Manny Mania New York City 2007

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by Ryan

Manny Mania New York City 2007
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Dennis Busenitz - frontside flip fakie manual frontside half cab out
Dennis Busenitz - 360 flip manual. Look how far back the snap is. That means he's going pretty damn fast
Brandon Biebel - half cab heelflip nose manual backside 180 out
Daniel Castillo is from the same island full of spear chuckers and head hunters that I'm from. We both don't eat balut, though. This is a frontside 180 fakie manual fakie big spin out
Eli Reed - nose manny up, nollie half cab, switch manny down
Ronnie Creager - kickflip manual frontside 180 out
Forest Kirby - switch flip manual frontside 180 out
Dennis Busenitz - frontside flip switch manual
Ronnie Creager - half cab flip manual
Joey Brezinski - nose manual backside tailslide
Joey Brezinski - backside tailslide fakie manual
Josh Kalis happened to be in town on a filming mission so he showed up and skated. Yeah, there's some tail drag here, but it's the only sequence of Josh that I got so I'm showing it to you anyway
Kenny Anderson - backside big spin fakie manual half cab out
Joey Brezinski - kickflip nose manual nollie heelflip out
This contest was pro only, but a lot of ams were skating in practice. This is Lorena Lima with a nollie pop shuv manual
Enrique Lorenzo - switch crooked grind pop out to switch manual
Malcolm Watson - nose manual nollie heelflip out
Dennis Busenitz - going extra fast again with this manual gap ollie out
Kenny Anderson - nollie half cab fakie manual frontside half cab out
Brandon Biebel - nollie 360 flip manual
Ronnie Creager - nollie hardflip manual
Joey Brezinski - nose manual nollie flip out
Eli Reed - switch heelflip manual
Brandon Biebel - switch frontside 180 nose manual backside 180 out
Ronnie Creager - switch frontside flip manual
Brandon Biebel - switch heelflip nose manual
The Scene
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in the City. Just like in Europe, everything in NYC starts more later than earlier. We rolled up to the Contest site at noon and it was a pretty mellow scene. And you know that if you’re the organizers and you can roll up at noon and not be late, then the scene is pretty chill.

What is normally a small skate park with a pyramid and a few flat bars was transformed into a Red Bull infused super-manny pad with VIP areas, a sound booth, fencing…you get the picture. It was a skateboarding contest put on by Red Bull.

When the place started to fill up I heard kids asking, “Why can’t we skate?” making comparisons to the previous day’s Back to the Banks. I can’t blame the kiddies though…they just want to skate. But as the invited pros started to stroll in, the kids were not to be disappointed because the heavy hitters were out in force.

Considering that they guys from SPoTlight Productions (us) were the hired helping hands, I was on the mic all day and unable to take proper notes. So based on the fact that so many of the tricks were ridiculously difficult and/or switch, fakie, or seriously technical, let’s just hope that Rob got a lot of sequences. Add in the fact that the whole event was on a live webcast courtesy of our pals at, and there was a lot going on!

There were about 20 total participants and we broke them down into five, four-man heats and they got to skate in 12-minute jams. We then took the top nine out of the Qualifiers and moved them into the Semi-Finals.

Pros that I would have enjoyed watching:
  • Kerry Getz was out there rolling around during practice, but then he was a no-show when the Contest started. Where were you, Kerry?
  • Apparently Brian Wenning took a couple of runs during practice and was over it, but I didn’t even see him. As a matter of fact, I’ve never even seen the guy in real life!
Participants that didn’t make the cut, but I was still hyped to see skate in Manny Mania:
  • When was the last time that Josh Kalis skated any contest? Apparently he was in the City to just skate and found out about the Manny Mania…sick
  • Chris Roberts is one of the low-key Girl/Chocolate skaters, but he’s a ripper and a class act all the way around
  • I don’t think that it was Daniel Castillo’s day, but his fs bigspins out of fakie manuals were on it
During the Semi-Finals things started to heat up. Not just the skating, but the sun was creeping over onto the course, too. As they say, it was hot in the City, but that’s when the top dogs either step it up or fall off. Here’s how it broke down:
  • 9th – $1000 – Forrest Kirby – whenever I see Forrest I want to ask, “Are we friends?” because I always think about his old video “FORE and Friends.” He made the cut, but I think that the heat got the best of him in the Semis
  • 8th – $1000 – Dennis Busenitz – I can’t believe how fast Dennis skates a manny pad. His fs and bs flips to fakie manny on the tall pad were full-speed-ahead, but once again, I think that he got worn out just before the Semis
  • 7th – $1000 – Kenny Anderson – it was great to see skateboarding’s smoothest operator in NYC. He had some tricks that were so tech on the up and down manny pad that I’m hoping that Rob caught a sequence of them!
  • 6th – $1000 – Jereme Rogers – the contest champ has some great moves even when the TV cameras aren’t rolling. I personally liked the bs tailslide to nose manual and the switch bs tailslide to fakie manny
  • 5th – $2000 – Malcolm Watson – if anyone ever has a problem with Malcolm Watson, then it’s definitely their problem because Malcolm is just the best. He played ‘hookie’ from Woodward and bs flip fakie mannied into some money
  • 4th – $3000 – Eli Reed – there comes a time when skating in am contests no longer matters and it was Eli’s turn to step up to the big leagues. I asked him, “Are you from New York City?” and he replied, “I’m from Baaastin.”
  • 3rd – $4000 – Joey Brezinski – the champ from Venice Beach started cramping up in the Finals, or else there’s a damn good chance that he could have taken it. My favorite one that he does is the inward heelflip manny to fs pop-shove out
  • 2nd – $6000 – Brandon Biebel – ol’ Biebel may just have more pop than anyone when it comes to flipping into manuals on tall ledges. Seeing him do the half-cab heelflip nose manual over and over was sick, and it was just great to even see him in any contest. He was seriously going for it and could have taken it…that is, if it wasn’t for Creager
  • 1st – $10,000 – Ronnie Creager – he’s smooth, calculated, and has his tricks dialed. At the beginning of each jam that Ronnie skated he would start checking the tricks off the list. Manual. Switch manual. Nose manual. Switch nose manual. Kickflip manual. Switch flip manual. You get the point. There’s no beating that type of precision, so Ronnie was crowned the champ
Jeru tha’ Damaja (don’t know if I’m spelling that one correctly) was hanging out all day and seemed to be a super-cool guy. Prince Paul was spinning the beats and there were so many OG NYC heads in the house that it was just sick…Vinny Ponte, Jefferson Pang (who was also judging), Rodney Torres, Steve Rodriguez (co-announcer as well), etc. It was a great scene and everyone seemed to enjoy the ‘dirty water dog’ catering. Hell, even Colin McKay was watching the Mania. Good times with great people and of course you know that Red Bull hosted yet another After Party at some swanky joint and there were free drinks flowing from 10pm – midnight. And midnight is when things get going in this town. But that’s when I go to bed.

Thanks to everyone for coming out – I hope that everyone had a great time and here’s to doing it again next year!


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