It’s Time Again for ASR - Are You Tired of Hearing about My Trips Yet? Article at Skatepark of Tampa

It’s Time Again for ASR - Are You Tired of Hearing about My Trips Yet?

Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 by Ryan

It’s Time Again for ASR - Are You Tired of Hearing About My Trips Yet?
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

I bet you’re wondering why we’re taking Afro-Jim and Scotty to ASR with us. I’ll go ahead and hype them up – they’ve both earned it. Yeah, us execs run the joint and all, but without those guys, Skatepark wouldn’t be what it is. So this is our little way of saying ‘thanks.’

Brian Schaefer flew out a couple of days early to help set up the mini-ramp. To our displeasure, we heard that there’s not going to be a street course this show. That’s too bad, because only a limited number of skaters can ride a mini-ramp at one time. There are going to be a lot of kids hating on me when I say, “Sorry, you can’t ride the ramp.” It sucks even more when they ask, “Why not?” I have to ‘cool-guy’ them and make up all of these excuses, but they generally understand the situation and comply. If they don’t listen and ignore me and keep skating anyway...well, that’s what we get paid for. I usually say, “Look, do you think that all of these people flew from around the world to watch YOU skate? There are pros all over this ramp – get it?” At that point they usually understand what I’m talking about and get off the ramp. If they don’t, we remove them. I know it’s not cool, but that’s the way it is.

Sitting in the ASR Management Office in the San Diego Convention Center

This trip to San Diego was as good, if not better, than any of them. I’m taking a break right now in between hosting demos. There’s only one left for the entire weekend – time flies. Everything I’ve done has been like one big blur. All of the usual stuff happened: We skated, partied, made new friends, and saw a bunch of old ones. One major change is that now anyone can walk into ASR carrying a skateboard. They used to really regulate who can bring in their board in the past, but now it’s a non-issue because anyone can bring one in. It worked out great though, because there’s this huge area where they’re letting anyone skate flat ground. I know this idea sounds very simple, but it used to not happen in the past. Oh yeah, for those that have not read my ASR articles in the past, there is a good reason for all of this stuff. See, a trade show is something like this: All (most) of the companies in skateboarding set up booths to show off their newest stuff. Then, guys like Barak Wiser, the buyer for the Skatepark of Tampa Shop, goes to the various different booths and checks out all of then new gear and orders what looks proper. That’s the business part of the deal. The rest of the stuff that goes on is a cool-guy, pow-wow, ass-kiss fest, and the SPoT crew is right up there in the mix. That’s why we’re all out here in San Diego. Instead of going into the day to day details like how nice our hotel room was, I’m going to pick four major things and write about them. They are the Nike Party, eS Game of S.K.A.T.E., “Decline of A.S.R.” party with the Circle Jerks and FEAR playing, and what I like to call the Mini-ramp Championships of the World.

At My Home Office in Brandon, Florida – Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 11:43am
The Nike Party

Just getting into this party was a big deal. And once we entered we found out why. The food was top quality Mexican, with all kinds of dips, chips, and some really good Wahoo tacos. Everything at the bar was top shelf and there were servers walking around toting trays full of drinks so you didn’t even have to go to the bar. This is all at no charge, kids.

As for entertainment, there was some DJ and I’m sure he was well-known, but I had no idea who he was. Then there was a live hip-hop act, too, which was enjoyable. They had a promo video playing on a loop with a short part from every team rider. All team riders were present as well. I also saw pros like Rob Dyrdek and Darrell Stanton (wearing Nikes) amongst all types of industry heads.

The highlight was probably the promo package that they gave everyone that was invited. You got a poster, shirt, video (the one they were playing) and most importantly a pair of Dunks that were only given out at that party. They were going for $800 the next day on eBay. Forget that...I wore them suckas! Thanks to Nike for a great time.

eS Game of S.K.A.T.E.

This was absolutely amazing. Name any pro that you would want to see skate flat ground (except for Rodney Mullen and P-Rod who both weren’t there) and they were in the Game. I just read Rob’s article about it and he finely covered the details. Here are a few things that stick out in my head from the Game:

  • Mark Waters from eS allowed the crowd to come closer for the Koston/Ladd match. That meant that we lost our great, front-row seats because kids were totally rushing it. Barry sat right in front of Steve Berra, but Steve wasn’t having it. Steve politely asked Barry to move and then he said ‘hi’ to me. I told him that Barry was the buyer at Skatepark of Tampa and Berra said, “Oh, Berra shoes? Nope. Berra decks? Nope.” That was funny – I like Berra. I call him “Berska.” Check out his Day-In-The-Life in an old 411 and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
  • Bryan Herman has mad pop. All of his tricks are significantly higher than those of other people. I also found out that Bryan is a big Ryan Clements fan and that he shot a photo with me when I was sleeping in the hotel room. That’s sick. I’m a big Herminator fan, too.
  • The new hot move is nollie front foot kickflip – Chris Haslam has that one, along with more tricks that you can even think of. At one point I thought that he was going to take it, but then he got taken out. His pop-shove/late-shove was hot.
  • Jamie Thomas had more flat skills than I had previously imagined. He’s got the big flip, switch 360 flip, and a ton of others. He also did 360 shoves and late shoves. I also heard that he has an amazing work ethic – I’m hyped on that dude.
  • Waving the American flag while Ray Barbee playing his version of The National Anthem was epic for me. Thanks for that opportunity, Waters.
  • They ought to do one of those Games of S.K.A.T.E. every year – it was entertaining as hell.

