11th Annual Texas Skate Jam 2007 Benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Posted on Monday, November 05, 2007 by Rob

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos by Rob Meronek, Filmer Sara, and Porpe
Captions by Rob Meronek
Chris Cole won the Best Trick on the bank to wall with this backside noseblunt from the quarter to wall
Know your pros and sketchy skateboard industry key players. From left to right, that's Terry Kennedy, Darin Howard who does Team Manager stuff with Deluxe, Jamie Thomas, Danny Way, Jim Thiebaud who managers all kinds of bid'niss at Deluxe, Malcolm Watson, and RB Umali, filmer for Zoo York
There were not so many bowl trolls this year. That's Kevin Taylor on a BSTS
Wow, no matter how silly skateboarding seems to keep getting, there's always something that one ups that last silly thing you saw. I have come to the "who cares" conclusion, at least for now. Skateboarding to me is no different that it was the day I started and as long as things stay fun like that, bring on the circus acts. Who cares
Curren Caples meron grabbed all day in the bowl
The bowl was packed, then it was ripped. It was a blaze all day long and the skating was smokin'
Christine from MTV was back to work on Life of Ryan. She explained a little more of her job to me. She basically helps to catalog events and dialog that's being filmed by the crew as they're with Ryan. She's constantly using this remote viewer to take notes about all kinds of stuff going on. She can also switch to the view from any of the several cameras that are filming at any given time. Pretty interesting job. Her last project was the Video Music Awards before the Sheckler show
Watching Darren Harper skate flat is amazing
Chaz Pineda was doing frontside reverts out of these frontside rocks on the bank to wall
I've been watching the flat ground sessions a lot more lately. Usually Billy Marks is rolling dice on flat ground, but this time it's a 3 flip
Brandon Westgate - ollie from the quarter up to lipslide on the wall
As you can see in the chill shots coming up, I spent a lot of time with Shortbus. This is a front blunt on the bank to wall
I had a real hard time forcing myself to shoot photos today so after a while, I gave Filmer Sara a two minute crash course and handed over the camera for the Best Trick down the big four. This looks like Chris Cole doing a switch frontside flip
Manny Santiago - this looks like a varial heel
Looks like Filmer Sara was getting artsy with it in this photo of two people waving to each other
Jamie Thomas - late shuv it
Ryan Sheckler - cab flip
Billy Marks - cab flip
Last week Manny got buck, this week he got hucked
Danny Montoya - frontside feeble grind for the Sheckler fans
While Filmer Sara was doing my job, I joined the rest of the drunks at the bar next door. She called me after about 10 minutes saying, "Damn, your job sucks." A minute later she brought the camera back to me. I'm over it, she's over it, now what? Next in line is Porpe with a crash course in photography. He started out on the bar lurk and then moved on to the Awards. Thanks for taking over Porpe. His first snap was Joey Brezinski at the bar with us
I'm not sure if this is Porpe's Jamie Thomas frontside flip photo or if it's Filmer Sara's
These are your microphone guys for the weekend - Ryan Clements and Brian Schaefer. Someone told me they heard Jamie Thomas say Brian Schaefer is out of his mind on the mic. Comedy doesn't go over too well with some people
That's Damian and April on the right - they're the ones that organize this event
That's Johnny Romano presenting a check to Make-A-Wish
Chris Cole is on the podium as usual
Meanwhile, back at the bar, Porpe continues his camera assault on everyone in there. That's Kevin Taylor with someone I probably met but don't remember
Brian Brown just had a ripping part in the Let's Do This video. That's him with Joey Brezinski throwing back and Ryan Bobier on the right. Not sure who that other lurker is
Simon and Camilla from Copenhagen are here to promote the Copenhagen Pro 2008. That's our gangster whip we rolled in all weekend. They were commenting on how the police here look like they're going to war with all the weapons they have. Over in Denmark, they don't even carry guns
The line gets large a couple hours before the doors even open
Okay now Filmer Sara has the chill cam and has been ordered to document the lurk. Her first one is Schaefer smacking a mom's ass on the way into the Spitfire Dunk Tank
Tony Trujillo is down with a dunked mom
Justin Brock took over the mic for a second while Schaefer attempted to follow up the smack with a dunk
Erik Ellington, Terry Kennedy, and Jim Greco were occupied by autographs
That's Jake, the ATM with the BTM along with Darrel Stanton. We had a proper meal with Ronald McDonald to start the rest of the night off
Now we're at the After-Party where all kinds of foot fetish shots are being fired
That's a foot fetish with Chris Roberts
Porpe blew an ashtray in my face with perfect timing on the shutter
That's Damian Herbert and Darell Stanton along with an extra hyped Porpe. Thanks for a fun weekend. Good night and good-bye Texas
Welcome to Texas!
I’m a big fan of Texas and I always feel very comfortable in the City of South Houston. Part of the reason that I feel so at home there is because S. Houston resembles Tampa in a few unique ways.

