X-Games 11 Day One Article at Skatepark of Tampa

X-Games 11 Day One

Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2005 by Ryan

X-Games 11 Day One
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Yep, it's definitely a TV contest. They had sound wired up to all the obstacles for the extra dramatic effect
Who dat? I don't know, but this chick rides for Element and she rips. First try feeble grind down the nine stair rail
This dog, Tyson, rips. He knows how to push and carve. When he runs into a wall or curb, he picks up the board with his mouth, brings it to where he can skate again, and continues to sail around. Very entertaining for sure
Paul Rodriguez gets a $50,000 handshake from Tony Alva
Ryan Sheckler - kicklfip on the bump to bushes gap
Ryan Sheckler - frontside half cab flip on the bump to bushes gap
Jason Rothmeyer was judging so you know it's legit. That's him representing with the SPoT sticker on his clipboard
Ryan Sheckler - backside tailslide on the ledge
Oooh, Robin from Baker on her knees. Chill, dude. She's just begging us to come to the Baker 3 Premiere on Wednesday
Paul Rodriguez - nollie frontside feelbe grind
Andrew Reynolds - switch crook on the ledge
Look, they're human! Even Paul Rodriguez throws a mob looking switch flip every now and then. Right after that, he did it right
Paul Rodriguez - kickflip on the bump to bushes gap with zoom in for the shoe nerds. You can get these in our Pro Shop if they're not gone already
Every time I see how much crap these photo guys have to lug around, I know I'm never going to be a real photographer
Paul Rodriguez - switch backside 5-0 on the ledge
Eric Koston - nollie backside 180 on the bump to bushes gap
Rick McCrank - crooked grind on the nine stair
Bryan Herman - nollie backside flip over the bump to bushes gap
Bryan Herman - frontside grab tucker on the bump to bushes gap
Look at the front foot flick on Bryan Herman's 360 flip over the bump to bushes gap
Greg Lutzka - kickflip back lip on the nine stair
This was the first time Greg Lutzka did this frontside 270 to switch front blunt down a rail - amazing
Eric Koston - switch frontside 180 off the bump to bushes gap
Dave Duncan and Christian Hosoi were on the mic most of the time
Chris Cole - varial heel flip off the bump to bushes gap
What would you call what Chris Cole is doing? It can be labeled either a fakie ollie switch frontside nose slide or a fakie ollie backside tailslide
Chris Cole - perfectly done backside kickflip 360 over the bump to bushes gap
Chris Cole - double flip off the bump to bushes gap
Bryan Herman - kickflip frontside nosegrind on the ledge
It only took Bryan Herman a few tries to 360 flip the nine set
Bastien Salabanzi showed up right at the end of practice and didn't seem to be skating too much today. This is a kickflip backside tailslide on the ledge
Andrew Reynolds - nollie cab over the bump to bushes gap
If you didn't see this, you couldn't tell that Andrew Reynolds is doing a frontside flip over the rail here. The flick is done and gone and he's already caught it high above the rail
Andrew Reynolds - backside 360 down the nine set
Andrew Reynolds - backside flip off the bump to bushes gap
Chris Cole - backside shifty flip off the bump to bushes gap. Sorry, I know I suck at filming (1.3mb mpeg video file)
Andrew Reynolds - frontside lipslide on the nine stair rail. Sorry, I know I suck at filming (1.3mb mpeg video file)
Rick McCrank - frontside 5-0 on the nine stair rail. Sorry, I know I suck at filming (1.1mb mpeg video file)
Paul Rodriguez - switch 360 flip on the bump to bushes gap. Sorry, I know I suck at filming (700k mped video file)
So here I am sitting in a pretty dope hotel in downtown LA, the Wilshire Grand. For some reason they gave us the handicapped room. Is that supposed to be a hint or something? Rob headed down to the X-Games site earlier today while I stayed in the room and worked. Around noon I decided to leave, but I stopped to get an extra key to the room at the front desk, which was declined because only Rob’s name was on the room (even though it was under my credit card). “No big deal,” I thought, “I’ll just go down to Staples Center where the X-Games are already going on and check it out.”