“The Decline of A.S.R.” Party with Circle Jerks and Fear

Scotty was my partner at this event. It was put on by Vans and someone else and it was free to get into. We already had our drink on because of the free drinks at the Powell party beforehand. Schaefer, Meronek, Afro-Jim, and Barak went to The Skateboard Mag art show. I wanted to go to that, too, but I was afraid that I would miss Circle Jerks. I was right, because I didn’t see those guys again until the next morning.

I ended up buddying-up with Chris Ortiz from 411VM and Vern Laird from Aesthetics/Elwood while the CJ’s played. Vern and I were in the pit going ‘Wild in the Streets’ and there were these skinheads in there acting all tough and kind of bullying people around. The one guy had the ol’ “WHITE POWER” tattoo across his stomach. We were clowning the guy and it was even funnier because Vern is black. Well, push came to shove and shove went to punches.

The next thing you know, a crazy fight breaks out because one of the guys (not sure if he was one of the skins or what) levels Aaron “Fingers” Murray. If you know who that is, then you’re definitely 30+. He’s an old-school, Venice legend that did wallrides and slashes back in the day and he really is missing a couple of fingers. I was really stoked to meet him. Dude had the cover of Thrasher I think, too. Well, next thing you know I see Dave Duncan, Ian Hill, Jimmy Marcus, and others rushing this guy. There were punches getting thrown all over the place and when security broke it up “Fingers” was going ape-poop and he was bloody as all hell.

I rushed him out of there as fast as I could and gave him the shirt off my back to clean up his blood. So there I am shirtless and drunk out front of a club at midnight with none of my friends. “Fingers” was okay so I started walking towards the hotel. Some kid recognized me and started talking to me. Fortunately he was carrying an extra shirt. I forgot your name, but thanks, I owe you one.

Mini-ramp Championships of the World

This pretty much went on all weekend long at the mini-ramp inside the trade show. There weren’t really any ‘championships’ or anything, but that’s what I was thinking because the skating was so gnarly. Schaefer and I hosted the demos throughout the weekend and got to see some great skating from Austen Seaholm, G-Mos, Tony Froud, Jim Gray, Mario De Silva, Chris Haslam, Stu Graham from Scotland, and a host of others.

It gave us the idea to actually host a mini-ramp invitational contest and invite the best mini-ramp shredders. Who knows if that's going to happen?

Thanks to all of the friends of Skatepark of Tampa that we ran into during ASR. If I could name all of you, I would. But you know who you are. If we did a cheers with a beer, passed in a hallway and said ‘what up,’ skated the mini-ramp early in the morning, had lunch and talked about life, or talked about Florida hurricanes...even a meaningful simple, “What’s up? How are you?” is cool with me. You know where I’m coming from. Thanks for being who you are and for making our lifestyle what it is. Keep doing what you’re doing so we can all keep living this great gift of skateboarding. Appreciate every moment of it.

The crowd at the eS Game of SKATE was huge
A Pushead deck up for auction at The Skateboard Mag party
Ever wonder what happened to Steve Stedham? He was pro for Powell back in the Bones Brigade days. He was at The Skateboard Mag party. This is Mark Waters, Steve Stedham, and Brian Schaefer
The 1 of 1 prototype for the Krooked Lance Mountain Guest Deck along with some nice looking company
There was lots of art for sale at The Skateboard Mag party like this piece that Brian Schaefer got outbid on
A shoe nerd's close up on Koston's kicks
Barak Wiser, Ryan Clements, and Afro-Jim throw down some Irish Car Bombs at the Powell party
Abdias Rivera and Angel Ramirez were like those two twins with their heads joined on Nip/Tuck. I never saw them separated
Jim Grey doing his signature move - the Jim Jam
Unknown soldier floating a frontside stinker
Frank Hirata ollies from low to high
Jeffrey Marshall ollies up to front tail
Jeffrey Marshall ollies up to front smith
Bryan Herman, Ryan Clements sleeping, Barak Wiser, and Scotty Conley
The scene at The Skateboard Mag party
Scotty Conley looks like a used car sales man promoting these Dunks
Part of the crazy artsy stuff they had going on at the Nike party
One of the colors in the new Nike Paul Rodriguez shoe
A few pairs of the OG dunks were on display
Scotty Conley is right behind me right now. He says the caption for these Dunks and related paraphanalia they passed out at the Nike party should be "you will never have these Dunks."
Shoe nerds want these bags...that's what was given to everyone at the Nike party. Click here to see what's in the bags
The Skateboard Feud was pretty entertaining. That's Brian Schaefer and one of the teams - The Daggers
Austin Seaholm 360 flips to nose pick
Chicks in mini skirts boxing - oh man
For some reason, these things were being passed out to everyone
Scotty Conley tries his best to swing on the Crocodile Dundee looking guy he fought. They made you wear flippers, too
Scotty Conley and the guy he served up a full beat down to
Scotty Conley doesn't look too intimidating, huh? I thought he was going to get his ass kicked for sure
Scotty Conley got $60 for wipping that other guy's ass
Since this is a PG13 site, the caption "Chicks going down!" is not the photo you'd expect
The boxing matches were complete with ring girls
This barbie chick could almost fight
A nice view of the boxing ring girl from the front row


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