Back to the Banks 2007
Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2007 by Ryan
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
To be exact, I haven’t been to NYC since I was 20, so we’re talking 14 years. Damn, that’s a lifetime for some of you kids reading this.
NYC is amazing. There is more stuff going on all over the place than you could ever possibly imagine. Upon arriving at our hotel, Rob and I grabbed a map and hit the town on our skateboards. Our first stop was the site that was formerly the World Trade Center buildings.
I’ve been wanting to see what it looks like since 9/11, and being the patriotic American that I am, I guess I expected a lot more. It was rather disappointing to be honest with you. The entire area is blocked and fenced, and it even has that cloth up where you can’t see into the site. I guess I figured that there was going to be something more, something meaningful…something profound. I mean, there were some pictures and quotes posted, but as hard as 9/11 hit me I guess I just expected more out of it.
Rob and I just skated around it and looked in through the cloth where you could see some construction going on. As much security and cameras and such as that place has, you couldn’t get in there if you wanted to. Not that you want to, but you know…
Anyway, enough of that. It was just something that hit me rather hard, that’s all. Now onto some damn skateboarding! Let’s not forget we hit the infamous Max Fish for some drinks to properly put an end to the evening.
It had been a long time for me…I was reminiscing. After a couple hours of hanging out and doing a little skating, it was on. The Contest actually consisted of four Best Trick Contests and then an overall King of the Banks that went to the hardest ripper of the day.
Wallride This is where is all began, but somehow I missed the entire thing. You have to picture the scene: There’s no one talking on microphones and there are no bleachers for viewing. This is as raw as it gets with a skateboarding contest. There are no frills, just skateboarding. And literally anyone can skate during the Contests. For better or for worse, there are pros, ams, and kids that can barely ollie skating next to each other.
- Winner: Jimmy Mcdonald – $1000 – switch wallride bigspin out (that’s just what I heard because I obviously didn’t see it)
- Winner: Jake Duncombe – $1000 – backside noseblunt slide from the bank across the entire spine to flat – this was seriously ridiculous and Jake nailed it so perfectly…full-on vertical-board noseblunt style
Ledges on the Banks This part of the Contest was sick because it took place on the legendary Banks that everyone remembers from back-in-the-day all the way up to modern street skating times. I skated them for the first time when I was 17…exactly half of my life ago. Damn it’s crazy to think of it like that.
A double-tiered ledge that was about 10’ long was placed at the top of the Bank. You needed some serious pushing room to get up to the top of that thing, but the top dogs made it happen. Willy Akers nailed a lipslide and Anthony Schultz locked into a feeble grind. There were a few other rippers up there, too, like Malcolm Watson, Nolan Lee, and Ron Deily.
- Winner: Billy Rohan – $1000 – I checked my notes and I wrote “Rohan – krooks at 100 m.p.h.,” but I’m sure that he did more than just that when I wasn’t looking
NYC local Luis Tolentino was working on fakie ollies over the rail there while there was actually another guy trying bennihannas over it. Whoa. This part of the Contest seemingly went on forever, and right before they called ‘time,’ Nick Dompierre started trying bs noseblunts down the rail. About 30 minutes and 20 tries later history was made and Nick was stoked!
- Handrail Winner: Manny Santiago – $1000 – he started with a kickflip boardslide (by accident of course), then did a kickflip feeble, and ended with a fs bigspin to regular boardslide
- Over the Handrail Winner: Nick Fiorini – $1000 – okay, it was tough to see the landing from my perspective, but I saw Nick land a bs smith and nollie krooks on the rail, but apparently what won it for him was a switch heel over the rail (didn’t see it though)
- Overall Winner: Willy Akers – $1000 – he placed 2nd in two of the events, so with that he earned the King of the Banks title. It was rad to see his pops there, too
I skated back through the City to my hotel with local Jerry Mraz, Strubing (who wanted you to know that he was hurt or else he would have skated the Contest), and a few others. Weaving in and out of traffic, running lights, and hopping up and down the curbs was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
The fun never ends in NYC…and Volcom does it up right. At a bar called Lit they had free drinks from 9pm – 11pm. No special wristbands or anything…just walk in the bar and it’s all you can drink. From there we walked a few blocks to some old theater for the Premiere, which began at midnight (full-on NYC style, I guess).
I’m not going to get into the video…all I’m going to say is watch it. It’s dedicated to the memory of Shane Cross and the skating is just amazing.
Manny Mania coming up next…