So it’s been a year already since the SPoT + SLS partnership was announced and we did our first contest together, which if you can recall was Tampa Pro 2015. I know, you were worried that we’d change the format of the contest, start judging it on a trick by trick basis, move it into the Ice Palace or some other arena, but in the end what you got instead was a better looking webcast, brighter lighting inside the park so you could actually see the skating, and the added bonus of watching dudes battle it out for those two spots in the SLS World Tour. In the words of Larry David, it turned out “Pretty, pretty, pretty goooooooood.”
I know, you were afraid you were going to have to curb your enthusiasm for Tampa Pro.
Another perk from the SLS mash up was the quality of skaters who came to take a crack at last year’s Pro. Shane O’Neill, Even Smith, Cody Mac, Louie Lopez, Trevor Colden, Youness, Curren, Boo Johnson, Grant Taylor, Aaron Herrington, BA, Ron Allen, Mike V (!), just to name a few.
Officially this became the SPoT + SLS Logo, but behind the scenes we knew it as Hesh + Fresh.
Looking back, here’s what stood out the most from last year’s Tampa Pro, if you care.
Mike V announcing that he was skating in his last Pro contest, and then doing a wall plant. The clip of it that Dane Burman posted was pretty amazing.
Aaron Herrington, who I was surprised to see even show up at a contest, KILLING it. Hoping he comes back this year.
Grant doing the backside 50-50 stall in the rafters. Remember? That’s like 7 feet if it’s an inch!
Ron Whaley looking like an early 80s punker with full regalia and Mohawk. If nothing else it just goes to show you don’t have to win, or make Finals, or even Semi-Finals to have an impact.
Ron is the tall one.
Danny Renaud, he entered!
Ryan Decenzo winning Best Trick with a kickflip late shove it fatty to flatty.
Luan edging out Nyjah for the win, and doing it with a 2 minute run.
Felipe Gustavo and Kelvin Hoefler placing the best out of any of the “non-SLS pros” and thus changing their status to “SLS pros” and then 7 months later Kelvin going on to win the Super Crown and getting a $200,000 payout and then, when I asked him moments later during the LIVE interview on Fox Sports 1 what he was going to do next, his answer:
That's me interviewing Kelvin. I should note that while I was talking to Kelvin, through my earpiece I was also listening to a producer who was telling me what to ask him about next. I'm bad at multitasking anyway, but on LIVE TV? Come on! But anyway, if I had it to do over again I would have suggested we go get something to eat, perhaps some sort of Brazilian meat dish. Nice shirt by the way.
But anyway, how good is this year’s Tampa Pro going to be? Can’t wait. Oh, and who do you want to see skate it?