Damn Am Costa Mesa 2008 Presented by Volcom and Cons
Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 by Rob
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
Footage by Filmer Sara
Since there is no direct flight to John Wayne Airport from Tampa, I had to fly all the way to Salt Lake City and then onto Costa Mesa. No big deal really because I’m good at keeping busy reading mags and typing away on the computer. However, it was a bit difficult to concentrate due to the old lady that was sitting next to me that kept wanting to talk.
She had a heavy Spanish accent, which I found out later to be Cuban. She was straight from Cuba actually, and lived in Florida for the past 47 years, spending most of those years in Miami and then relocating to the Tampa area. “47 years? How old could this lady be?” I thought. Maybe she was reading my mind because she ended up telling me that she was 77-years-old and a former Olympic swimmer for Cuba prior to her defecting (Is that what you call it?) to the United States nearly 50 years ago.
Wow. That sure puts things into perspective. Here I was earlier that day complaining about having to fly to CA again, while this lady that sat next to me was like a little kid with all of her questions. I ended up thinking her wanting to talk to me was really cool and it left me with a renewed appreciation and anticipation for the upcoming weekend. So let’s get to it!
For all of the Results of who got what, click right here, but I’m going to highlight a few things that I was stoked on throughout the two days in a very random order:
- The Golden Ticket from Friday went to my boy from Florida, Timmy Knuth, while Saturday’s Ticket went to Louie Lopez
- Dylan Perry, Abdias Rivera, and Jeffrey Marshall qualified 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively on Saturday
- Knox Godoy – I hadn’t seen Knox in several years, and actually “cool-guyed” him when he said ‘hello’ to me…not that I meant to cool-guy him at all, but I did it by not realizing that it was him since I hadn’t seen him for so many years. If you don’t know what getting cool-guyed is, then that’s a good thing
- Pat Pasquale – he’s the white version of Antwuan Dixon…super-nice and super-party mode
- Speaking of being white, Kenny Hughes and Vern Laird kept ganging up on me and making fun of me for being white, but I was thinking that Kenny and I could have our own show called “Clem and Ken” on MTV. He could be my big black bodyguard while I talked crap to people all of the time
- Thanks to our friend Raul at Mada for throwing together a quick After-Party at the Chronic Cantina on Friday night. That was a fun time with quality margaritas
- On Saturday night Volcom hosted a Video Premiere at their TF, showing both Thrasher’s newest flick, Brutality, along with their very own All the Days Roll Together
- 1st - $500 – Kechaud Johnson – 42”
- 2nd - $300 – Luis Tolentino – 41”
- 3rd - $200 – Nate Principato – 39”
And what made it even hotter for me? My Phil Jackson outfit, that’s what. Yep, we kept the tradition alive by dressing up. The Damn Am judging staff and work-crew adorned Laker gear and I was the Coach. Schaefer then took wearing a costume to an all-new level by shaving his head and painting himself black to properly “fit” into his Kobe jersey.
To add to the festive mood, a few others in the crowd took it upon themselves to dress up, too. This is what makes Halloween so much damn fun. Most notably we had Jake Duncombe as DJ Wade and the ever-participatory Andrew Cannon appropriately dressed as Wet Willy, who we dubbed “Sweat Willy” for sweating all over the course while skating his ass off!
We got the event rolling just a couple of minutes after 12pm with a proper webcast introduction to those that were watching online both locally as well as all over the world. You should have read some of the emails that we were getting that we couldn’t read back over the mic! Then we gave each of the guys that made it to the Semis two, one-minute runs with the best run counting. We broke that group of 36 down to a mere 10, and then they were joined by the Golden Ticket winners, Timmy Knuth and Louie Lopez.
In the Finals, all skaters were given three, one-minute runs to make it happen. For the first two rounds of runs I still thought that it was anyone’s Contest because there hadn’t been any flawless runs completed that really stood out amongst the rest. Then on the third and final runs Loy, Davis, and Knuth all skated flawless, with Felipe Gustavo only falling once, but doing such difficult tricks that it was unreal.
