6th Annual Make-A-Wish Texas Skate Jam Article at Skatepark of Tampa

6th Annual Make-A-Wish Texas Skate Jam

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 by Rob

Aaron Perko - kickflip frontside tail slide

John White - back lip
John White - backside Smith grind
Darrell Stanton - nollie backside noseblunt
Darrell Stanton - nollie into the step up
Brian Schaefer and Rob Meronek with some dunk tank girls
Felix ollies over to lipslide
Victor Fonosh - nosegrind
Ryan Wilburn - Indy air in the bowl
Graham Bickerstaff - feeble
Kenny Anderson - krooks
Marius Syvanan - krooks
Mike Sweat - nosegrind
Frankie Machuca - hardflip 50-50
Torey Pudwill - switch heel
November 11, 2002
By Rob Meronek

     This year, Brian Schaefer and Ryan Clements decided that Texas needed an Asian, so they brought me along to the 6th Annual Make-A-Wish Jam super-demo at Southside Skatepark in Houston, Texas. They played the sometimes rude, but entertaining, announcer’s role and I was the nerd with the camera.

     We arrived in Houston on Friday night a few beers deep because we had a late afternoon flight into the place. After checking in and dropping off our gear, we headed off to the One Man Army show at Fitzgerald’s. I don’t remember anything worth writing about that night except that it was a great show and super-good punk rock joint. Thanks to everyone that bought us beers. I didn’t take out my wallet once.

     We forced ourselves out of bed early Saturday morning, threw down some coffee, and headed to the park to skate it before the crowd came in and we had to get to work. The course is laid out basically in a giant “L,” which was kind of awkward, but still pretty good. We had our ‘hangover session’ each day to get things started.

     As far as the skating goes, the two Best Trick Contest winners, Jesse Paez and Jake Nunn, definitely were the standouts of the weekend. Jesse blew everyone away and ollied from the roll in, over the deck, and into the super steep bank ramp waiting on the other side. Just when you thought that was sick, he then kickflipped it the next day – damn! Jesse also won Best Trick with a huge frontside flip to flat over the center obstacle. That was the loudest the crowd cheered all weekend. Danny Fuenzalida pulled a super-difficult, nollie flip noseslide on the center hubba that would have set him in first place in that Best Trick if Jesse hadn’t made the frontside flip on his last try.

     Jake Nunn destroyed the other obstacle (step-up and handrail) during the second Best Trick. On the bank and step-up to flat bar, he killed it with a switch backside Smith grind and a switch backside lipslide. When he hit the big rail, he was throwing down stuff like krooked grinds, frontside boardslides, and tailslides to fakie.

     John Buchanan was serving up some tech moves such as nollie heel 360’s, switch laser flips, and switch 360 flips up the step up. Rodrigo Lima was nollie 360 flipping up the step up. Aaron Perko sucks at playing pool (proven in the bar next door), but at least he could do stuff like kickflip noseslides and crooked grinds on the big rail. Graham Bickerstaff back lipped it and feeble grinded it and Mike Sweat pulled a frontside nosegrind.

     Best Trick was definitely the skateboarding highlight of the weekend. Other people like “Muska-Approved,” Victor Fonosh, did nosegrinds on the center hubba and 50/50’s to boardslides on the rail. Craig from Shorty’s brought out nearly everyone on the team except the Muska himself. Toan Nyuen (the other Asian in Texas), Jesse Silvey, Brandon Turner, and the new breed groms like Tory Pudwill, Oliver Rivas, and Marius Syvanan were ripping all weekend. Marius did a lipslide on the big rail. I saw little Marius walking around with a condom going, “There’s gonna' be a party tonight.” They’re growing up right. Use the protection, kiddies. Consolidated, Think, Spitfire, and others had representation in Texas as well.

     While the demos were happening, sideshows like product sales to make money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the crazy dunk tank fiasco were also going on. The dunk tank was a great addition to the event that kept everyone’s attention for a solid two hours each day. Just when we thought it might be getting a little too gnarly with having braless moms in the dunk tank while their 8 year olds sons watched in disbelief, Brian Schaefer makes good on his offer to get in with nothing but a pair of women’s underwear on. At first it was kind of a struggle to round up the undies, but before we knew it, there were bras and panties flying around everywhere. Brian managed to quickly disperse everyone when he did the naked streak through the crowd. The undies he used just happened to be flesh colored and see-through. It looked like he was completely naked. To top it off, when we was dunked, he’d hold his ass up against the front glass – not just holding up, but grabbing himself and spreading his butt checks apart so he basically gave the dunk tank a ‘kabob.’ It was pretty disgusting, but funny as hell. I saw moms covering their kids’ eyes at that point.

     One of the pair of undies that was turned into us has serious chick skid marks on it! Brian offered two sets of bearings to anyone who would put them in their mouth. Some kid immediately took him up on the offer and made the entire crowd throw out the coordinated “eeewww” scream. That was horrible. It’s amazing what you can get kids to do for skate stuff. We’ll keep that in mind next year.

     After the event each day, we’d roll over to the Better Times Bar, right next door to the Skatepark. We ruled the place for a solid four or five hours Sunday night, especially with John Montesi’s entire Florida crew hanging with us. John Montesi is the happiest drunk around and gave everyone in the bar seriously like one minute long hugs. Jesse Paez had 'bar-flies' all over him while we were in there – well deserved for being the ripper of the weekend.

     On the way home, we had a long layover in Houston, where Brian and Ryan boozed it up at TGI Friday’s and harassed the hell out of the waitress. I was too hung over and sick to drink, so I was in one of those situations where you’re the only sober dude hanging out with the drunks. I don’t know how people that don’t drink can take it.

     Thanks to Damian at South Shore Distribution and Southside Skatepark staff for being great hosts. Also, the sponsors (Adio, Deluxe, 411VM, Transworld) provided tons of products that helped us raise additional loot for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Other than Brian’s nuts popping out of that thong a couple times, I’d say it was a successful weekend.


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