ASR September 2006 – eS Game of SKATE

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 by Ryan

ASR September 2006 – eS Game of SKATE
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

I want to see some footage of Tetsuya Yasuta. His flatground style is amazing. This is a switch frontside flip
Unfortunately, the Tampa winner of the Game of SKATE, Willy Kane, got taken out in the first round. This is a 360 flip
Gordie Cousino - switch 360 flip
Milo Rivera - frontside flip
Tetsuya Yasuta - check that kickflip steez. This guy's sponsors need to send him to the Damn Am in October. Mark Waters, hook it up!
Jack Crook won the Am Game last year. This is a switch flip
Alex Mizurov - switch 360 flip
Mark Suciu made it to the final round in the Am Game. This is a backside flip
The winners from the Am Game of SKATE
Fabrizio Santos - big flip
Joey Brezinski - heelflip
Jimmy Carlin's now on Mystery flow. He's got some serious snaps. This is a heel flip
Dylan Gardner sure gave PJ Ladd a run for his money. Braydon says all he skates is flatground on Hollywood Blvd. This is a 360 flip
It was nice to see PJ Ladd skating. This is a nollie tre
Anthony Shetler - switch heel
PJ Ladd - nollie half cab flip
Chris Cole - nollie flip
PJ Ladd - hard flip
Dylan Gardner - hard flip
Windsor James - frontside big spin
Mike Mo Capaldi was in the final round last year. Check the snaps to the sky on this nollie heel
Lamare Hemmings grew about a foot and it looks like his pop did, too. This is a fakie flip
Chris Cole went ahead and threw out Alex Mizurov's move on him before he got it on defense - a 360 double flip
Chico Brenes doesn't pussy pivot on his backside 360's
Danny Cerezini - nollie flip
Chris Cole - frontside 180 one foot
Wow, that's a switch flip - Sierra Fellers
Alex Mizurov and his move - 360 double flip. Earlier in the match against Chris Cole, Chris did a triple kickflip that Alex matched
The Pro Game winner was an am - Alex Mizurov
A full collage of random ASR lurking. Nike SB had a nice boat that we hung out on, the Westin Bar was raging, and random parties were crashed
Just when Blaze, Frosty, and I thought we made it out of another Tijuana trip with no problems, we got stopped by two Mexican cops who barely spoke any English. They told us skateboarding was illegal and we had to pay a fine and go to the police station. I immediately knew what was going on from all the stories I've heard. I asked the one cop how much the fine was and he looked confused, went to his partner, wispered to him, then told me, "$100." After I agreed and said I'm paying by credit card, he got even more confused. Meanwhile, Blaze and Frosty are getting searched head to toe by the other cop. Finally, I slipped a $20 from my front pocket stash of cash to my back pocket. Then, reached into my back pocket and pulled out the $20 and a bunch of stickers. After telling the guy that's all I have, he took a sticker and the $20 from me and let us go. This was just a couple hundred feet from the US border. I've never been so glad to be back on US soil
I’ve heard stories for years on how sketchy Tijuana is. Schaefer and I have been hanging out in San Diego all week so last night we decided to give it a try. After figuring out the $5 trolley ride, half an hour later, we’re at the border. You pretty much just walk in through these gates with no security anywhere to be found and that’s it. You’re in Mexico. While walking in, we met an American named Gary who took us to some local bars. One section of town we walked through had literally about five hookers lined up every 20 feet. They would reach out and grab your shirt, your ass, whatever, and throw out “five dollars” and other prostitution sales pitches like that. Other than that, that’s really the only sketchy thing we found. Coming back was pretty much just as easy as leaving. Show your driver’s license to the Custom’s guy (no passport needed), he glances at it, and you’re in. I’ve had bouncers at a club that are harder to get by than Customs was. If you have the opportunity, I recommend you check out TJ for sure.
These stair set with banks things are super fun. Here, the Shaqueefa President, Chairman, and CEO kickflips down and out
Jeff Lako needs to light this firecracker in his hotel room. Hotels here hate ASR people. When you check in, you have to sign a waiver saying you won't "party" in your room
Not bad for the first sequence Lako ever shot. I mean the framing's not bad. The poop foot landing, however, is very bad. I tried to re-do it but it wasn't happening. The bank's a little too steep for me.
Nate Sherwood would like you to know that he can ollie, not just pressure cook
Hot dog! Body won the qualifier round of the Bones Hot Dog Eating Challenge
Results from the Am Game
Results from the Pro Game
What the hell is a trade show? I always write a little paragraph about the purpose of a trade show in these articles. I figure most people reading it already know what I’m talking about, but there are definitely a few innocent, new skateboard kids out there that are wondering what ASR is all about.

ASR is a place where different skate (and surf) brands sell their product. It’s in a big hall, formally known as a convention center. These different brands rent booths and promote their newest items. The guys from your local shop, wherever they may be located, make their bi-annual pilgrimage to San Diego to check out the hottest gear and place orders for the upcoming shopping season. Make sense?

As Chris Gentry once asked, “This is all about sales?!” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, it’s all about sales. As long as Company A buys from Company B and sells to Customer C, then we’re all able to have these great jobs in the Sketchy Skateboard Industry, as Rob likes to put it.

Generally, all different types of businesses have trade shows, but I would venture to say that the skateboarding industry probably has some of the best trade shows in existence.

Black Box and Random Ripping
We all came out a day early to have some extra fun. For so many years now we’ve been flying in, going to the show, and then flying out. Our ‘new’ plan is to arrive a day early or stay a day late and start doing some local exploring of wherever we may be.