After the insanity of the Best Trick and Product Toss settled down, here’s who walked away with the prizes. Top five got $500 Zumiez Travel Vouchers and a sweet-ass Kicker iPod docking station (modern-day boom box):
- 1st – David Loy – 2nd time Damn Am Costa Mesa winner, but this time he dominated by taking it by over six points. David is one of the most polite, coolest kids you could ever meet. His parents done did well
- 2nd – Cody Davis – with his Billy Idol locks and kickflips into everything, including fs crooks, Cody is getting really, really good…and he’s got a great sense of humor, too
- 3rd – Felipe Gustavo – he came out of nowhere and won Tampa Am 2007 and has been here in the States ever since. In his last run he did a nollie flip noseslide 360 shove-it out so perfectly that it could have made the video
- 4th – Timmy Knuth – my boy from Florida has been getting a lot of recognition recently, but that’s because he can kickflip crooks any rail on command every single try. Nice work, Timmy
- 5th – Kechaud Johnson – Kenny Hughes thought I was making fun of Kechaud when I said he could be a wide receiver, but I wasn’t at all. This dude has the athletic skill to be at the top of any sport he chooses to play, but fortunately for us he’s a skateboarder
- 6th – Louie Lopez – along with Curren, Louie is another one of my favorite little Flip dudes. He’s got a mean fs bigspin heelflip down the double-set, too
- 7th – Shawn Hale – up until yesterday I didn’t realize that our girl Sierra had a crush on Shawn, but then we found out that Shawn is getting married soon, so she’s a bit disappointed. However, Shawn is an amazing skateboarder that continues to impress me every time I see him
- 8th – Rob Maatman – although I didn’t get to see it in person, Rob destroyed AmsterDamn Am last summer and won it, therefore sneaking into the Semis at Tampa Am in December. At this Damn Am he would have been top three had he stayed on
- 9th – Kyle Walker – only 14-years-old and straight outta’ Oklahoma City, this little guy has style for miles and great trick selection, so I know that you’ll see more of him in the near future
- 10th – Tommy Fynn – I though that he was from Australia, but then found out that he’s lived in Oz, New Zealand, and South Africa. Talk about a man of the world…sure beats having only lived in Philly and Tampa like me!
- 11th – Will Marshall – this little Canadian is growing into his own with solid runs and a good attitude. It doesn’t hurt that his pops sends us beer all of the time, too
- 12th – Donovan Piscopo – I think I’ve said this before, but Jamie knows how to pick ‘em, and Donovan is by far one of the illest little dudes out there, which is why he represents Zero. Give him some time to grow up and look out!
They proceeded to play some serious High School Rock while more skaters than I’ve ever seen tried to handle business in a very over-crowded Best Trick Contest all at once! It was humorous at times because there would literally be three or four skaters hucking themselves down the double-set and rails at any given second.
We let it go a little over 20-minutes and by that time enough quality maneuvers were landed to call it. Thanks to DNA Orange Juice, Silent Skateboards, and Mimik Clothing for kicking down some extra loot:
- 1st – $500 – Daniel Espinoza – his front blunt bs flip out on the rail got him a $500 Zumiez Travel Voucher, Kicker iPod dock, and Sony PSP, too
- 2nd – $200 – Ryan Reyes – fs smith kickflip out on the rail
- 3rd – $100 – Moose! – cab flip down the stairs
- 4th – $100 – Cody Davis – fsbs kickflip out
- 5th – $100 – Grant "Eggy" Muller – switch dolphin flip
- Sponsors: Volcom, Cons, Red Bull, Darkstar, Blind, Indy, Almost, Ollie Pop, Real, Thunder, skateboard.com, Dakine, Saturday Skateboards, Vestal, Electric, Zumiez, Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, Kicker, Thrasher, Transworld, Skateboarder, The Skateboard Mag, Focus, Lowcard, Automatic, Solar Power
- Thanks to skateboard.com. Rebroadcast Thursday, October 30th at noon.
- Thanks to skate parents, friends, family, spectators, skaters
- Also, Tampa Am live webcast December 7, 2008 (NEW DATES!!!)
- Thanks to Sierra for all the help
- Thanks to Jared, Lauren, and all the crew for keeping the place clean and serving food
- Thanks to the blue collar crew for building the course and tearing it down tomorrow - Neil Heddings, Dogboy, Allen Russell, Gene Rosmarin, Cody Hager, Joe Flores, Tony Fraude
- Thanks to the judges - Brian Howard, Mike Sinclair, Kenny Hughes, Jason Rothmeyer, Brian Young. Announcers: Vern Laird, Brian Schaefer, Clements
- Thanks to DJ Wade
- Paul Schmitt - endless support since day one
- Volcom - Kevin Braden, Steve Stratton, Jared Hager, Jake the ATM with the BTM, Remy Stratton
- Cons - Sharon Bayron, Steve Luther
- Jorge Angel - hard work
- Cameo Wilson - quit his job to skate the contest
- Andrew Cannon - overall good sport, great costume, blue semen
- Jake Duncombe - DJ Wade best costume
- Chris Ortiz - webcast, skateboard.com crew
- Barak Wiser from Skatepark of Tampa - thanks for all the help all weekend