Miami Es Muy Bonita Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Miami Es Muy Bonita

Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 by Ryan

Miami Es Muy Bonita
Words by Ryan Clements, Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

November 2, 2004 @ 5:45am in my home office in Brandon, Florida
My Spanish teacher’s name was Senorita Batianis at Leto High School (class of ’91, baby). She was a flakey old broad, but she new several languages. When she would socialize with other teachers outside the classroom during class I would go up to her desk, erase my current grades, and replace them with A’s and B’s. After I altered my grades in front of the entire class I would ask, “Anybody else want to change their grades?” A couple of other kids would want theirs changed, too. We’re talking way before computers, kids.

I’m not saying what I did was right. In fact, what I did was very wrong. I didn’t learn a damn thing and that’s a huge waste of everyone’s time. And now I really do wish that I could understand how much money the cashier in the Ghetto Mart by Control was telling me my beer was. I’m sure that if I lived in Miami I would just end up picking up the language one way or another, but that’s not going to happen up here in Tampa.

November 2, 2004 @ 10:30am in my truck heading north on 75 from Tampa
Don’t fret, I’m not actually driving and typing this. I think that this is the first time that I’ve ever let anyone drive my truck on a road trip. The only other time that I recall being a passenger in my truck was on the way home from the airport when I was exhausted. I’m already on another trip to Texas and I haven’t written a story for the last one yet, so here you go.

Miami Is Cool
I seriously love that city. I said it several times over the course of the weekend, but if we could realistically take Skatepark of Tampa and move it down to Miami, then I’d like to make that happen. I let the kiddies sleep in on Saturday morning because I wanted them to be fully energized for the main event, but Rob, Chris, and I got up early and headed down to South Beach. We ate a high-end breakfast at Jerry’s Deli (or something like that), but the food was definitely worth the cost. From there we just cruised the strip. How lame does that sound? A 31-year-old, gray-haired man, with a 33-year-old Asian and 16-year-old boy driving around in a F-350, looking at girls in t-backs and getting looks from gay guys. It was a weird scene, but we were feeling it. By the time we went back to the hotel to wake up the rest of the crew, I already felt like I had lived through an entire day.

In addition to the freak-show that you can see up and down South Beach, the architecture is absolutely amazing. Even the Starbucks and T.G.I. Friday’s have that art-deco look. It’s cool to see a city with character that has something going on 24 hours of the day.

The Contest
I’ve written about Control Skatepark in Miami a few times. The place is owned by ripping skateboarder, Matt Cantor, and it’s chill as hell. Control reminds me of Skatepark of Tampa during the first few years – minimal rules, lots of partying…you know the deal. This is the second event of this type that they’ve had there and it’s called Clash of the Teams. Basically, Matt invites all of the “cool” shops and skate park teams from around Florida to come and compete against each other. During the actual event, each team is limited to 10 participants and gets 10 minutes on the course. It’s a great concept and a really fun way to skate a contest. Here’s who I remember representing: Southern Boarder, Westside, New Blood, Shred Shed, Control/MIA, Platinum…damn, I know there were a few more, but I can’t remember them at the moment. That’s what happens when you don’t take any notes. Sorry guys, thanks for coming though.

The Skatepark of Tampa Team went first. I couldn’t have been more proud of the crew and how rad they skated. When the 10 minutes was up, everyone was exhausted. Right after our run, a couple of different people came up to me and said that they thought we took it. And honestly, at the risk of sounding like a jerk, I thought that our chances of a first place were pretty high, too. I actually skated during our run, so I didn’t get to see what exactly went down, but here’s some of what I caught.

Abdias Rivera did a fs flip and switch flip from the step-up area all the way down to flat and a bs noseblunt and fs noseblunt to fakie on the handrail. Ian Gow threw down a fs hurricane to fakie on the handrail and a fs flip onto the bank to wall. Tommy Presley backside 360 ollied and nollie bs 180 heelflipped the pyramid. Pat Stiener threw in the signature switch bs tail on the ledge and switch bs 5-0ed down the hubba while Chris Lehman flew out of the quarter-pipe to 50/50 stall fs yanker in on huge ledge. All of this went down amongst the standard kickflips, frontside flips, quarter-pipe lip tricks, and you name it. And I almost forgot that webmaster Rob Meronek himself did a fs rock and boardslide to fakie on the bank to wall.

From here on out it was just a long, long waiting game. I could have lived if there was a little less practice between each team taking their run. Other than that, I have no complaints. Okay, I’ll be honest; I do have one more complaint. Best Trick went on for way, way too long. It was supposed to be a 10-minute jam, but went on and on and on for nearly 40 minutes. No disrespect to Matt Seeman who took it with a switch bs lipslide on the handrail, but in my opinion he should have gotten an honorable mention for landing it and one of the skaters that landed his moves within the original allotted time should have been crowned the victor. No big deal though.

November 2, 2004 @ 10:58pm at Super 8 Motel in Mobil, Alabama
The Best Trick was great and all, but I was getting anxious as to what team was going to take the title. New Blood, the former champ, was honored third. Then it was our big moment of truth. Was Skatepark of Tampa going to be the next title holder? Did any of the other teams skate better? Yep, apparently they did. I didn’t watch their run so I can’t comment, but Shred Shed took it and we ended up in second. That’s two second places for Skatepark of Tampa at Control now. I wonder if we’re going to be able to pull it together next time. Special thanks to Matt Cantor and everyone at Control for hosting such a fun time.

This is the back of Mike Svenson's van. I call that board there The Wall of Vibe and Hate
Lewis - salad grind
Mikey - crooked grind
Alex Safier - frontside feeble grind
Welcome to South Beach Miami. As usual, you can zoom in!
Welcome to South Beach Miami - the lion king dog
A nice place for breakfast in South Beach Miami
Vote for Kerry, you flamer
Pat Stiener was landing bedtime 360 flips on the bolts, well actually it was on the holes
Jonathan Cruz - bedtime nollie flip
Pat Stiener - bedtime heel flip indy. The first and hopefully last one he'll ever do
Ian Gow - frontside flip wall ride
Abdias Rivera - switch flip over the bank from deck to flat
Abdias Rivera - big flip over the hip
Abdias Rivera - backside 360 over the hip
Tommy Presley - blunt kickflip fakie
Chris Lehman - frontside air transfer from the quarter to the bank-to-wall
Ryan Clements - tail block
Abdias Rivera - kickflip wallride
Driving through Miami...check the car stuck to the side of that building
Matt Seemen - switch back lip
Dominique Johnson rode away from this kicklfip crook smoother than most people can just boardslide that thing
It's pretty scary bailing a switch back lip on a rail. This is Matt Seemen doing the twinkle toe dance down the rail - yikes
Ian Gow - backside tailslide to fakie
Oops, I messed up the photo of Ian Gow's frontside hurricane to fakie. He did this during our run and also did it during Best Trick
Control Skatepark reminds me of Skatepark of Tampa back in 93 to 95. It's not just the park itself that makes the place, it's the people who run it and hang out there also
You've seen the slant banks in lots of videos. It's in the middle of the super ghetto and basically in someone's front yard. This is Pat Stiener frontside tailsliding it
Ryan Clements tries not to wake up the bum while he backside wallrides his headboard
Joe from Shred Shed with the trophy for winning the contest. They were at Hooters later that night with it
Chris Lehman - feeble fakie
Check out Chris Lehman's truck flying apart while attempting a pivot fakie
It's pure luxry in the back of the Clem-350 now. We got benches and stuff - sick
Chris Lehman - pivot fakie


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