Volcom Meadows Pro Invitational 2006

Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 by Ryan

Volcom Meadows Pro Invitational 2006
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

The plane ride out to anywhere over Nevada is always amazing. This is just outside of Reno, NV
This is Chris Baker. We met him at some random park we spotted while driving out of Reno. This was one of those parks that was so bad it actually turned out to be kind of fun
We skated three parks in Reno before making the drive to Mammoth Lakes. Here are some photos of some of the stuff they've got going on out there
We met Sammy Amador here at another park in Reno we stopped at
Those Reno kids love their air barrelling. This is Karl Navarez
More photos from another park we stopped at in Reno
Amazing views are everywhere driving on the way from Reno to Mammoth Lakes
When we arrived at the campsite, it was pitch black. After being woken up by sunlight, you unzip your tent door and come out to find that you're surrounded by huge mountains in every direction. Amazing
This small pond is hot enough to probably kill you if you fell in. It's constantly bubbling with super hot water coming from some kind of lava source underground. Someone built this caveman hot tub down the hill from it with a pipe that you can turn on and off which fills it with hot water from the pond. Even the water in the hot tub was way to hot to get into. That's Frosty, Clements, and Element Team Manager Ryan Dewitt not getting in
Bugs you've never seen before are everywhere in these parts
Ice in the mountains nearby and a waterfall leading into a freezing cold lake. Would you take a shower in that or go dirt rock status for four days? I chose dirt rock status
What kind of skateboard trip do you climb through the jungle on? Join us next year at Mammoth for a good time at the camp site and the best dose of Mother Nature ever
Look at that ice patch in the distance. The lake is maybe one degree warmer than that. Frosty ain't skeerd
The bubbling up water on the left is heated by this volcanic stuff called magma deep inside the Earth. The water on the right is cooler than a polar bear's toenails. You have to get through that to get to the warm water in the middle for a shower. No way for me. That's Schaefer, Filmer Sara, Clements, and some random stranger who needs to pull his shorts back down
Possibly the gayest photo I've ever taken. That's Clements with his arms out declaring himself as the new boss. That's Schaefer taking orders and Filmer Sara watching in horror
Johnny Layton and Chima Ferguson tend to the grill at the campsite
That's Nick Trapasso, Dennis Busenitz, Chima Ferguson, and Boosh. Boosh showed us Nick's video and it was seriously amazing. Watch for Nick to blow up in the next year
That's Tim Johnson doing a backside disaster on a really high and scary wall at the Park
Matt Mumford - back smith
Volcom's RV was the chief chill spot for the event. Jake Duncombe would walk into it sober and exit hammered. That's Colin Provost doing an ollie up to smith
Jake Drunkcombe was too far wasted to skate so Schaefer got on the mic and took up a collection to get Jake to skate. We raised nearly a hundred bucks to get him to skate during his heat. That's Dave Swift from The Skateboard Mag throwing in his contribution. Jake must have been pretty gone because he couldn't even land a Bennihanna
Caswell Berry hurt his ankle and got some on the spot acupuncture from someone you definitely want to play doctor with
Brent Atchley tore the place up in his boat shoes and fancy socks
Stu Graham was a natural in a park like this one. This is an ollie over the hip
Do you know who Darin Cookiehead Jenkins is? Welcome to the 30 and Up Club if you do. This is a finger flip lien to tail. Look at those mountains
Mike Peterson ollies around Jake Drunkcombe
Skreech attempts an ollie onto the sign Jake Drunkcombe was lurking around the course with
Mike Peterson - backside boneless. Check out those mountains. Did I already say that? Check them out again
Chris Senn on a 100mph tail slide
Steve Reeves is one ripping tranny skater and took home three grand for it
After the Contest, Chad Bartie said to Schaefer on the mic, "Tell everyone I'm sorry I didn't make the kickflip." So, Chad Bartie gets the take a poop for this event
Benji Galloway gets the beer douse from Caswell Berry and a congrats from Jimmy Marcus for taking first and the ten grand
After the contest, the SPoTlight Productions crew gets to skate. This is Brian Schaefer
The sun goes down and the Contest After-Party gets going back in the middle of nowhere at the camp site. The first people I run into are throwing down bottles of Jack
Boosh easily gets the drunkest dude of the party award. He was taking sticks, putting them in the fire, then sticking them up this random girl's skirt. Shortly after, he tried to take a dump in the fire. That's Caswell attempting to get a dropper photo. Later on that night, Boosh got even more annoying and had to have his ass kicked by Johnny Layton
Lance Conklin and Screech are a close second in the drunkest dudes at the party award. That's probably why they couldn't feel the flames on this firewalking
Filmer Sara and Jake Drunkcombe. How is he still awake after being smashed all day long?
On the way back, there were way too many amazing views. We had to keep stopping to check them out
Search for ghost ride the whip on YouTube.com and you'll find out what Clem is up to here
This is some random stop on the drive from Mammoth Lakes, CA to Reno, NV where we're staying for a night of raging then heading back to Tampa
Mammoth Lakes, California is about a three-hour drive from Reno, Nevada, so that’s where we flew into since there’s no legit airport in Mammoth. The road of choice was 395 S. and we stopped and skated three skate parks along the way with cool locals at each stop. It’s rad to see skate parks in these random little towns…it’s certainly going to produce some serious rippers in the years to come.