It was only a few blocks skate, and all downhill, which made it fun. The part that I wasn’t used to was all of the people. Holy cow there are a lot of people in a ‘real’ city. Tampa’s just not like that. I made it down there and then realized that I didn’t have any credentials whatsoever.

I called pretty much everyone I knew and no one could get me in. So much for my motto of ‘be prepared.’ I decided to grab lunch and make a plan, but there was nothing to plan. I went to all of the different tents and told my story, trying to be cool and not dropping names, but nothing worked. The people there could care less that I was from Skatepark of Tampa and I came to check out the X-Games...and the event was completely sold out. At that point I couldn’t get into the X-Games and I couldn’t get back into my hotel room. Killer!

I was completely S.O.L., so I bought a scalped ticket off some Mexican guy out front for $20. At least I could see the Contest then, right? Well, the ticket got me in the site, but you needed a “Street Contest” ticket to view the actual contest, which was in a closed-off area, and I had a “Vert BMX” ticket. Duh. But hey, the X-Games takes care of retards like me, because they had gigantic TV’s with live coverage hooked up, so you can see what’s going on in the exclusive area. I watched nearly the entire Street Contest outside on TV with Johnny Schillref. I didn’t feel so bad at that point, because Johnny owns Element and he couldn’t get in either.

Finally, Gary Ream from Woodward came through with an all-access pass and I got to watch the last few minutes of Street in person. Fortunately, Rob was much more prepared than me and got himself a Media Pass ahead of time, so he captured everything and is going to tell you what went down. I love LA! Take it away, Rob...

I had the opposite experience from Ryan. This time he neglected to follow the “four P’s” he commonly refers to. I know two of them are Prepare and Plan, but I don’t know what the other two are. I must have taken care of them, though, because my entry was super smooth. I was actually pretty surprised at how polite all the security was and how easy it was to get my media pass. It almost seemed like a normal skateboarding contest from my point of view. I was allowed to go anywhere on the course and any time security asked me to move, they always started with “do you mind going over here.” There’s still tons of non-skate kooks there – I got asked for an interview by some TV crew just because I had my board with me.

There were 10 invited pros for the Street Contest. Each skater got two untimed runs up and down the course to just go out and do whatever tricks they wanted while some filmer chased them. Each run was scored and counted towards 25% of their final score that determines the winner. Ryan Sheckler was definitely on top of that part with one perfect run and another nearly perfect one.

The next three quarters of the final score were from the nine stair rail, the bump over the bush, and the ledges. Each was basically a 15-minute jam. It was pretty damn good from a spectator’s point of view. I saw some serious ripping go down. Here are a few things I remember going down:

Bump to Bushes Gap:
  • Chris Cole did the most perfect backside kickflip 360 over that thing. If you only saw the end of it where he was riding away, you would think all he did was ollie it – it was perfect.
  • Andrew Reynolds backside heel flipped it, backside flipped it, shifty flipped it, nollie cabbed it, and of course, frontside flipped it.
  • Paul Rodriguez switch 360 flipped it first try (I got crappy video footage of it).
  • Greg Lutzka did the sickest frontside half cab over it.
  • Ryan Sheckler’s coming up on his nollie and switch tricks. He nollie flipped it, frontside half cab flipped it, full cabbed it, and switch flipped it.
  • Bryan Herman has the best looking hard flip I’ve seen in a while. When he hard flips it, he catches it sideways like it’s a backside shifty flip and brings it back around the rest of the 90 degrees.
  • Eric Koston switch frontside 360’d it, then was trying to switch frontside 360 heel flip it. I heard him say, “this is probably going to pass some time.” He was right. I don’t think he ever made it.
  • Rick McCrank was trying to wall ride over it, but I’m not sure if he ever made it.
  • I didn’t see Bastien Salabanzi or Geoff Rowley hit it.
The Ledges:
  • Paul Rodriguez killed it on the ledges. Switch front blunt, regular front blunt, kickflip backside tailslides, and more.
  • Bryan Herman did a kickflip frontside nosegrind, twice.
  • Eric Koston was doing switch flip backside tailslides.
  • Chris Cole was doing backside flip switch manuals to forward on the manny pad.
The Nine Stair:
  • Andrew Reynolds frontside flipped it first try then frontside flipped the rail. He also did a perfect backside 360 down it after just a few tries.
  • Greg Lutzka was killing it. He checked off a frontside flip over the rail and a frontside 270 switch front board right away. After that, he tried and got super close to a frontside 270 switch front blunt, but time ran out just as he was about to make it. On his next try after time, he made it. That was the damn best trick of the Contest. Go to CrailTap.com to see video footage of it.
  • Paul Rodriguez nollie frontside feeble grinded it, switch flipped the stairs perfect, and nollie noseblunt slid it, among other things.
  • Rick McCrank backside nosegrinded the hubba.
  • Ryan Sheckler took a super hard slam. The kind where you loop out and slam on your stomach and get the wind knocked out of you. It took him a minute to get up and he was out for about five minutes after that, but came back to back smith the rail and also frontside feeble grind it.
  • Bryan Herman 360 flipped the steps.

