etnies GvR 2006 Sole Tech Tour and Pool Jams

Posted on Saturday, October 21, 2006 by Rob

etnies GvR 2006 Sole Tech Tour and Pool Jams
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Before the Bowl Jams, we got a tour of the buildings where etnies, Emerica, eS, and Altamont are made. This is the employee store. I wonder if you can just cash your paycheck here and load up on gear every week
There was a line-up of boxes in the hallway going to various riders and other people. This one here is for Mike D of the Beastie Boys that are playing tonight
There's also a snowboard company that's part of this whole mix. They have Mork and Mindy type chairs going on. Shazbot
The new Altamont apparel is looking good. This is a box of samples we were sifting through
Lemme get that Altamont zip up?!? Or, like the kids a the Bro Bowl say, "I can haaa dat?"
Disrespecting authority
Sole Tech Tour
We showed up at etnies Lake Forest Skatepark on Thursday night to check out what was going on and realized that we had no hotel booked. Oops. Mark Waters of Sole Tech was soon to the rescue and got us proper accommodations at Staybridge Suites, which is a full-on business travelers’ lodging-type joint. The only downside is that it’s a short drive from the other “party” hotels, but that’s probably a good thing.

Before we even made it down the hill to the Skatepark, we got a proper tour of the Sole Technology offices. Wow. What an amazing facility they have going on there. There are so many different departments and so much stuff going on that it’s just amazing.

Women’s, Grand Masters, and Pro Bowl
Women’s Bowl
Heidi Fitzgerald
This girl was seven-years-old and doing backside airs in the deep end - Alize Montes
Heidi Kreis
Holly Lyons
I mentioned to David Loy that this girl is like the female version of him - Julie Kindstrand. Turns out they skate together all the time in Julie's backyard bowl. I wonder if they've given each other cooties yet
Gwen Marchos
Who dat?
The Park is literally just down the hill from Sole Tech and it couldn’t have been a nicer afternoon to watch a bunch of girls rip a bowl. They call it “bowl,” but it’s more of a pool, and I was definitely surprised with how many girls can grind pool coping. All of those skating were so mellow and cool it seemed as if we were just watching a cool session.

Out of the 20 total girls, some of the stand-outs were the seven-year-old that could do fs airs at coping (didn’t catch her name), Heidi Fitzgerald who can grind every single wall, and Julie Kinstrand who was one of the younger girls out there and skated really fast, with a bs stalefish over the hip. Julie’s coming up.

Here are the Results:

1st – $500 – Holly Lyons
2nd – $400 – Cressy Rice
3rd – $250 – Heidi Fitzgerald
4th – $150 – Kristi Sanders
5th – $100 – Julie Kinstrand
6th – $100 – Mandy Esch

We bailed after the broads ripped it up and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the Grand Masters and Pro Divisions Finals.

Grand Masters Bowl
If you’re an old skateboarder like me, then this is the event for you. These are the guys that I grew up seeing in the mags when I was a teenager and to see them all in person at one event was a great experience. It’s good for the rejuvenation of the souls of old skateboarders. These guys are in their late 30’s and some are into their 40’s and they’re still killing it.

The top 12 from the Qualifiers advanced to the Finals where they were split into two, 10-minute Jams. Here’s how it broke down:

1st – $1000 – Steve “Cab” Caballero – Cabbie still has the fs invert, miller flip, and lines for miles. He’s quiet, humble, and just one of those guys that you like to watch skate with flawless runs and tons of control

2nd – $750 – Lance Mountain – the original comedian skateboarder was in the same heat as old Brigade buddy Cab and he just tore the place up like a seasoned pro that deserves the backing of Flip

3rd – $400 – Lester Kasai – I think that Lester is better than he used to be back-in-the-day. He skates 110mph and has both the lip tricks and airs. At one point he fully hung up on a Madonna and we thought he was done for, but in only minutes he was right back in the Jam

Vince Del Valle sure has some tranny skills
Sergie Ventura was looking super good in the bowl
If you started skating right after cavemen invented the wheel like me, you're psyched to see a photo of Lester Kasai. The rest of you are wondering why someone your dad's age is on a skateboard
Jeff Grosso is holding on to this eggplant long enough for all the blood to rush to his helmet
Like me, Pat Ngoho, started skating before there was "Just Do It" and "Don't Do It." There was just "Do Whatever You Want," the way it should be. I said it before and I'll say it again:
Here’s a newsflash in case the obvious isn’t that obvious to you. All skateboard companies, no matter how large or small, are a business and a corporation and are in it to make money and pull out when it's not making money (Rasa Libre, The Firm, 88, etc.), just like a large non-skate company would do. Don’t let the old bitter skateboarding grown ups tell you what you can and can’t buy or who you should or shouldn't support. Buy what you want. Just spend your money on whatever you think is cool and everything will be fine. That’s a big part of what makes skateboarding what it is
If there were no photographers in the crowd, there wouldn't have been a crowd
You can tell who's doing this invert with out me telling you. Lance Mountain has a unique invert style for sure
That's Steve Caballero frontside tailsliding. I wonder if anyone got a photo of it?
No way! Jess the Mess Martinez - ripping the bowl
Steve Caballero - this is a layback frontside grind right? I'm not 100% on all my old school vert tricks
The Greek - one of the best styles in the bowl along with Rune
Okay, this kid is rediculous in the bowl. Taylor Bingaman was doing nollie frontside stale fish grabs in the deep end. This here's a frontside hurricane to fakie. That was impressive
Omar Hassan won another one as easy as this frontside tailslide
Rune Glifberg - frontside ollie from the deep to shallow
4th – $200 – Jeff “Mothra” Grosso – when I was in high school Jeff was my favorite skateboarder and when I saw him skating it was a reminder as to why. I don’t think that I’m alone in that opinion because no one got as many cheers as Jeff did for his destruction of the pool. I swear he shook the damn thing with his 50/50’s and 25’ boardslides