We arrived at our camp site in Mammoth at about 10pm. Yes, you read that correctly. I wrote “camp site”. There was no hotel, which also meant no showers. That also means that there was no soft bed, internet, coffee, toilets…you get the point, right? However, there was plenty of beer to drink and grub to chow courtesy of our boys at Volcom. There were camp fires, too.

That was the beginning of our adventures with Nature.

Mother Nature Done Good
As much as this trip was supposed to be a skate-oriented trip, it also turned out to be quite a nature-induced experience. I live in Florida. There are no hills. So when I woke up the first morning at our camp in the ‘meadows’ I realized that I might have possibly woken up in what Heaven was supposed to look like. Other than the dust and lack of facilities (and no coffee easily accessible), I was totally at peace with my life. Damn, that sounds gay, huh? I don’t care. That’s how I felt when I saw the fields that led to the trees that lined the bottoms of the snow-covered mountains. The sky was as blue as a blue sky can be. The sun was coming up over the smaller hills and we were experiencing Mother Nature’s work firsthand. It was humbling.

The Earth is much, much more powerful than us measly little humans. We’re only occupying this place for very short time on the timeline of the existence of Earth. And let me tell you, Earth is alive in Northern California. I swear I could write a book about our experiences with Nature in Mammoth, but here are the highlights to get the point across.

- Since there were no facilities, we had to ‘shower’ in lakes. When I say that the water was cold, that’s probably the understatement of this article. The water was so unbelievably cold that I honestly thought that my heart stopped for a couple of seconds when I jumped in. I was hyper-ventilating, but my lungs felt like they weighed 100 lbs. each. I went through this scenario three different mornings, and on the third morning I lost the car keys in Horseshoe Lake. Frosty found them. Can you believe that?

- There are waterfalls everywhere. The snow at the top of the mountains melts and the water flows down creating waterfalls and then these lakes that we were swimming in. That’s why the water is so goddamned cold.

- On the opposite spectrum of the freezing cold lakes, there are also naturally hot springs in the area. To describe them more appropriately I should probably say that there are BOILING geysers. We went to one that someone turned into a hot tub and it was so hot that no one in our crew would even step foot in it.

- The other geysers that we experienced were in the middle of a cold-ass, flowing stream. They were actually so “alive” that areas of the stream would be literally boiling and others were freezing cold. You had to find that one spot in the middle in which you could get comfortable. The area we were in was actually closed off because someone boiled to death in there in the beginning of June. We hopped the gate and went for it anyway…and survived.

- Rob and I saw a bear running through a campground as we were driving around one of the lakes. Having never seen a bear in the wild before we were both just floored. I immediately put the car in park and we both went walking after the cute little guy that could have easily torn us into pieces. Probably not the smartest move ever, but at least Rob was able to get a good shot of him.

This is your invite right now to come hang out with us next year. I’m not joking. You’re invited. Hope to see you in freezing-ass Covict Lake or Horseshoe Lake next year.

