If you haven’t been paying attention to the amateur contest circuit these last couple of years, you may not have heard us spouting off about how the Damn Am can lead to a pro skateboarding career. Our tagline officially calls it “The pathway to Tampa Am & SLS Pro Open.”
What that means essentially is that if you can outskate every single amateur skater that enters a Damn Am, then you can win a shot at becoming pro. I should add that every time I mention this opportunity I usually also throw in something along the lines of, “It ain’t going to be easy.” Reading between the lines I’m basically saying: “It’s okay to dream as long as you don’t really count on it.”
But last weekend at the SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona, Dashawn Jordan, who won Tampa Am last December, did what I thought might just be impossible. He skated his way to SLS pro. He showed up in Barcelona looking even more confident, more consistent, and more on point than he did in Tampa, which was good, because the “Open” part of the Pro Open included 30 skaters from all over the world who were vying for just TWO spots onto the SLS World Tour. Dashawn’s competition included former Tampa Am winners Alex Majerus, Elijah Berle, and Aurelien Giraud, international pros like Youness Amrani and Dane Burman, SOTY Wes Kremer, style king Boo Johnson, and BatB winner Diego Najera. I could go on but you should be getting the idea. These are some of the best skaters to roll.
In the Qualifier, the invites had to make a 7 cut to advance to the Semis. Dashawn finished 3rd and moved to day two along with Yuto Horigome, Marek Zaprazny, Vincent Milou, Axel Cruysberghs, Jamie Foy, and Elijah Berle. Day two semis would have these magnificent 7 skating against the SLS Pros (Nyjah, Luan, Shane, etc.).
In the semis, not only did Dashawn and Yuto finishing in the top two of the group of non-SLS pros, they skated well enough to make the 8 cut to the Final. This is pretty much impossible considering they were up against guys like 2017 Tampa Pro winner Louie Lopez, Felipe Gustavo, Matter Berger, Carlos Ribeiro, Kyle Walker, etc. So yeah, they did amazing.
And with that, Dashawn had gone from Damn Am kid, to Tampa Am winner, to SLS Pro Open invite, to official SLS Pro, and we at the Skatepark of Tampa felt like proud parents who’d watched our kid grow up and graduate at the top of the class.
The day after the contest I saw Dashawn at breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and ran over to him. “Dashawn, DUDE, Congratulations!” I said, barely able to contain my excitement. “How STOKED are you!” I said it as more of a statement than a question, because, well duh. He’d be stoked off his face right?
“Yeah, pretty stoked.” He said, like he’d just won a $5 scratch off.
Well huh, maybe it just hadn’t sunk in quite yet. Either way, look for Dashawn at the Munich stop next month where we’ll be hoping he wins one, you know, for all of us proud parents back at SPoT.