Am Getting Paid 2006
Posted on Sunday, September 24, 2006 by Rob Meronek
Am Getting Paid 2006Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
Our NeighborhoodWe stayed at this joint called “Taj Mahal Hotel.” It ain’t no Taj, but it’s pretty nice for the neighborhood. It actually makes me want to quote Mike Ness of Social Distortion on the “Live at the Roxy” CD where he says, “We got junkies, losers, pimps, and whores here, too.” That’s not an exact quote, but you get the point. I’ve never see such blatant drug-dealing and prostitution as I have here in Montreal on St. Hubert St.
It’s actually really crazy. There are straight-up drugs dealers, hookers, and junkies right there in front of our hotel. The street scene has provided quite a bit of entertainment for the few nights we were in town. Speaking of “junkie,” that’s my new word. Now that I saw junkies for several days on end I just want to keep saying, “Junkie!” to everyone that seems the slightest bit sketchy.
The positive side of our hotel was this it was located just outside of downtown Montreal. It’s a really cool area actually. If you venture out and take a left on St. Catherine it’s SO GAY that it’s not even funny. Rob and I went on a random skate mission for some lunch and ended up 10 blocks into Gayville.
But on the opposite side, if you take a right on St. Catherine from our hotel and head towards downtown, then you go through every cool district…the shopping, the punks, the bars, and the restaurants. That was also the area where the parties were hosted.
The first party we went to was on Friday night and it was the Premiere of Underworld’s new video, Yesterday’s Future. It was free to anyone in the Contest and the scene was cool. I really want to stress how I can’t believe how GOOD the skateboarders in this video are. Every part was good and they all ripped. If you want to see some good stuff then pick up a copy when it comes out.
Random Things About Montreal SkateboardersSpeaking of the skateboarders in Montreal, I compiled a short list of some things that I noticed at the Contest and around town that seemed very interesting to me:
- DC is very popular. I’m not sure if we can give away a pair of DC’s in Tampa, but up here in Montreal they are all about ‘em
- New Era hats are hot! I’m not saying that there are a couple of people wearing them…I’m saying that one-out-of-three has one on. And I don’t care if they’re 14 or 34, they’re rockin’ them with full gangsta’ steez
- As for gangsta’ steez, the vast majority of skateboarders and kids in general look very hip-hop(ish), with XXL shirts, jogging pants, and gold-fronts-a-plenty
- I only heard ONE song all weekend at the Contest that wasn’t hip-hop, and it happened to be the Pixies. Good choice for the one non-hip-hop song
The ContestIt’s a good thing that we skated around town on Friday because the weather was pretty bad on Saturday and then Sunday was jam-packed full with the Semis, Finals, and five Best Trick Contests. Yes, you read that correctly…FIVE Best Trick Contests.
The park is big, fast, and slick as hell. It’s good, but I hope that they threw a good mopping on it before the Contest because people were sliding all over the place during Practice and the Qualifiers. Otherwise, the course has a bit of a weird, criss-course pattern to it, but the shop and chill area was very accommodating.