The Contest
I’m sure you read that this Contest was titled as a “pro” event. So we snuck a few ams in there. And yes, they accepted the money. And no, they’re not “pro” now. We don’t have rules and regulations. You can’t refer to the SPoTlight Productions rulebook. Sorry about that, but it doesn’t exist. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the ripping.

The skate park itself is absolutely amazing. It was constructed by Grindline and it is dedicated to the life of Jeff Anderson…a pro snowboarder for Volcom and Mammoth local who left us too soon. I know that wherever he is that Jeff is honored for the efforts that were put forth to make the Volcom Brothers Skatepark possible.

We had about 30 entrants and each of them got to participate in a 10-minute Jam to get chosen for the Finals. The top nine advanced and skated in yet another Jam. The Jam format was pretty much the only way to go in a skate park like this one. Here’s how it ended up:

- 10th – $333 – Collin Provost – even though he didn’t technically make the Finals, Colin ripped and was awarded the odd amount of money for his efforts

- 9th - $1000 – Taylor Bingaman – this kid kills it and had the sickest crail-grab fs airs over the twinkie

- 8th - $1000 – Tim Johnson - Florida boy made the trek to Mammoth as a solo mission and killed the Contest. A knee injury in his Final Jam kept him from placing higher, but his blunt fakies on the tombstone will be remembered

- 7th - $1500 – Mike Peterson – straight out of Jacksonville, Florida and Consolidated’s newest pro, ol’ Peterdong skated with the realest smile of all. Mike is the real deal and he said, “Can you believe that I have the hottest team manager?”

- 6th - $1500 – Chris Senn – Senndog got wrecked in the Final Jam and took himself out of there in the first few minutes or else he would definitely have placed higher and won some more loot

- 5th - $2000 – Dennis Busenitz – Boozen’tits destroyed the park with some of the fastest lines of the weekend and ollies over literally everything. It was amazing to watch him skate because I don’t think that he did the same line twice…a true natural

- 4th – $3000 – Steve Reeves – the no-comply tailslide revert was his highlight, but Steve had airs and grinds on everything. He skated fast and consistent and gave the pros a serious run for their money. Also, I know that he was absolutely tripping when he was holding those 30, $100 bills in his hand

- 3rd - $4000 – Jimmy "The Greek" Marcus – what? Another Florida homie in the mix? Nice work, fellas. When you let The Greek loose on that type of terrain is when you really get to see him shine. He was doing tricks in the Jam that he hadn’t even done in the bowls at all the entire weekend. Truly creative, exciting, and improvisational

- 2nd – $6000 – Chad Bartie – come on, you know that all of the Aussie’s have mad tranny skills, right? Bartie has an amazing style with his ollie shifties over the twinkie and ability to throw tricks in pretty much anywhere. The white pants might have been funny, but Bartie was no joke

- 1st - $10,000 – Benji Galloway – his Confederate flag bandanna and handle-bar mustache say, “That’s right, I’m from the South,” but Benji’s skating adds up to complete ripping regardless of his heritage. The judging was right on point with this call because Benji’s difficult tricks and long lines definitely earned him the 10 G’s. After the Contest he said to me, “I don’t even know what I’m going to do with it.” That’s the best

As soon as the event site was set-up it was broken down. By sunset you would have never known there was even a Contest a few hours before. That evening Volcom hosted yet another great party at the camp site and we all rejoiced on what was the beginning of a great tradition.

The next morning Rob, Brian, Frosty, and I took our time, drank some coffee at the local joint, and went swimming in freezing cold water once again. Well, Rob didn’t swim. We then drove to Reno where we slept on beds in a hotel…with climate control. Rob was able to finally take a shower after four days without. Lil’ Puss don’t like cold water. The rooms at Circus Circus might have been cheap, but we paid for them dearly on the casino tables.

Many thanks to the City of Mammoth Lakes for tolerating our presence in their quaint town for the few days that we occupied it. All I can tell you is this: Everyone is welcome to attend this Contest next year. Come and camp out with us, skate an amazing park, and experience the beauty of NorCal. Trust me, it’s worth the cost of the flight.

Ryan

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