The year was 1999 and two crazy kids perpetrated what became known as the Columbine High School Massacre, President Bill Clinton was roiled in an impeachment battle over a stain on Mrs. Lewinsky’s dress, Star Wars the Phantom Menace hit theatres (and sucked), and Tampa Am Pro celebrated it’s 5th Anniversary. Which brings us to the topic of another award winning Zaturdays.
So that’s right, we’re talking about the 1999 version of the same Tampa Pro that will be happening this year, from March 3-5, and is now in its 23rd year. We all probably have a pretty good idea how it’ll go: Shane O’Neill will repeat, or Luan will get his 3rd win, or Nyjah Huston will win it again for the first time since 2014, or who knows, Dennis might show up on Sunday morning like he usually does, not practice, and then blow our minds like he did in 2005 and 2011. Either way mind-boggling moves will be bandied about, with unparalleled consistency, and you’ll watch it all on StreetLeague.com, in HD, as if you were there. You’ll also scroll through photo after photo on Instagram, and the entire world will know who won about 4.9 seconds after the judges input their scores.
It wasn’t always like that.
No, unless you actually attended Tampa Pro 1999, you wouldn’t find out who even showed up to skate until probably 2 months after the fact. The Tampa Pro edition of 411 Video Magazine would probably come out first, and then a month or so after that I’m guessing you’d get copies of the magazines that had the coverage in them. And thanks to my diesel vintage magazine collection, I have the August 1999 TWS to share with you right here, live.
: That’s Kris Markovich on the cover, front shove over a semi trailer truck gap.
Before getting to coverage of the contest itself, I paged through the entire issue first (at 250 pages (!) it took like an hour) and picked the three things that struck me the most.
The first was a Volcom ad of Ryan Sheckler. Take a look at it. Need I say more?
The second and third could both be found in a Heath Kirchart Hook Ups shoes ad. You heard me; I said a Heath Kirchart Hookups Shoes ad. It turns out that Heath Kirchart wasn’t always on Emerica. And will you look at that thing; it’s like a beanbag chair with laces. Every shoe in every ad looked similar to it too. Even with his feet dipped in Stay Puft, Heath still managed to venture into uncharted waters with a bsts shove. He never didn’t.
And back to the Tampa Pro coverage. Kelly Bird did the write up. He later went on to work at Lakai for 47 years and is now at Nike. Kelly gave Schaefer a lot of love in the article for throwing a contest everyone was willing to keep coming back to. In fact, if Kelly’s reporting is accurate, there were over 100 skaters that year. Last year’s Tampa Pro had like 70…so whassup with that huh Pros?
TWS only dedicated 6 pages to the Pro, so there’s not much to it. I like this Arto photo the most because Arto was just a kid, the sponsor line up is CRAY, and you can see Rick McCrank and Steve Caballero in the background.
Come to realize there used to be TWO best trick contests. The Vert Wall Best Trick, and the Big Flatbar Best Trick. In the Vert Wall Best Trick I vividly remember that Danny Gonzales, who I’d heard claimed himself to be the “new Mark Gonzalez,” did a wallride kickflip melon off the bank to vert wall, landing in the quarterpipe on the other side of the door gap. That was nutty. He went on to blow out his knee and never be heard from again.
Besides that the highlight of the contest seems to be that Brian Anderson killed it, and that Gershon Moseley won it. Oh, and that jerboi Zitzer got 10th in vert. I’m assuming there must have been like 10 dudes entered. Hahaaaaaaaaaaa…..’Till next time bros…see you in March!