The Qualifiers took place on Friday and Saturday…and I really didn’t pay too much attention to them. I guess I’ve been to enough of these to know that the Finals are what count. There was a total purse of $15,000 that got split between the top 10. So here’s how it broke down:
10th – Nick Merlino – I’m a fan of this kid. I remember him from Tampa Am last year because he BARELY made it in. He’s got a great attitude and gives 100% at all times…that’s how he’s able to do nollie fs feebles and nollie fs noseblunts slides so damn well
9th – William Cristofaro – he had a great 360 flip up the big step-up (and I forgot to mention it, but there was a GIGANTIC step-up…you really had to see it) and a nollie heel bs 270 over the hip. Sorry, but that’s all that I can recall
8th – Jordan Hoffart – Jordan has grown into quite a ripping young man. He skates full-speed-ahead and has huge snaps. He ollied from the upper-decker to the lower area (you really had to see it because it was huge and gnarly) and he ended one run with a varial heelflip to bs 5-0 on the hubba. Good stuff and very entertaining
7th – Collin Hale – I know that it seems like I’m kissing ass because I speak highly of the guy all of the time, but Collin really is one of my favs. Collin had the most perfect nollie flips down the 10-set and pretty much nollied into everything during his best run, including fs flips and feebles
6th – Chazz Ortiz – lil’ man is coming correct. He’s lost the full-pad and helmet steez and is starting to grow into his own. He rocked a proper ghetto-gown while doing bs smiths and heelflips down the 10-set. Give him a couple of more years and he’s going to be really gnarly
5th – Magnus Hanson – damn, I wish that I could remember something about his guy. My notes say “nollie bs heel perfect down the 10-set/nollie bs heel over the bank-to-barrier.” That’s all I got
4th – Ben Hatchell – he was on fire! I thought at one point that Ben was going to take the whole deal. He did nollie big heelflips up the BIG step-up with a kickflip Indy grab back in and skated big on the rest of the course, too. Then after time he was still going for it and broke his wrist on something over the hip. I don’t think that it ever phased the kid though…he had it going on
3rd – Dustin Blauvelt – it seems like I just wrote about Dustin last weekend, but that’s because he got third in the Neanderthal Brawl, too. Two thirds in two weekends isn’t so bad, but when you got a switch Barley grind (switch fs 180 to fs smith) in your run on the huge handrail, well, then you earn a top three spot
2nd – Antoine Asselin – he’s not as recognizable as he was when he had the long locks, but fs noseblunts every try are Antoine’s specialty. He’s also got a flawless fs nosegrind 180 out on the eight-stair every try, too. Add in a fs hurricane on that same rail and a bs big flip down the eight-stair and you got a second-place finish
1st – Ryan Decenzo – I’ll be damned, but I wrote down that he did a lipslide on the big rail and a switch blunt on the 10-set rail, but I can’t seem to remember a single damn thing else about this kid other than he was ripping!
Best Trick ContestsThe fact that they had five Best Trick Contests was pretty crazy. And it was hard to tell what was going on because the announcer’s mic was very muffled. Needless to say that caused a bit of confusion. Add in a bunch of security guards (dressed in black) that weren’t skateboarders and had no skateboarding knowledge and you had a bit of chaos.
But one thing really cool about it was that Alex, the main man behind the Contest, was just handing out money to whoever landed something. As far as I could tell there was no “winner,” but instead, if you landed something you got handed some cash. Not a bad deal at all for those that wanted to step up and get in on the mayhem. Here are some main points…if I wrote all of the details this article would never end:
- It all started on the 10-set with handrail and hubbas. It was super-crowded in the take-off area and security was frustrated with trying to keep the order. They eventually gave up and let it all go down, with Dustin Blauvelt doing a bs 360, Alien a fs bluntslide on the hubba, and Kevin Greenwood, who’s quote was “Sex, skateboarding, and homies,” with a bs tailslide on the rail
- We then moved over to the smaller handrail/flat bar and mellower hubbas. I could barely see what was going on, but Marshall Heath raised the roof with a switch heel to fs tailslide 270 out...damn
- The next obstacle that got ripped was the eight-stair/rail area and they added in the bank-to-barrier, too, which got destroyed by Matt Miller, who’s got some of the best pop out right now. Manny Santiago also did a fs shove-it to feeble and varial heel boardslide down the rail
- Then the crowd made their way over to the GIGANTIC rail, where our boy Dylan proceeded to attempt fs noseblunts, to no avail. Then Nick Merlino stepped up and fs feebled and back lipped it…wow. No to be out done, Dustin Blauvelt did a switch Barley grind (switch fs 180 to smith) down the bitch. The closer went to PIF, whose sketchy style had me doubting, but I was proven wrong when he did a fs boardslide shove-it out…
- I thought that the big rail was going to be the final Best Trick, but nooooo…I was incorrect. But at that point my legs hurt from standing all day and I went to the parking lot for a cold one during the Best Trick on the big step-up
I wish that I had more time and space to write about all of the other great skating and good times that went down in Montreal. I love my country, but it’s great to leave every once in a while to see what the rest of the world is all about. Did I mention that the legal drinking age is 18 up there? Thanks for the good times, Montreal and Am Getting Paid…