5th – $150 – Mickey “Malba” Alba – I saw this guy walking around with a back brace and two knee braces looking like he wanted to punch someone and thought, “Damn, that guy looks familiar,” and I’ll be damned, but it was Malba! Just like his big bro he’s still got it, including some really cool boardslide shuffles to fakie…good stuff

6th – $100 – Glen Charnoski – I heard that when he’s not ripping a pool with finger flip lien-to-tails and fs airs to disaster that Glen is known to spend his free time hiking mountains. Looks like it’s paying off because he’s in damn good shape for a 40ish skateboarder

7th – $100 – Pat Ngoho – this dude is 42-years-old, but you know how Asians don’t really look as old as they are, right? The most peculiar thing is that he’s a ripping pool skater and he chooses to rock Nike Dunks. Is that permitted? I need to check the Rule Book on that one

8th – $100 – Mike Smith – I don’t recall seeing the inventor of the smith grind even do one, but that didn’t matter much at all because Mr. Smith was all over the place in his full helmet

That was a damn good time and motivational…makes me want to skate more. I still need to see Neil Blender in person someday though.

Pro Bowl
One thing weird about the Pro Bowl is that you really didn’t have to be pro to be in it. There were local heroes and child-prodigies right there in the mix with the top dogs. But once they weeded through the mess the Finals were where it was at.

In addition to a couple of great Jams, the band Clay Wheels played during all of the mayhem, too. The crowd was amped, the photographers and filmers were out in full force, and it was on!

The format was the same as the Grand Masters and here’s who was in the money when it was all said and done:

1st – $2000 – Omar Hassan – on his intro run he shoved this guy out of the way really hard and on purpose when he did a lipslide roll-in. The after the most proper run Omar popped out and the guy that he pushed kicked Omar’s board back into the pool. That was a punk move, but nowhere near as punk as Omar skated

2nd – $1000 – Rune Glifberg – Rob’s favorite vert skater and a master of all tranny, Rune destroys! I was watching him the night before without my glasses on and thought, “Damn, that guy has some great style,” and then I realized it was Rune. During the Jam he was fs ollieing from the waterfall all the way up to the coping in the shallow end to tail, truck, and just straight ollies

3rd – $600 – Brian Patch – he might have a bionic foot since his Mega-Ramp injury at the 2005 X-Games, but that didn’t stop Patch from doing fs inverts, big airs, and generally ripping the pool with high speed lines

4th – $400 – Bruno Passos – when I first met Bruno he was the TM for some Brazilian guys. I don’t know if he was always this good or he got better, but the guys rips. I personally thought that he was in 2nd and Rune was in 3rd because he has some lines that were tough to beat like smith grind revert in the deep to switch rock-n’-roll (proper) in the shallow

5th – $300 – Taylor Bingaman – all I can say is – PROS WATCH OUT. Taylor is about 16 and rips like a seasoned pool vet with bs tailslides every try, everything to revert, and both fs nosegrinds to fakie and alley-oop fs nosegrinds. What?

6th – $200 – Chris Cudlipp – Chris is one of the coolest and most genuine guys out there. He started one of his runs by nollieing into the deep and another by half-cabbing in. That was gnar and he backed it up by also doing a fs disaster bs revert in the deep end, too

7th – $100 – Aaron Astorga – before the Finals started AA seemed as if he didn’t think that he made it because he was chillin’ on the sidelines having a brew, but his name was called and he got back in skate mode with 20’ lipslides and huge bs airs from deep to shallow

8th – $100 – Jimmy “The Greek” Marcus – I purposely wrote “Marcus” because no one even calls him Jimmy Marcus anymore…he’s simply The Greek. And The Greek don’t plan $h!t and he doesn’t really care. He just goes out there and does whatever comes natural, like body jars, bs airs to disaster, and some lines that leave others just shaking their heads

All in all it was an action-packed evening and after the awards were announced we didn’t even get out of there until about 10pm. That didn’t really matter much though because there isn’t exactly too much going on in the Lake Forest nightlife scene.

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