Surf Expo January 2008

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Louie Lopez must be skating with Appleyard. Look at that nollie big, then look at Steve Stratton miss the photo op
Happy Birthday, Curren Caples. That's a frontside flip disaster
Austin Seaholm - sal flip
Curren Caples' commitment to this kickflip to blunt, frontside out didn't work out so great this time
If practice counted for making the cut, Levi would be in there. This is a layback back smith
Curren Caples - kickflip blunt fakie
David Loy - airwalk
Matt Giles - gap to frontside tailslide
Vince Del Valle - tailslide from the left side of your screen to the right
Brandon Knowles - pivot hop out fakie
Cody Davis - no comply tailslide
David Loy - gap smith
Heather, Becky, and Deva face front while Dyet sails by frontside. All three of these girls are roommates in Orlando. There's a fourth that lives with them, too. Wow
Heather, Becky, and Deva about face while Dyet sails by frontside
That's Ivan Rivado. I can't remember what the trick is due to the triple distraction on the left. Whatever he's doing got him first place
Keegan Sauder showed up out of nowhere and won the Am Jam
Josh Borden - frontside crail grab air over the hip
Jud Heald - frontside smith pop out
The Greek missed the cut by one place
Chad Bartie's rat tail is holding on for dear life on this high speed tailslide. See you Down Under next month, Mate
Tosh Townend - bean plant
Gershon Mosley is friends with some local at that one crusty joint I spend too much time in, The Hub. This is an ollie to fakie from low to high
Ivan Rivado is going to smack his tail on the way back in from this Indy air, which I guess makes it a body jar. I'll take a body jar from Heather, Becky, and Deva all at once
Deva is getting a nice close-up of Austin Seaholm's nosepick and we're getting a nice close-up of Deva
Chet Thomas - frontside flip stale fish grab. Deva - backside grab
Mike Peterson - front blunt
Rune Glifberg, see you in Copenhagen this summer
That's a foot fetish with Curren Caples and Louie Lopez with this "Motel G" Globe slippers. We were having beers and soda pop by the pool. These little tykes rip
I kept telling them the photo didn't come out so I have about five of these shots in the chill cam. Alcohol makes girls want to make out
Of course, had to get a foot fetish with them when they were done
I should have made time to take more photos of the girls. This one has two guns pointing to the right spot
It's not so bad rocking the hot pink pants when your whole crew is looking just as silly
DJ Wade let me take over the tunes for a bit. Four security guards then came over and warned me not to play certain songs again
After all these years, Tod Swank finally came out to Surf Expo and Skatepark of Tampa for the first time. Thanks for hanging out, Tod
Tod Swank and Jason Rothmeyer. There's some history here
The Am winners - Keegan Sauder, Curren Caples, and Marky Clements
That's the SPoTlight Productions crew (Ryan Clements, Brian Schaefer, and Rob Meronek) looking real professional as usual
That's a small part of the mayhem going on next to the mini-ramp. How do people get business done? Who cares
That's Mike Goodwine with the make-out bandits from last night, Brianna and a name I already forgot
The Pro winners were Ivan Rivado, Chet Thomas, and Mike Peterson
The drunks were mostly outside. I spent a lot of time there. See you in September
Nice Nef from Dwindle Distribution is taking a pause to assure the girlfriend there is absolutely no fun being had here at Surf Expo right now
Ryan Dodge got some new self-drawn ink to represent his history of being broke off
Porpe came up on a hippie board with a rollilng tray built into it
That's Becky, Diva, and Heather with me in my Volcom reptile gear - hot pink pants. Wow. Yes, they'll be on the site later to check this photo out so leave them some nice comments. Don't be an asshole, man
Day 1 – Reptilian Am Rumble
Due to a crazy, 50-car accident on I-4 just a couple of days ago, we didn’t know what the drive to Orlando was going to be like, but it couldn’t have been an easier trek. I think that I only took the F-350 off of cruise control only a couple of times and we were at the Rosen Centre on International Drive in no time.

Upon arrival at Expo, we incurred the standard Registration hassle. That seems to be the M.O. over there, so we apologize to anyone that was on our list that had trouble getting in. It was the same experience for us. Imagine that.