There are adult movie stores on every corner and the area around Southside Skate Park is a bit run down. The experience for me is sort of like those that visit Tampa for the Am and Pro and only go from the airport to Skatepark of Tampa to Ybor…those people think that Tampa is a complete dump because that’s all that they see. So I have the same perspective on S. Houston, but that’s not a bad thing…I’m all about visiting the dirty side of town on occasion.

After a quick stop and (as Rob would put it) a sketchy skateboard bid’ness meeting at Southside Skate Park, we made our way over to the E-Z 7 ditch. It’s the famous one that you see in all of the videos and it’s more fun than the skate park that’s right next to it.

From there we hit Downtown and skated several great spots including Tranquility Rail, where quite a session was brewing, and that one building with the tranny all the way around it. But I’ll tell you, if you were filming, then it wouldn’t have been too great of a mission considering how fast we got kicked out of everywhere. We had a Brian Wenning, Jereme Rogers, and P.J. Ladd sighting and then it was off to the Habitat Premiere.

It was an all-star viewing cast at the G.R.A.B. Club in Downtown Houston for the showing of “Inhabitants.” Stand-out parts were Silas Baxter-Neal, Danny Garcia, and Stefan Janoski of course. Back to the hotel and good night…

Make-A-Wish Jam
I’m pretty sure that everyone in the United States has heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation by this point, but if you haven’t here’s the deal: The whole premise of the organization is to grant wishes for sick and terminally ill kids. If you’re a little guy and you’ve always wanted to go to Disney World, then they make it happen. Or if you’re a young lady and your dream is to hang out with Ryan Sheckler, like young Kassie Forman who had her wish granted, not a problem. Sheckler was there on site at 9am hanging out with Kassie. Good man.

And then there’s Johnny Romano. He’s the little dude that has a pro board on Real. I’m not sure what’s up with him being sick because he looked great, but I did hear that he went through chemotherapy the day prior. Johnny is an inspiration…he’s cool and has a great attitude…and you would never know that he suffered from anything.

So what I’m trying to get at here is that the Texas Skate Jam raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And it’s not like it’s small time either…we’re talking over $100,000 this year. Everyone there works for free, the money that the pros win goes back to the charity, and every penny that is spent at Southside that day, from entry fees to product raffles, goes directly to help the kids. Can you think of a better reason to support a skateboarding event?

By 9am there was already a crowd gathering outside, the MTV crew was there filming for “Life of Ryan,” and the vibe was set for a great day of skateboarding and charitable contributions.

