Back To San Diego - January 2005 ASR Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Back To San Diego - January 2005 ASR

Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2005 by Ryan

Back To San Diego - January 2005 ASR
Words by Ryan Clements, Photos and captions by Rob Meronek

Saturday, January 15, 2005 @ 7:45am at the San Diego Horton Plaza Westin
So right when we landed I called my friend Kevin Marks. For some reason, he kept calling me all week saying, "I'll pick you up from the airport and we'll go skate my ramp." Honestly, after flying for three hours, switching planes, and then flying again for four hours, I didn't really think that I would be in the mood to skate. But when we were at baggage claim I asked Barry and Rob and they were down to rip. It must have been because we had the youthful influence of Chris Lehman with's his first trip to California.

After a quick stop at Pokez, a Mexican-vegetarian restaurant that was really good, we made our way to Kevin's with full tummies of chips, salsa, and rice. Kevin led us through the front door and I'm like, "So where's this ramp? Outside? Is it well lit? Because I can't see well at night." He replies, "It's in the bonus room."

I thought that "bonus rooms" were a relatively new thing for more modern houses, but Kevin had his own version of a bonus room…that's where the mini-ramp was located! It was the first time I've ever skated something that was straight up inside the living area of someone's home. The structure was built with some serious creativity, too. It was about 3' tall and 14' wide all the way across on one side with huge coping. If you stood on the deck on that side you had to duck because your head would hit the ceiling. The opposing side had a parking block section, an offset really skinny extension with pool coping, and a transition to vert wall.

The session went down and everybody ripped until we were exhausted. A special thank-you goes out to Kevin Marks for his hospitality. On the drive back to the hotel he gave us a quick tour of his shop/distribution, Overload Skateshop/Overboard Distribution. I'm always down to check out other shops, but it was even cooler when he showed us Josh Beagle's and Tod Swank's favorite watering hole…that was definitely a highlight.

The evening back at the hotel was pretty standard. We ran into all of our friends, industry dudes, etc. My internal time-clock was all screwed up. I stayed up until 1:30am or so, but that was 4:30am to my body since I was technically still on East Coast time.

I awoke the next morning feeling pretty good regardless of the time change. Schaefer and I enjoyed our luxurious hotel room and philosophized on the meaning of life over coffee.

The first day of the show was relatively mellow, as Fridays at trade shows tend to be. There seemed to be an absence of pros, but hopefully they'll be more there today (Saturday) to skate in the mini-ramp demos and just hang out in general. I did manage to talk to some heavy-hitters though, including the owners of Flip, Ian Deacon and Jeremy Fox, and Chris Carter, owner of Workshop, Habitat, etc. Carter was Schaefer's G&S Team Manager back in the day - crazy how things work out. In addition, I never ceased to be amazed how much respect Skatepark of Tampa gets when we travel abroad. It's always an honor to hear people say nice things about what we do.

Our friend and associate from Ocean Avenue, Jim Harvest, offered to take the crew out to dinner. A free dinner? Lehman asked, "You mean I get to go, too?" I reassured him that he was getting a free meal and he was stoked. Hell, I would have been stoked when I was 16 if I got flown out to San Diego to skate and got taken to fancy Italian restaurants in Little Italy, too. The service was pretty bad, but the food was perfect and I think that I may have had one too many drinks. The cab ride back to the hotel was only $6, and I handed the cabbie what I thought was a $10 bill and asked for $2 change. He said, "This is what you meant," and handed me $12 change. Apparently I handed him a $20 and I thanked him for his honestly. And what he said made my night, "My friend, I am Buddhist." I think that's the most appropriate way to end this section...

Sunday, January 16, 2005 @ 7:15am at the San Diego Horton Plaza Westin
Okay, I’m ready to go home. It’s just the way I feel on Sunday mornings of trade shows, and I’m sure that I’m not alone. Yesterday the demos pretty much went off, in addition to many, many pros cruising around and skating. I think that seeing Eric Dressen on the mini-ramp was one of my highlights. He’s just one of those guys that I always appreciated when I was growing up, so I get extra hyped when he addresses me by name. He’s a tattoo artist now, so next time I’m out here I’m going to go to LA and get a tattoo by him.

The mini-ramp demos were ridiculously crowded, so it took some skill to get runs in amongst the insane snake session. Chris Lehman had no trouble with it and killed it all day, with his backside 360 boneless on the extension garnering some attention from potential sponsors. Sierra Fellers fit right in and Benji Galloway (on my board because he forgot his) and Seth “Zed” McCallum skated as if no one else was even on the ramp, although you could barely stand on the packed decks.

At the end of the day, Independent had a book signing that hosted a very impressive line-up, along with 10 kegs of free beer that ran out in about an hour – kind of like how our 12-Year Anniversary Party is going to do next weekend. I saw Christian Hosoi, Red Dog, The Boss, Jim Greco, Eric Dressen (again), MoFo, Duane Peters, and so many other historic skateboarding figures that it would make your head spin. The room that it was held in was completely over-crowded and security stopped letting people in, but thanks to our “ASR Management” badges, were able to enter and bring our VIP status friends like Rhino, Scott Koerner, and Pate Rakestraw with us. I talked to my good pal Brian Herman out front and ended up having a really positive conversation with Kayshawn Jackson – much respect to that kid.

