Clash of the Crews 2007 at MIA Skatepark

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2007 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos by Rob Meronek and Mike Derewenko
Captions by Rob Meronek

I wonder if Element was a sponsor of the Contest? Abdias Rivera did frontside pop shuv to backside nosegrind on that hubba smooth like a baby's butt, I mean one that hasn't crapped the Pampers
Mike Espinosa - backside tailslide on the hubba
Backside flipping the rail is hard either way. Brian Downey backside flipped it the harder way
Look, Abdias not in a wetsuit! Abdias Rivera's frontside 180 nosegrind was just the start on a long list of tricks on the hubba that helped SPoT make it to second place
80's Joe had some tricks in the bonus footage of the Nike DVD. This is a nollie inward heel
DMFP took some beatdowns on the board this weekend but still ripped in the jam. That's a bluntslide
I think I've seen Manny Santiago in a different city every weekend since September. This is a kickflip crooked grind
Maybe should have turned the shutter speed up a little on this T4PREZ frontside flip, or maybe someone just put something in your drink. Someone please put something in my drink. Thanks
Who dat? Nollie frontside nosegrind
The PREZ - nollie crook
Mike Espinosa has some extras in the Nike DVD, too. This is a nollie flip
Purple is a tough color to pull off with your gear. Some people make it look better than others I guess. I got one of those Bratrud shirts because I like the graphic. It only comes in purple, though. That one might stay in the closet. Enough about purple. That's T4PREZ asking for your vote with a switch backside 5-0 on purple
Usually when I see Abdias Rivera outside the 813 area code, his shadow is with him. They're separated now so they're each holding on to half of the broken heart pendant until they reunite and run at each other from across the room and hug like a Hollywood movie ending. Oh yeah, this is an ollie over to noseblunt slide. My mind is wandering
Wow, Antwuan got a cross tatted on his face. He should bite off someone's ear now. Maybe it will be Pat Stiener, T4PREZ, Abdias Rivera, or Ming Tea
Way back when vert was cool, it actually had an influence on street. Yes, I am not making this up. These things were called "street plants" or "inverts." In one fell swoop, Steve Rocco's mockery of street plants wiped them off the map for street skaters. You may remember his quote from an interview, "Sorry kids, inverts aren't skateboarding." Oh you don't? That's because you're not 65 like me. High five yourself. Getting old sucks. Anyway, Rocco's words actually upset some people back in the day. Then they realized how busted they were and quit doing them like the rest of the street skaters that joined the new cool guy contest we now know as the sketchy skateboard industry. Street plants then died quicker than jelly shoes, jean jackets, stone washed jeans, and roach clips with a feather on them. I say we bring these street plants back like all the other old guy tricks that are making a comeback. Here, Abdias Rivera goes at it all kinds of wrong. First of all, you can break a thumb by doing a street plant not on your palm like that. The form is not so hot either, but give him a break, he's new to this, and it's not even skateboarding anyway
Drinker Pat gave it shot, too. Same plant style with the thumb as a tri pod going on here. Ouch! Everyone seems to think grabbing with the back hand is easier, too. Sounds like all the mags need to do trick tips on street plants
Two things make a street plant easier - hand flat on the ground and grab mute. Don't have your feet all sloppy like mine here, though. If you can do this, congratulations you old ass bastard
Finally, someone who knows what not skateboarding is. That's Heath and he's got the judo kick invert. I can't remember who asked, but someone was like, "Is your foot supposed to come off like that?" Ah, you green little kiddies
Abdias' only chance at a real street plant was this Photo Chop Shop turned upside down with the sky replaced by the street
Body's got some moves of his own. His fingers are fearing for their life right now
The ho-ho plant is one I never learned. Dodge has it with some help from Clements. There's a serious tailgate party in going on, too
So the street plant session resulted in all kinds of old guy moves coming out. Heath has a proper boneless over the portable bar
Abdias learned fast plants with the seniors
Clements combines two old guy moves for the super old guy move - a boneless and street plant at the same time. Wow, things were getting out of hand
After our old guy jam during the heavy metal parking lot party, the Mini-Ramp Contest was on. It was a little packed
Did you know Evan Smith was a contortionist? Looks a little painful to have your left arm wrapped around like that
I'm still not 100% on all my old school trick names. This is an iceplant Lehman is doing, right?
Vern Laird from Listen reporting like Bryant Gumble - thanks for the mic entertainment all weekend
On the way home, we went to this spot. Looks like you can effortlessly crack a big frontside ollie on this, huh? No, you can't. It's hard
Our entire clan showed up at this place - DMFP, Eggling, Porpe, Giles, Derewenko, Levi, Abdias, Pee Wee Kirks, Body, and T4PREZ. Somehow we managed not to get kicked out
Levi got a hurricane on that thing
Lehman got the hurricane frontside
After this regular BSTS, Levi grabbed one crail
Body got chucked a few times on a fly out. Thanks for the laughs, Body
Body - crail grab launcher, no chuck
I thought this was some kind of skateboard joust going on. It's DMFP and Giles pulling a hippie jump switcheroo. DMFP found it easier to go switch and hit the air about five feet before the crossover
This time I did it a bit differently though. Instead of rolling with the crew, I decided to take the lady and a couple of friends. We turned it into a mini-vacation on South Beach while the boys had sufficient accommodations at the La Quinta closest to MIA Skatepark, just outside of Miami.

