AmsterDamn Am 2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 by Rob Meronek
AmsterDamn Am 2006Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek and Steve Stratton
Travel and AccommodationsI know that it seems like it’s a world away, but going to Europe really isn’t even that big of a deal. I’ve been on some flights to California from Florida that were longer and way more of a hassle with layovers and all than my flight to Amsterdam.
Once you get to Europe it’s quite easy to get around. There are trains, trams, and busses that run pretty much all of the time. From the airport you just hop a train and in 15 minutes you’re in downtown Amsterdam at Central Station. From there we could walk to our hotel. And walk we did. You walk and walk and walk everywhere here. Maybe that’s why Europeans aren’t as fat as Americans.
Not only do you walk, but you also climb. Some of the staircases are so steep that it seems like you’re climbing a ladder to get up them. Our first hotel room happened to be on the fourth floor…and it’s not like there was an elevator. Then our next room slept seven, but it’s not like there were separate bedrooms or anything…there we just seven beds in an area that should have housed about three.
Schaefer, Meronek, and P-Stone came out an entire week early to go to Prague. Next year I’m going to Prague, too, but this year I’ll have to settle for only Amsterdam. So the Contest was actually on Saturday and Sunday, but Kyle Berard, Adam Dyet, and I came out on the Sunday prior to the Contest to take in the Amsterdam experience.
The CultureTake everything you’ve heard about Amsterdam and double it. Yes, prostitution and marijuana are legal here. There is an area called the Red Light District. That’s where you can get your hookers, but that’s also where all of the bars and many restaurants are located, too. If you’re into going pub to pub to drink beers then this is your place. There is new bar to cuddle up to every 50 ft., so that worked for me.
But there are only so many days in a row that you can do that all day, you know? By my third day here I was ready for the Contest to begin.
The ContestEverland Skatepark is the name, and although it looks like it would be a privately owned park, it’s actually subsidized by the government…like many things in Holland. However, the park is managed by a nice girl by the name of Elske. From what I understand, she is the only employee of the park that draws a salary – everyone else is a volunteer. Pretty noble if you ask me.
The Park is situated in the northern part of town and you have to take a ferry to get to it from the downtown area. The ferry is free of charge and you can catch one every half hour. Once you get across the water you’re dropped off in an old industrial-type area that’s being turned into an area for the arts. Everland is part of this project that includes space for artists and students. The actual skating area is in a GIGANTIC old building that was probably used for building or repairing ships at some point. It’s quite a spectacular sight.
The skaters’ styles might be a bit different over here, but that doesn’t take away from how much they rip. Even though it was obvious that we weren’t from around their way, everyone was courteous and really cool to us. Some of the more entertaining moments of the weekend went down at the Registration Desk and over the microphone. We simply couldn’t communicate with everyone very well at all. Fortunately, nearly everyone speaks English and they gladly conformed to our lack of diverse language skills.
I could tell you who did what in the Qualifiers, but I still wouldn’t know their names anyway, so I’m just betting that Rob took an ample amount of photos to get the point of the skating across. And all anyone really cares about is the Finals anyway, right?
There were a total of nearly 80 skaters and we picked the top 30 on Saturday to advance to the Semi-Finals on Sunday. The top two qualifiers, Dustin Blauvelt and Marius Syvanen respectively, were awarded the Golden Tickets and were placed right into the Finals. The other 28 had to duke it out to make the final 10 cut.
FinalsWhen all of the dust settled, here’s how it broke down:
12th – 100 Euros – Axel Cruysberghs – European Nyjah killed it. He’s got some skills, a serious backside flip, and the style of a young Sheckler
11th – 100 Euros – Eero Antilla – Eero’s claim to fame is that he’s “Arto’s friend from Finland,” but he’s also got one of the smoothest styles and best kickflips to fakie ever
10th – 100 Euros – Collin Hale – our friend from Vermont with a huge bag of tricks made the trek across the pond with the entire family. He’s sitting next to me on the plane right now with his little bro Cody that only missed the Finals by one spot
9th – 200 Euros – David Loy – one of the illest little big men out there skated the course with authority and got extra ‘punk points’ for shooting his board up the vert quarter-pipe at full speed in protest of some goons that crossed the course and messed up his run
8th – 300 Euros – Phil Zwijsen – skated the course fast and gapped the big pyramid to fs 50/50 on the rail
7th – 400 Euros – Nick Dompierre – one of my favorites had runs that consisted of moves that would have placed him in a Best Trick Contest. He’s smooth, powerful, and under control, but he missed a couple of bangers and that left him in 7th
6th – 500 Euros – Bas Janssen – looked like a mix between Colt Cannon and Tim O’Connor and had one of the smoothest styles of all time
5th – 1000 Euros – Marius Syvanen – Marius is growing into his own. His style is amazing and his trick selection is on point – definitely a force to be reckoned with for a long time to come
4th – 1250 Euros – Dustin Blauvelt – straight outta’ Detroit to A-dam, Dustin and his pops had an epic trip in Europe and made some money for his 360 bs ollie down the big four among other moves and consistent skating
3rd – 1500 Euros – Chris Troy – my new favorite “the kid you love to hate” came correct with creative tricks and the most consistent big spin fs boardslide in the business. Hopefully he didn’t spend his whole bankroll at the Red Light
2nd – 2500 Euros – Justin Figueroa – soft-spoken kid from CA probably surprised himself with his placing. I barely know him, but he’s as nice as can be and can nollie into everything
1st – 5000 Euros – Ruben Rodrigues – I’ve never seen the movie, but apparently Ruben looks like the guy in American Pie. I do know that he’s got an amazing 360 flip – only saw him bail one over the long pyramid all day on Sunday. He’s also got switch kickflip frontside 270’s over the hip on lock. Bam! You win
Click here for all of the Results.
Best TrickWhat better place to do a Best Trick Contest than on a round rail going down a big four? Imagine that. It was a 30-minute Jam and some serious ripping went down. Due to the sorta’ crappy microphones I think that there was possibly some confusion on when the Contest was actually over, so sorry if you thought that you should have won something, but didn’t…there’s a damn good chance you did it after time was called.
5th – 100 Euros – Helder Lima – mini-Darrell Stanton ain’t crazy, but he’s got a good backside noseblunt
4th – 200 Euros – Simo Makela – his switch 360 flip started off the Jam and set the pace as well
3rd – 300 Euros – Chris Troy – 3rd in both the Contest and Best Trick? Not bad…and not a bad fakie bigspin boardslide either
2nd – 400 Euros – Nick Dompierre – Nick skates big and his backside 270 ollie to boardslide was insane
1st – 500 Euros – Adam Dyet – possibly the most perfect kickflip back tail to fakie he’s ever done…and that’s saying something because Adam’s got that move on lock. It only took him two tries
It looks like we’re going to be doing this Contest again next summer. So start saving your dollars so you can convert them into Euros and lose some money. Seriously though, Amsterdam is an amazing city that everyone that loves to travel should experience. Special thanks to Jeb and Hans at Volcom Europe for making the Contest possible and Stevie and the boys at Volcom U.S. for getting it going. Thanks to Elske, Mike, and the rest of the staff at Everland for the use of the park. We appreciate the European skaters checking out what we do and for the American ones that traveled all that way for a Damn Am. See you next summer…