It was a damn good contest to watch. While that’s going on, you have miles of booths from every company that could ever sell something to people ages 12 to 30-something and a few other “action sports,” such as the motorcross thing. Those dudes are nuts. They have a super busted movie coming out to represent them to the clueless public and I heard they’re pissed about it similar to how we hate how “The Grind” movie shows skateboarding. The last line I heard in the motorcross movie preview was “Okay, time to get famous.” Holy crap, that’s pretty damn busted, but that’s Hollywood for you. Speaking of Hollywood, the Baker 3 premiere is on Wednesday night here in Hollywood which is just outside of LA. We are thinking of staying for that, especially since Robin from Baker has begged us to stay and hang out for it. Wait a second – of course we’re staying for it. I’m not coming home on Sunday. I’m going to the premiere. Watch for photos and coverage on the site later next week.

Results are below. Geoff Rowley was over it after practice and pretty much blew off the whole event, which earns him DFL in this Contest.

Since some skaters at contests are total babies, ESPN must have decided they all need bibs. Each potential cry baby got a number assigned to their bib. Check out the list of results they sent out.

Place Name Bib # Hometown Score
1 Paul Rodriguez 525 Chatsworth, Calif. 92.50
2 Greg Lutzka 534 Huntington Beach, Calif. 85.25
3 Chris Cole 530 Levittown, Pa. 84.25
4 Ryan Sheckler 533 San Clemente, Calif. 82.00
5 Andrew Reynolds 527 Hollywood, Calif.
6 Bryan Herman 544 Palmdale, Calif. 77.50
7 Eric Koston 528 Los Angeles, Calif. 72.50
8 Rick McCrank 532 Vancouver, BC Canada 70.25
9 Bastien Salabanzi 526 Huntington Beach, Calif. 61.00
10 Geoff Rowley 531 Huntington Beach, Calif. 37.50

Scores in Each Division
Rank Athlete Full Street Course Run Ledges and Manny Pad Nine Stair + Rail Bump Over The Bushes Gap Score
1. Paul Rodriguez 87.00 94.00 95.00 94.00 92.50
2. Greg Lutzka 84.00 86.00 87.00 84.00 85.25
3. Chris Cole 69.00 90.00 91.00 87.00 84.25
4. Ryan Sheckler 92.00 83.00 73.00 80.00 82.00
5. Andrew Reynolds 76.00 80.00 80.00 90.00 81.50
6. Bryan Herman 72.00 77.00 84.00 77.00 77.50
7. Eric Koston 80.00 66.00 70.00 74.00 72.50
8. Rick McCrank 65.00 70.00 76.00 70.00 70.25
9. Bastien Salabanzi 60.00 62.00 67.00 55.00 61.00
10. Geoff Rowley 50.00 50.00 -- 50.00 37.50


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