Day by Day at Tampa Pro 2002 Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Day by Day at Tampa Pro 2002

Posted on Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by Rob

Day by Day at Tampa Pro 2002
As seen and experienced By Rob Meronek, computer nerd assisting the judges with calculating scores, doing the website, helping with registration, and just general lurking around during the week.

The Photos and Stories Below Go Through Wednesday, March 13

Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Late last night Schaefer and I went out to a local club for what was supposed to be a few beers and then on to home/bed. That quickly turned into 2 or 3AM and a few hours of short sleep later, we're back here at the park working again. On the way in to work today, he was claiming "I'm not going to pick up a SkillSaw today." White collar work only for today. We're both hurting. The first photo to the left is Brian in is office. The second one is small sample of how creative sticker placement will get you amazing amounts of free advertising. Companies don't sponsor these contests for nothing. The SPoT crew was on sticker duty all morning before we opened today.

Reese Forbes, Pat Channita, John Comer and a few others are among the first pros to show up for skating today at noon. I guess it's safe to say those aren't the drinkers/partiers. I'll have a lot more photos up later today when the ripping gets going.

Today is by far the best day to come out and skate. All day long, the park was pretty slow compared to how it's going to be tomorrow. Jim Gagne, Salaman Agah, Chany Jeanquenin, Patrick Melcher and others were all out early in the day. The photos to the left are Chany on a huge nollie over the pyramid, Chany doing a crooked grind on the pyramid flat bar, and Jim attempting a five-0 fakie on the wave wall.
Photos to the right are Jim doing a frontside 180 nose grind on the pyramid flat bar, Patrick doing a blunt fakie on the wave wall, Salaman on a back tail slide, and Salaman doing a nollie front board slide.

Later in the night the vert guys were out once again and a few more street pros showed up. I saw Ronnie Creager testing out the new mini, Chris Pastras hanging out, and Caine Gayle among others on the street course. Here's some more photos below from the sessions going down right at around 7PM. From left to right these are Jesse Frisch doing an Indy heelflip, Mike Frazier on a back talk grab, Carlos De Andrade doing a switch tailside, Andrew Reynolds frontside flipping the hip along with Caine Gayle nose grinding the pyramid ledge, and Caine doing a backside lipslide. I wonder if Carols is above the "you must be this tall to ride" lines they have at amusement parks. That dude's pretty short. Anyway, the last photo is something that I'm not in the loop on, but I guess there's some kind of art thing going on here along with that show Friday night. This photo is a work in progress on something being painted on the side of the mini. I can't wait to read all the hater comments coming on that one.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Vert banners are being finished up this afternoon. I haven't seen too many people showing up to skate yet, but I've also spent most of my day in the shop. Check back later for some skate photos from later tonight.

It's about 5PM now and a few more people are skating now, but mostly locals. I've seen Nate Sherwood hanging out along with a few other new heads. The photos to the left are Allen Russell on a nollie over the pyramid and Jeff Lenoce kickflipping the pyramid flat bar.
To the right are photos of Jeff Lenoce kickflipping the big pyramid and Matt Milligan attempting a huge backside flip over the pyramid hip. This page is starting to look like a Shorty's ad. They got some of the best banner space for sure.
Here's a quote I just witnessed:
"I can't skate this week because if I get hurt, who's going to run the food tent?"
     - Barak Wiser after I asked him to take a skate break with me.

The vert session is back on tonight. The photo to the right is Anthony Furlong nosegrinding the channel that Mike Frazier hates.

Carlos De Andrade and crew showed up today 7PM or so. Check these photos of some huge nollie 180's over the pyramid.

Monday, March 11, 2002
It's around noon right now. Schaefer and the crew started the all day task of putting up the banners this morning. Finishing touches are being put on the vert ramp right now by Allen Russell.

It's Monday night at around 8PM.
Monday was pretty much a full workday with no skating for the entire staff here. Later in the evening, Mike Frazier, Anthony Furlong, Tom Boyle, and a few other people skated the now finished new vert ramp. Allen Russell had a lot of venting to do in the shop after sweating bullets while screwing the upper ply of Ramp Armor down. That $h!t's a little harder than clicking a mouse and making some webiste. The photos to the left are Mike Frazier attempting a switch frontside boardslide over the channel and Anthony Furlong on a Indy kickflip. I still have no camera skills. Maybe one day I'll learn how to do something with this digi other than point and shoot. I can hear Brian Schaefer right now across the hall from my office stressing out trying to record the answering machine message. I think he's on his fifth or sixth tenth or eleventh try right now. Mike Frazier just came in to bang on the drums and in about 30 seconds, I'm sure Brian is going to throw his ass out of here so he can finish.

I managed to interview Brian on the way home about what's going through his head right now with it being a few days before the big event. Click here to read it and leave comments on the interview. You can also download the sound file.
Thursday, March 7, 2002
They just finished putting the surface on the mini ramp outside and have now moved on to the vert ramp. Additional work was completed by Jim Saurman the sound guy for the video premieres that are going to happen during the pro contest next weekend. All of that is going on in the back warehouse where the kiddie course and bowl are. I didn't see any new pros showing up today, but supposedly Elissa Steamer, Andrew Reynolds, and Jeff Lenoce are going to be here for the Baker Summer Tour Video premiere we're doing tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some skating photos for you to check out by then.

Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Construction continues on the new vert and mini outside. The Ramp Armor got here earlier in the week and Brian Schaefer, Allen Russell, Dave Pleshaw, and John Burgess have been slaving away at getting the surface on. The photos to the left are Allen Russell, Brian Schaefer (after take two with flexing), and John Burgess with Dave Pleshaw.

Tuesday, March 5, 2002
Nothing much to report today. Pros are slowly trickling into town. I’ve seen Jeff Lenoce, Andrew Reynolds, and TransWorld photographer Atiba lurking around the park the past couple of days. Tomorrow, I’ll start to take and post some photos and video. Stay tuned.

Email for questions about the event or the photos and video below. All photos, video and captions are by Rob Meronek with Editor in Chief Ryan Clements' review.


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