So by the time we got down to the ramp things were a bit hectic. We got the electricity hooked up, water was ordered, and wristbands were handed out to those in need. Finally…it was time for the Reptilian Ramp Rumble!

How many times have I said it? I’ll say it again anyway. Volcom does it right and it’s truly a pleasure working with them, even if it requires wearing tight, pink jeans with green stitching. For real though…the artwork and theme were once again killer and made for a fun atmosphere.

Team Pain came through with yet another proper mini-ramp, and somehow managed to include a hip with a tombstone over it. Hopefully the pictures do it justice because trying to explain it is pretty much impossible. Add in a few extensions, two escalators, and a sub-box and you get one helluva’ 100’ wide ramp.

The Format is simple. Each contestant gets two, 45-second runs, with the best run counting. The top 10 are taken to the Finals where they get one skate-until-you-fall intro run, a 15-minute no-rules Jam, and then one final skate-until-you-fall outro run. There were a total of 38 skaters broken down into two heats. The level of the ams has stepped-up considerably in the last couple of years. Just making the cut in the Reptialian Ramp Rumble was quite a feat. When the dust settled, here’s how it ended up:
  • 10th - $100 – Josh Borden – SoCal tranny ripper almost nailed a kickflip bs noseblunt in the Qualifiers. When it came to the Finals he ripped the Jam, but blew it in the runs
  • 9th - $100 – George Evans – he was close to making the nollie flip straight in, but two hard collisions may even put George out for Tampa Am
  • 8th - $100 – Dustin Blauvelt – my boy from Detroit finally has the blunt bigspin on lock, but I think he was getting knocked around even more than George
  • 7th - $100 – Brandon Knowles – I was skating the Bowl at Skatepark of Tampa with him the other day and asked, “How come you’re not skating the Volcom Mini-Ramp Jam?” Glad he decided to
  • 6th - $100 – Mike “Darkness” Barnes – talk about a personality, Darkness makes skateboarding fun. He’s got a great attitude, a huge bag of tricks, and a light blue pick for one of the most proper afros of all time
  • 5th - $100 – Trevor “Roadkill” Osterholt – you might think that getting called “The Redneck Bob Burnquist” is lame, but Roadkill should take it a quite a compliment. He hangs onto everything and has a very unique bag of tricks
  • 4th - $200 – Timmy Knuth – never doubt Timmy. He skipped midterms to be at the Rumble and he’s always got new moves. This time it was the kickflip lien melon disaster
  • 3rd - $300 – Marky Clements – there are only two Clements in skateboarding and only one is good. Marky is the good one. I’m the old, lame one that writes about the good one. He won the last Jam, but couldn’t top the Californian and Canadian
  • 2nd - $400 – Curren Caples – at only 12-years-old I can only watch him skate and think, “Damn.” It’s pretty unreal to see someone that young have the board control and style of a grown-ass man
  • 1st - $500 – Keegan Sauder – I was so stoked when I saw Keegan roll up. The funny part is that he barely even practiced, but proceeded to go out there and destroy. Jamie, turn the guy pro already
After the Contest we had what Rob likes to call a “sketchy skateboarding indu$try bid’ness meeting,” but it was amongst friends and very enjoyable. Heads were nodded and deals are in the making. From there it was down to the Rosen Centre lobby where the party is always going, but I politely slipped out to avoid a morning headache and get ready for the pros on Saturday!

Day 2 – Reptilian Pro Rumble
I got to the show a bit early to walk the aisles and shake some hands, but time flies when there’s some serious tradeshow bro-talk going down…and then it was time for the pros to Rumble. I headed over to the mini-ramp and the top dogs were already gearing up to get down.

