The Skateboard Mag’s YBAm & Damn Am Awards 2008 Presented by Nike SB and Red Bull

Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2009 by Ryan

All day long the awards babies were turning heads and recruiting on the ASR show floor
If you were in this crowd, thanks for coming to yet another one of our SPoTlight Productions shindigs
I don't like those things anymore, but I'm glad someone else is keeping the smoking indoors in California thing going. Thanks Matt Beach
Joey Brezinski wants to manual that baby
Right now we're back stage doing our very last minute prep of all the presenters and the motions that we're all going to go through
Holy crap, serious horse mullet running the sound at the show
Lance Mountain, thanks for presenting the Parents of the Year Award
A couple weeks ago, the voting for the Readers' Choice Award closed and the winner, Davis Torgerson, was chosen. We printed his award and put together his 30-second footage clip to get ready for the show. I forgot to do a post about it and close out the voting. In the last week, Felix put a post about it on the Famous site and got Manny voted to the top last minute. It was too late, though. Manny still has some words for the crowd, though. Thanks for coming, Manny
Felix always has the craziest kit and brings his whole crew to all our events. Thanks for the support, Team Manager of the Year
Figgy called me needing to get a crew of his friends in. I went to meet him and one of the people in his crew was Ashley Harrison from Tampa. How is this girl getting around for pleasure as much as we do for business? She even has a lap dog in tow. Frosty's here, too
Sierra from Tampa somehow makes it to what seems like every skateboard shindig. She works at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa and got a thousand dollar tip from some baseball jock named Derek Jeeter. That paid for her to come across the country to hang out with people like David Reyes
The Hagar brothers got in a little scuffle and caused some drama. Ask someone else about it. I stay out of stuff like that
Omar Salazar doing some babysitting
Diaper butt and fishnets
Lacey Baker got the Skates Like a Dude Award. As you know, she's pretty much the best girl skater there is these days
Paul Rodriguez presented the Damn Am of the Year Award to Felipe Gustavo. Felipe is in Brazil and couldn't make it. If I was in Brazil, you couldn't get me to come to the United States either
If a trade show beer is $8, how much do you think it costs to have a full blown shindig like this with free beer? We spent five grand on sauce for our friends with the help of those sponsors you see back there. Thanks again for all the support so we can continue to have partying be one of our job duties
Rodney Johnson was a nominee in the Team Manager of the Year category
Abdias was wondering why he was nominated for the Time for an Intervention Award. All it means is we had the most memorable times partying with you. It doesn't mean you really need an intervention. David Gravette, welcome to the pro world
All of our fresh threads and suits were provided by the Volcom crew here wearing the opposite of fresh threads, overalls. Nike SB hooked everyone up with a pair of Dunk Highs. Thanks!
This is not Curren Caples' first experience with ladies
Chris Casey from the Captain and Casey Show provided the entertainment and the females that wore baby outfits
The Skateboard Mag presented the Year's Best Am Award to Nick Trapasso
Years ago when Schaefer and I first started doing the Damn Am series, we ran out of money and almost had to stop doing them. Paul Schmitt wrote us a gargantuan check and said, "Keep doing what you're doing. It's good for skateboarding." And with that no questions asked or repayments requested donation, the Damn Am Series kept alive and has turned into what it is today, nine years later. Paul is not just a great skateboarder, but a fantastic human as well
The Most Annoying Award is also a joke. It just means you're the most in our face and super loud, which is a good thing. This year it went to Chris Troy
Desiree Astorga's Ripper Art Show was going on at the same time so I stopped by to check that out. Several different artists had their version of the classic Bones Ripper on display
This one was done by Steve Caballero
Now we're out getting lost in San Diego in our suits. That bush diver is Barak
That's a pretty fancy hotel lobby we have. We fit right in with our suits. That is, until we start hanging from the luggage carts like monkeys. I fell down and two gentlemen were kind enough to help me up. They had suits on, too. We all bonded
I tried my best to trick myself into being psyched on the trade show like it's my first one so I would take better photos of everything that's going on. It didn't work. Volcom's booth is always entertaining, however
Pony, huh? I remember when I used to wear those way back in like the cassette tape days. Welcome to the sketchy skateboard industry
The photo on the left is from the dude perspective, taken by me. The one on the right is from the chick perspective, taken by Sierra
That's a new one to me. The amazing dread-let
David Loy took the camera and it came back with this baby gangster photo on it. Sideways peace signs remind me of the Lutzka
David shot a foot fetish. Black with a white sole seems to be where things are going
I should just sit in the corner with a long lens and document all the girls lurking out all weekend. Here's a small sample. I spy Nate Sherwood
Andrew Brophy just turned pro and won the DVS Hands Free Big Air Contest by snapping over 42 inches
The Caples family and some dude showing enough crack to open a store in the ghetto
David Loy is almost fully recovered from his snapped arm at Tampa Am
This sort of thing was going on all day at the mini-ramp. You should only be doing blunt nosegrabs if you're baby enough to still think Santa is real
It's like day care at the mini-ramp. Hello Kitty. Good bye ASR. See you in September
After attempting to write the intro to this article for the last half an hour while my email downloaded extra slow in the hotel room, I finally remembered how the Damn Am Awards came to be. The idea was born out of frustration on admission to the “cool” parties that go down during the ASR Trade Show.