Okay, I’m done name-dropping for the meantime…except for one more. Thanks to Will Campbell from DC for paying for our dinner. The rest of the evening was spent doing the same old stuff – drinking and socializing. I hit the sack about midnight, but the party ended up in my room at 2am…good times. We’re flying out at 10pm tonight and then it’s straight to Skatepark for a 12-hour workday tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 @ 7:30am in My Office at Skatepark of Tampa
Damn, I’m back to reality. Everyone is arriving for Tampa Am and I’m busy as all hell. The final day at ASR was mellow, but entertaining to say the least. The highlight of the mini-ramp demos went down on Saturday, so there’s no use in writing about the skating from Sunday.

After the show we had a nice dinner at Yardhouse with the entire crew and a couple of the ASR staff members…thanks to ASR for picking up the tab on that one. We were all pretty beat, but that didn’t stop us from doing shots and kicking back the drinks. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to lose my glasses while I was sitting at the table. We looked all over the place, pulled out the table, ripped up the seat cushions, and even got a flashlight, but my glasses were nowhere to be found.

Our flight left San Diego at 10pm on Sunday night and we got to Tampa at 8am Monday morning. I wasn’t really sweating losing my glasses because we were getting picked up in my truck, in which I keep a spare pair. But upon landing, Jason, who was waiting at Baggage Claim for us, told me that someone tried to steal my truck the night before. They busted out the lock on my door and messed with the ignition, but were unable to get it started (amateurs). But guess what? They stole my prescription Oakleys…both my shades and driving glasses! What are the chances? I must have done something for Karma to work against me like that.

That wasn’t the best way to start the Tampa Am week, but I still went right to work from the airport and put in a full day. Fortunately, one of the kind members of the ASR crew, Jenna, went back to Yardhouse on Monday to ask about my glasses and they were holding them for me. Nice. Now can someone just make it so I’m not busy this week during Tampa Am? Hope to see you here.

Ryan Clements does a g-turn on the runway on the way to our tiny ass chicken plane we flew on from Tampa to WKRP in Cincinnati
Ryan Clements says talk to the hand on this hurricane
Really, I don't grab my board this much, but yeah, here's another grabber. Actually, this wasn't my board. I left mine again. Thanks to Blind, Element, Accel., and Venture for hooking me up with all the stuff to put a new board together out here. Rob Meronek - old man frontside melon grab
Kevin Marks - pivot to fakie on the parking block
Chris Lehman - backside ollie from the tight section to low section
Barak Wiser, our buyer, frontside ollies to tail from low to high. It's Barak's job to be a shoe nerd. Emerica is flying him out to work on shoe colorways for next season. Now that's a pro shoe nerd there
This thing is fun for the entire 30 seconds you get to skate before people and security guards start freaking out on you
Chris Lehman is the third person to tap the roof at Kevin Marks' mini-ramp so he gets to sign the wall
Would you commit to bringing in this backside boneless to backside revert that Chris Lehman is doing here? That's some scary poop. He hasn't made it on the extension yet, but I'm sure he'll do it later this weekend. If not, he'll have to take a poop
The 88 Footwear booth is looking damn good. I've lived in places where my front yard looked like that
Nate Sherwood with some rather busted ASR chicks
I knew I was going to win this poker game before I even sat down so I took a nice sequence of photos that show my chip pile growing like a big zit or something. My first two hands were pocket fours with a four in the flop and pocket aces with an ace in the flop. I'm in the final round now on Sunday. Winner gets a thousand bucks. Sick. There wasn't even a buy in. Thanks to Bones Wheels for this entertainment.
Poor drunk girl was running into walls and passing out in the isles while her friend tried to walk her out of there
These will be out later this year. The top one is the Reynolds 3 and the bottom one is Kevin Spanky Long's new shoe. Sorry the photo completely sucks
These poor girls have no idea how wide the fisheye goes when you put it on the floor like that. This is Chris Lehman and Rob Meronek with the current ho's of the hour
Look how chill Nilton Neves looks on this indy nosebone fakie
I don't know what this was, but Nilton Neves rode away clean from it. Look, he's grabbing his truck like a little kid carries a skateboard
Chris Lehman made yesterday's backside boneless to back revert over and over today. Now he does them to fakie like this
I saw this girl on the deck looking good with her hair and make up all done up like she was about to go to prom and I wondered what she was doing up there. Oh, she's skating and pretty good, too. This is Jewels on a frontside grind
This Donger look-alike's frontside slasher reminds me of that old Pushead graphic
I don't know about those busted kicks, but Christian Fletcher's style is super good. I guess his dad is some pro surfer
About 8,000 years ago, I used to watch Barker Bareett skate the mini ramp at Cheap Skates in Pennsylvania. He ruled it on mini ramp back then and is still ripping today. This is an ollie up to front rock on the extension
Adrian Mallory and Chaz Pineda got into a frontside invert contest when Schaefer announced on the mic that $100 would go to the first one. I think they ended up splitting it
Bucky Lasek and Tony Hawk with Ryan Clements
Rob Washburn (center) gives $500 each to the last two people in the Bones Wheels Poker Game. They ran out of time so the pot was agreed to be split. 500 ones to each.
Sean Sheffey and Brian Schaefer test out one of the most horrible things money has ever been invested into. This thing has a computer chip in it that reacts to your body leaning forward similar to a Segway. I feel bad for the wacky ass group of FOB Asians that were there pushing this retarded thing. FOB stands for "fresh off the boat" - that means you're an Asian who has no clue about American culture yet becuase you haven't grown up here or lived here long enough


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