Since you don’t want to hear about the couple’s vacation and I don’t want to read the lame comments that you’re going to leave, let me just tell you this…South Beach is rad. You can take people-watching to an all new level at that place. It’s like the “New York City of Florida.” The only thing is that things are slightly expensive there. You’ve really got to watch your money closely or you’re going to run through it very quickly.

So when I wasn’t spending time walking the strip, browsing over-priced boutiques, and looking at T&A, I made it over to MIA Skatepark to watch one of Florida’s finest annual events…the Clash of the Crews.

The Skating
Day 1
MIA is one of the few skate parks around the country that I truly feel at home. There are tons of private facilities with great stuff to skate, but the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter what obstacles you have to offer; the true meaning of a good skate park is how you run the facility. A proper skate park has to know how to make real skateboarders feel at home, and with guys like Ed Selego, Chris Williams, and Matt Cantor behind the helm, MIA does just that.

Upon pulling up, I noticed that the entire parking lot had that “look.” I know that it sounds stupid to put it into words, but you could just tell that there were a lot of legit skateboarders there, ready to represent their respective shops.

The format of the Clash is pretty simple. You get six guys from your Shop/Park and they get around 15-minutes to skate the course. There were 10 teams that skated on Saturday and then 10 teams on Sunday. I purposely watched only a very small amount of the skating. I’m overly-competitive as it is, so I didn’t want to be like that this weekend. I wanted it to just be all about fun…and that’s exactly what the Skatepark of Tampa Team displayed.

We were actually the last team to skate on Saturday afternoon, just after 5pm. The chosen ones were Lehman, Giles, Levi, T4Prez, DMFP, and Abdias, who changed his ticket and jumped off of the Circa Tour to join us. Instead of saying how rad I thought we were I’ll just leave it at this…I think that the guys skated like they do on a normal session. On any given day you can see that same exact crew at Skatepark of Tampa doing the same exact thing. Nothing special…just skating with your friends. That’s the vibe that I got and I couldn’t have been more stoked.

Immediately after ripping the Clash, we filled Lehman with water, Red Bull, and MGD and sent him over to the mini-ramp to represent and skate in a 30-minute all-out-jam. It was a winner-take-all $500 prize, but I think that the judging was completely on point because it ended up in a tie, $250 to Lehman and $250 to Evan Smith of Mesh Skatepark. Lehman had the most tricks and the gnar factor, but Evan got tech with bigspin and noseblunt variations.

The next hour or so was spent having a tailgate party and messing around in the parking lot. There was an After-Party in downtown featuring Jeru tha Damaja, but I got stuck in South Beach once again.

Day 2
Okay, I had every intention of making it back over to MIA, but South Beach was just so damn nice that we (the couples, not the Team) rented bicycles and just cruised South Beach. Good, relaxing times were had.

I got a few phone calls from the SPoT Team and they wanted to hit some other spots and get the hell out of Miami. The plan was made and our crew headed out, so basically we had very little Skatepark of Tampa representation at MIA on Sunday. Next time we’re definitely staying longer. I gave Cantor a call when I arrived home at 8pm to find out the Results. Here you go…
  • 1st – Shred Shed – how did they do it again? Manny Santiago rides for them now?
  • 2nd – Skatepark of Tampa – like I said, I couldn’t be more stoked
  • 3rd – Mesh Skatepark – Evan Smith is the killa’
Thanks
At the risk of kissing too much ass, I want to once again thank MIA for putting on such a proper event. It was a great feeling to be a part of something like that…and actually not having to work. I can speak for the entire Skatepark Team by saying that good times were had by all.

I don’t know what he was doing on the mic, but Vern Laird was pretty funny up there. Thanks to the entire Skatepark of Tampa Team for representing properly…and to all of our friends that we got to hang out with, both old and new.

Ryan

Rob's Chill Cam Video Footage
Here's Pat Stiener getting stuck, DMFP 50-50ing, and Goonie Giles getting a car wash from five stories up...

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