We started this trip with a 6am flight out of Tampa. That means that we had to be at TIA at 4:30am. That’s definitely the earliest I’ve ever gotten up. But the good part with leaving so early is that we landed in San Diego at about 10am, which left us an entire day to have fun.

The first place we stopped was Black Box Headquarters, where the crew skated and socialized with the ‘cool’ side of the Industry. A lot of the Mystery, Zero, and Fallen heavy hitters were in attendance, including The Chief. They had free BBQ and tours of the facility for all in attendance. Very nice…

From there we went to two of the worst skate parks of all time. These parks are so bad that they are actually good: Carlsbad and Leucadia (not sure if that’s how you spell it). The crappy transitions, horribly set coping, and lack of quality obstacles didn’t discourage us though…we were in Southern California skateboarding, not sitting behind a desk. Who’s gonna’ complain?

The Parties
What is a trade show without a great party? There are actually so many different parties going on each night that it’s difficult to pick which one we’re going to attend. On Thursday night Brian, Rob, and I missed them all and ended up having a late dinner, but the rest of the crew managed to hit the Altamont gig, which I heard was small and classy with free drinks.

The Friday night party was really the only one that I was concerned about attending. It was the Heartaches (Kristian Svitak’s band), Hank III, and Flogging Molly. What a line-up. It was a “private party,” which meant that you either had a ticket to get in for free or you didn’t get in…tickets were not for sale. I had a great time hanging out, drinking, and watching Lizard King offend people. Hank III was definitely a trip. He started with a country set, then it went to punk rock, and he ended it with metal. I had no idea what to expect and it was definitely entertaining.

Our Saturday night party experience was a bit more on the mellow side. Nike SB invited us to take a “three-hour tour” around the bay on a yatch. It was catered with some proper grub and there was plenty to drink. Good times were had by all, but I think that Lako wanted to go skate instead. And of course we ended up hanging with Braydon when we got back to the hotel…

eS Game of SKATE
Let’s finally talk some skateboarding, shall we? Who in the hell doesn’t love a game of SKATE? eS has really done it right with this event and it couldn’t be any simpler. It’s not like you need a bunch of ramps and some hubbas and handrails to play SKATE, right?

There was $10,000, winner take all, up for the last man standing. And once again it was sort of an upset (not in a bad way though…just surprising), just like last year. But before we get into the final match, let me tell you a few things I remember. I was unable to take notes because I was announcing…and announcing a Game of SKATE to a couple thousand people was like calling a golf game – definitely a weird experience because I didn’t want to yell or freak anyone out by calling them out and messing them up when it came down to $10,000. But here are some tidbits that I recall:
  • P.J. Ladd skated. I’ve heard a few times “PJ this” or “PJ that,” but PJ was nothing but cool, polite, and friendly behind the scenes
  • I had my money on Jimmy Carlin. He’s the guy that got beat by Jim Bates last year. Jimmy got taken out by Chris Cole and ironically they had played before because Jimmy is on Mystery flow
  • Speaking of Jim Bates...where the hell was he?
  • Darryl Grogan might piss some people off with his trick selection, but there’s no denying that the guy does his own thing. Check out Synopsis if you don’t know what I’m talking about
  • There was some confusion with Sierra Fellers on his final match with Alex Mizurov. Apparently Alex’s shoe fell off and Sierra was asked if he was “going to give that one to him.” The nice guy that Sierra is he motioned or nodded or whatever, “Yes.” So it moved on and Sierra did a new trick and it was forgotten about. But then Mizurov beat Sierra and Sierra told us after the entire Game that he didn’t mean to “give it to him.” Damn, communication can be a bitch sometimes. Sorry Sierra.
  • There were a whole bunch of Brazilians there…some I had never seen before. They had there own little cheering section with Adelmo Jr., Fabrizio Santos, and many others making a bunch of noise and being entertaining
  • Dylan Gardner is basically this unknown pro that rips flatground. He gave P.J. Ladd a run for his money on the first round. PJ was shaking his head in disbelief when Dylan was landing everything that PJ put on the table
It all comes down to the final match. And before we get to that, a little bit of history is necessary. eS hosts “qualifiers” all over the world and flies the winners from each region to San Diego for the Am Finals. We did a qualifier at Skatepark of Tampa if you recall, and the winner was Willy Kane (who got taken out in his first match this weekend). It’s a cool program that gets kids to California that would probably not have been able to get out there otherwise.

So basically, this Alex Mizurov kid came all the way from Germany and up through the ranks of the Am Game. He put a beating on every other am from around the world, 26 total, and got a spot in the Pro Game. So by the time he worked through the pros and went head-to-head with Chris Cole, he was already on his 12th or 13th Game. Crazy.

I’m not going to try and tell you what went down. I mean, you really did have to be there or would have to watch a video of it ‘cause Chris and Alex seriously did about 40 tricks. I’m talking switch front foot impossibles, double 360 flips, double hardflips, bs 360 ollie kickflips…it was completely insane. The crowd was into it. You could hear a pin drop in the Convention Center. When it came down to it, the final trick that got Cole was a switch bs 180 front foot flip. No one could believe it, not even Chris, that this 18-year-old German kid put a whooping on Chris Cole. The place erupted and went crazy…everyone celebrated the victor. Bummer for Alex when he exchanges that 10 G’s for Euros though.

I could tell you about the rest of the weekend, but it would just consist of more partying and you’ve heard it all before. Plus, I’m sure that Rob took plenty of photos. Thanks to Boost and eS for an amazing time and event…and to ASR for always taking such good care of us.

Ryan

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