Bowl Jam
At high noon we started off with a bang with the Bowl Jam. In the past we’ve had heavy tranny rippers like Pat Duffy, Dan Drehobl, Kyle Berard, and Mike Peterson, but this time around some of the big dogs weren’t present…or had other obligations. That’s alright because guys like Chad Knight and Steve Nesser joined in the activities, but when it came down to it, the ams dominated:
  • 3rd - $1000 – Andrew Langie – Justin Williams’ boy repping Empire Dist. had the fs tailslide to bs revert and fakie bs bigspin to fs pivot fakie. This ATV is on the come-up
  • 2nd - $2500 – Curren Caples – I can’t get enough of Flip and Adio’s little destroyer. At only 11 he’s got the tranny skills (and then some) of season schralpers with kf indy and kf fs airs and ill fs flips and fs flips to disaster
  • 1st - $5000 – Ben Raybourn – the Texas shredder embodies punk rock skateboarding with his look and uncanny ability. 1031 look out because someone is going to steal this kid and his invert reverts on 6’ of vert. He almost had the bs boneless on the 6’ vert wall, too, but a committed attempt ended up in a body roll/head smack
Bank to Wall
We had a tough time choosing what obstacle on which this event was going to take place, but keeping in mind that diversity is key, the bank-to-wall won the debate. There were so many things happening that are mention-worthy during the 30-minutes that I can’t possibly recall it all, but here are a few things that come to mind:
  • Peter Ramondetta rips everything. He was doing fs 50-50’s on the top of the bank-to-wall and then ollieing back into the quarter-pipe to the left of it
  • Colin McKay joins my personal rank of “true professionals.” Just the fact that he took a couple of hits on the wall during the Jam got me stoked
  • Filming of “Life of Ryan” episodes at our events seems to have become common-place and Ryan Sheckler was there in full effect, ripping with everyone. He gave it his all on the bs smith stall kickflip 270 out, but came up short
  • 3rd - $1000 – Andrew Langie – the kid from Empire Distribution came through again with a manly bs disaster to smith and fs pivot fakie
  • 2nd - $2500 – David Bachinsky – fs blunt kickflip in so perfect that it was unreal. The place went off! Some thought that Dave took it when we handed out the awards and the “boo’s” were thrown out. Hit Rothmeyer up on that call
  • 1st - $5000 – Chris Cole – the bs noseblunt from the quarter to wall was on point and he ended with the alley-oop finger-flip lien-to-tail from the quarter-pipe to bank-to-wall, too
Zumiez Big 4
A last minute decision took the Zumiez Best Trick from the Couch to the Big 4, which seemed more appropriate since it was the newest obstacle at Southside. This Jam was all out mayhem and chaos. We tried to control the crowd as much as possible, but at points it seemed like it was even the participants getting in each other’s way.

The rad thing was that even though there were about 30 skaters getting’ some, the vast majority of them were top dogs. It’s just so great to see that the Make-A-Wish Jam gets so much indu$try support.

Peter Ramondetta was up in this one, too, and busted out the 360 double kickflip about halfway through the 30-minute Jam. Sheckler had a side bet with Skatepark of Tampa Gambling Team Rider Billy Marks on who could make the full-Cab kickflip first. The battle ‘royale’ lasted a solid 10-minutes and Billy came up victorious, taking $50 from Shecks and promptly handing it over to Make-A-Wish.

When we announced the results we realized that it was full-on Fallen sweep:
  • 3rd – James Hardy – this dude’s got a lot of tricks, including the nollie tre and switch 360 flip. Look out for him
  • 2nd – Chris Cole – it’s very rare that Cole comes up short on anything he tries…he was so damn close to landing the switch fs flip 360 ollie. He actually landed one with his hands, but got the full credit for the nollie bs flip and perfect hardflip
  • 1st - $5000 – Billy Marks - along with the Cab kickflip that he landed prior to Shecks, Billy also nailed a fs switch big heel and a nollie inward heel. Hell yeah!
Thanks
The day seemed to be over as quickly as it started. The awards were handed out, everyone was thanked, hands were shaken, photos were posed for, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation tallied up slightly over $100,000. Damn that’s a lot of cheddar.

We headed out to the After-Party on the outskirts of Downtown, where the cops weren’t too friendly, but the free drink tickets made everyone forget about that. There are literally too many people to thank, but I’m going to give it a try…

Thanks to the companies that supported and sent their riders: Listen, Black Label, World Industries, Volcom, Electric, Supra, Real, and Spitfire for handling the Dunk Tank.

Special thanks to Adio, Zoo York, Plan B, and Fallen for bringing out damn near their entire teams and to Damian Hebert and April Rector from South Shore Distributing for making the entire event happen.

There were too many volunteers to even begin to try and name, but you know who you are. Southside Skate Park was a great host to the event and DJ Melodic spun the tunes all day. Check out the coverage on Fuel TV and next year we’re looking at doing a live webcast courtesy of 411VM.

Ryan

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