manager of World Market, which was our satellite store way back-in-the-day. The second partner, Ed Selego, actually worked the counter at Skatepark long, long before he was on his way to professional skateboarding stardom. The final man that rounds out the trio that is MIA is Matt Cantor, former owner of Control Skatepark, which was also in Miami.

The trip didn’t actually get fully planned until Thursday and we needed a room near the park for Friday night. That’s when I realized that we are in the middle of tourist season here in Florida. I guess I never really notice it because I don’t do touristy types of things, especially up here in Tampa, but the southern part of the state attracts every pale-skinned, hip-sack-wearing, cookie-cutter, middle-American east of the Mississippi. No need to go on and on about it because the reason that I even started this paragraph is because I wanted to bitch about having to pay $230 for one night at a La Quinta located about 30 miles from the site. There, now I can continue.

The Demo:
When I saw the flyer for this MIA Grand Opening/Adio & Planet Earth Demo I thought, “That’s insane. I can’t believe that all of those guys are going to be there, including Bam. I need to check this out.” Even though I thought it would be tough to pull off, I had faith that it would come to fruition because Jeff Taylor, Adio/Earth Bigwig, was in charge. If it has to get done, Jeff will get it done.

Meronek, Abdias, Derewenko, and I were in shock as we pulled up at about 10:45am. The Demo was supposed to start at noon, but the place was already filled to capacity and there were at least 600 people out front hoping to get a glimpse of the action. We hung in the parking lot for a good half hour trying to figure out how the hell we were going to get into the joint.

It was just our luck that a carload of Adio and MIA Team Riders pulled up, so we were whisked in with the likes of Kenny Anderson, Steve Nesser, Danny Montoya, Joey Bresinski, Chris Troy, Brian Delatorre, and a few others while the onlookers said, “Who’s that? Is he pro?”

The place was insanely packed to where you couldn’t even skate the street course (which looked damn good though), so I opted to hang out on the mini-ramp. All of the guys at the Demo warmed up on the mini, so along with the aforementioned skaters, I also got to ride with Ghuru Khalsa, Brian Sumner, Jahmal Williams, Joel Meinholtz, and Jeremy Wray, while Ernie Torres watched due to nursing an injury. Have I dropped enough names yet?

And then it was on. Outside there was a gathering of many, many kids being held back by security guards. There were kooks with cargo shorts and pony tails that apparently worked for MTV (they were filming an episode of Viva La Bam) all over the place…and then it happened. The RV in which Bam was riding made its grand entrance.

The Bam Phenomenon:
The Bam Phenomenon is something that I just don’t understand, but it was a damn cool thing to watch. He came out of the RV and the crowd went completely nuts. The head security guy had to play linebacker to get Bam into the building. MTV had everything properly planned as they instructed the crowd inside to scream at the “right” time.

The Demo went into full effect as soon as Bam stepped foot in the building. As things got into full swing and Nick Dompierre proceeded to destroy the perfect granite hubba, Bam’s parents and that fat-ass Don Vito made their way in, right across the street course. I think his folks almost got a bigger round of applause than Bam himself did. Side note: I heard that Vito nearly ate the MIA Snack Bar completely out of Choco Tacos.

All MTV bull$hi! aside, I was hyped and truly respect the fact that Bam can still rip on a skateboard. It took him a few tries, but his switch backside tailslide across the granite hubba was perfect and then he ended the day with a 30’ krooked grind. Granted, it was only a k-grind, but it was lengthy and definitely a crowd pleaser. The rest of Adio Team was destroying the course…and it all must have been too good to be true.

Check out some Mike Derewenko photos:
Before going to Miami, we stopped at Sarasota for a Shaqueefa demo. I chilled at that one and let Stalker Steve do all the photos. We'll see if his random photo snapping turned up anything good
Part of the scene outside. That kid's about to tear the curb up
Teenie boppers gone wild to get on MTV
The Cops and our Departure
Next thing you know there’s one cop car outside. Then another arrived. And then another pulled up. When they all finally showed up, the scene seriously looked like something straight out of Reno 911. We were totally cracking up at these dudes’ short-shorts, mustaches, and crazy-ass shades. It’s like they put that gear on just to make you want to make fun of them so they would have a reason to hassle you.

Before you know it, Cantor is outside explaining what was going on to the cops, but it was to no avail. He should have told them that he would let them pose in photos with Bam for their kids or something…that might have worked. The final word was that they were closing the place down. All in all, even though it may have seemed a bit chaotic to an outsider, everything was completely under control. The Demo was going down and kids were getting autographs. MTV got a portion of a show out of the deal and MIA had one hell of a Grand Opening, which turned into a “grand closing,” but they’re sorting all that nonsense out with the City this week.

That was the shortest trip possible to Miami. We arrived at midnight on Friday night and were back on the road to Tampa by 3pm on Saturday. It was totally worth it; the hospitality was amazing and we had a great time checking out MIA Skatepark. Thanks to the entire crew there for making it all happen and thanks to Jeff Taylor at Adio for supporting what our boys in Miami are trying to do down there.