DJ Wade was spinning the beats, all of the camera-people had their spots, and we did the usual FUEL TV interviews. There were 31 pros that actually skated, with a few unique ones that I would like to mention. Although they didn’t make the cut, it was great to see Gershon Mosley killing it, along with Adam Dyet and Tosh Townend. The diversity in skaters is really what makes this Contest fun. In addition, I have to mention my boy Jimmy “The Greek” Marcus, who just missed the cut by one and was very vocal about his dissatisfaction. Sorry, Brother…

The Format for the pros is exactly the same as the ams (see above), with a couple of exceptions. One, the Jam is 20-minutes instead of 15 and two, they get a first-wall-rebate in each of their two runs in the Finals. That little addition made for some amazing moves getting pulled first trick in. When the competitors finally got to take a breather, here’s how they ended up:
  • 10th - $1,000 – Rodney Jones – I hadn’t seen Rodneck around in a while, but he’s apparently been putting some time in on the board. The alley-oop fs stalefish over the hip was huge!
  • 9th - $1,000 – Alain Goikoetxea – straight out of Spain over to Orlando for yet another Jam. Volcom’s Euro had a crooked grind on the sub-box, then dropped off to boardslide fakie on the coping
  • 8th - $1,000 – Omar Hassan – he’s back in action from taking a break after his head injury at the Vans Downtown Showdown. Omar took long runs and threw in every lipslide and grind combo possible
  • 7th - $1,000 – Austen Seaholm – talk about a unique bag of tricks. You really have to see him skate to see his combinations because they’re too long to type out. He has fs flips and fs flip reverts a few feet out every single try
  • 6th - $1,500 – Rune Glifberg – our favorite Viking from Denmark had been on planes for the past few days and ended up feeling slightly under the weather. That didn’t stop him from skating every inch of the ramp with his patented smooth style
  • 5th - $2,000 – Chad Bartie – this was Chad’s first time skating the Contest at Expo and it was sure nice of him to make the trek all the way from Australia. He and his mullet did every blunt variation and skated smooth and under control
  • 4th - $3,000 – Kyle Berard – I was a bit nervous for Kyle when he bombed on his first run in the Qualifiers, but he came back with a second run that no one could top and qualified 1st. When it came time for the Jam, he dominated, but his runs in the Finals held him back for a higher placing
  • 3rd - $5,000 – Chet Thomas – he wanted to improve his placing from last time where he got 4th, so mission accomplished. But let’s note that the field of skaters this time was more difficult, so even more props to Chet who just seems to keep on ticking and getting better with age
  • 2nd - $7,500 – Mike Peterson – it’s always a pleasure to see my fellow Floridian homie up in the top three…and that’s where he usually ends up. Mike had the airs, lip tricks, and flip tricks to earn him a 2nd place finish…and he does it all with a huge smile on his face
  • 1st - $10,000 – Ivan Rivado – our other Spanish friend finally took it after attending several of these Jams. I don’t think that he could have been more stoked. That’s just how I felt when he landed a 4’ high bs kickflip tailgrab and a bs lipslide on the tombstone over the hip
I ventured to my second favorite restaurant in the world, Hooters, to find it completely going off for the Jags/Pats game. I’ve really never seen a place go so nuts over football…I’m talking near riotous state with people yelling and screaming, banging stuff, and it was by far standing room only. Then it was down to the lobby bar at the Rosen Centre yet again, which was like a full-on club with scantily clad young ladies and drunk people in their 20’s going buck wild. I sat back with some fellow old guys and witnessed the mayhem, as I kept getting made fun of by Scotty the Body for being out after midnight. I think he was expecting me to into something.

Day 3 – Chillin’ & Thanks
The Show was over early on Sunday, allowing us to get the hell out of there at 2pm. We hosted the final mini-ramp session of the weekend, talked some smack, and prepared to make our way back to Tampa. It was yet another fun Surf Expo, but it wouldn’t be so much fun without the company of our friends in this sketchy indu$try.

Thanks to all of those that were to make the experience happen. Our boys at Volcom were great and Chris Ortiz and crew at 411 for provided a stellar webcast. Cullen at Surf Expo…thanks for accommodating SPoTlight’s every need. It’s a busy January…see you at Tampa Am next weekend and ASR the following. Check skateparkoftampa.com for a LIVE WEBCAST of the Tampa Am Semi’s, Finals, and Real Best Trick on Sunday at 12pm EST.

I need a shirt that says, “I survived yet another Surf Expo.”

Ryan

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