Each day as you walk the floor at ASR, you are given passes and wristbands for the “cool” parties of the evening. Then you arrive at those parties to find a long line outside, with the door guys rationing entrance as if royalty only is granted passage. Sometimes you get a glimpse of the inside when a patron is permitted to go in and you see that the place isn’t even packed. In other words, they’re building the line outside for hype. And by the time you finally get in, if you do at all, the free drinks are usually done and it’s “$8 Beer Night.”

So this is where the idea of the Damn Am Awards was born. We were tired of being continually disappointed and claimed, “Let’s just do our own party!” The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place naturally anyway, so we may as well take advantage of it. There were four Damn Ams taking place around the world in 2008 and Tampa Am had been moved to December, therefore providing plenty of footage and good times in need of remembrance.

The next move was teaming up with The Skateboard Mag to get the event a little more exposure. And how convenient that they needed to formally present their Year’s Best Am Award, too. It was the perfect combination for a fun evening.

We’ve done countless contests in so many different locations, but doing the Awards was a new experience for us. The event had to be free, open to the public, and have free drinks. Everyone that wanted to get in would be able to enter, too. That was a must. ASR was gracious enough to let us use Upstairs Ballroom 20D and it was on. Schaefer ordered the audio/visual, lighting, and jumped through the hoops and all of the rest of the formalities.

I must admit that I was a bit nervous on how our first attempt was going to go off, but once the free booze started flowing at 5:45pm, Ballroom 20D started to pack out. The montage played for about an hour and we got things rolling only a few minutes late. The chaos behind the scenes was a sight to behold though. Getting all of the presenters together proved to be a bit of a task, but we greatly appreciated their efforts.

Keep in mind that most of these awards are supposed to be about having fun and not to be taken too seriously. No, we’re not proud of Collin Provost taking up smoking and Justin Figueroa doesn’t really need an intervention. We’re having fun, so lighten up, okay? And yes, we made up the categories and chose who we thought was most deserving.

However, the Damn Am of the Year Award was calculated based on the performance of anyone that made the Semi-Finals or Finals in two different Damn Am events, including both Tampa Ams (January and December) in 2008. Also, the Viewers’ Choice was obviously picked by you at With that being said, here are the 2008 Awards:

    * Most Improved
                 Winner - Riley Hawk
                 Runner-up - David Loy
                 Runner-up - Ben Gore
     * Most Annoying
                 Winner - Chris Troy
                 Runner-up - Tyler Adams-Hawkins
                 Runner-up - Nick Merlino
     * Welcome to the Pro World
                 Winner - David Gonzalez
                 Runner-ups - Mike Mo Capaldi, Alex Olson,
                 Sean Malto (all in one award)
                 Runner-up - David Gravette
     * Lil’ Man (Presented by Brian Anderson and Omar Salazar)
                 Winner - Curren Caples
                 Runner-up - Louie Lopez
                 Runner-up - Donovan Piscopo
     * Came Out of Nowhere (Presented by Justin Williams)
                 Winner - Andrew Langi
                 Runner-up - Davis Torgerson
                 Runner-up - Vincent Alvarez
     * Parents of the Year (Presented by Lance Mountain)
                 Winners - Shelly and Evan Caples
                 Runner-ups - Dennis and Cynthia Loy
                 Runner-up - Anthony Piscopo
     * Retirement from Damn Am
                 Winner - Scotty Conley
     * Viewers’ Choice
                 Winner - Davis Torgerson
                 Runner-up - Will Marshall
                 Runner-up - Rob Maatman
     * Team Manager of the Year (Presented by Chris Casey)
                 Winner - Felix
                 Runner-up - Rodney Johnson
                 Runner-up - Darin Howard
     * Turned Pro Without Anyone Seeing Him Skate
     in Person (Presented by Stefan Janoski)
                 Winner - Mike Mo Capaldi
     * Yo’, Lemme’ Get A Cigarette
     (Presented by David Gravette)
                 Winner - Collin Provost
                 Runner-up - Chris Gregson
                 Runner-up - Anthony Schultz
     * Time for an Intervention (Presented by Pat Duffy)
                 Winner - Justin Figueroa
                 Runner-up - Abdias Rivera
                 Runner-up - Marquise Preston
     * Skates Like A Dude (Presented by Active Erica)
                 Winner - Lacey Baker
     * Eur Cool With Us (Presented by Dan Pensyl)
                 Winner - Rob Maatman
                 Runner-up - Eniz Fazliov
                 Runner-up - Helder Lima
     * Thanks to Our Sponsors
                 Nike SB, Volcom, Billabong, DC, Independent, ASR,
                 Flip, Mob Grip, Darkstar, Blind, Almost, Dakine
     * Tampa Am Winner December 2008
     (Presented by Joey Brezinski)
                 Luan De Oliveira
     * Damn Am of the Year (Presented by Paul Rodriguez)
                 Felipe Gustavo
     * The Skateboard Mag’s Year’s Best Am
                 Nick Trapasso

Thanks to Nike SB and Red Bull for making it happen and be on the lookout for an article in the next TSM. This is going to be an annual event, so please come out and support next year and make an effort to head out to ASR. See you along our travels.


A Couple Minutes of Footage From the Awards

ASR – January 2009
Words by Porpe

The economy was the talk at this year's ASR in San Diego. Numbers were being thrown around in regards to who is losing what and who (Big Corp) is gaining who (DC). Regardless of what the numbers are, one thing is clear, people are not going to stop skating. As long as there are metropolitan areas with spots and parks, I am more than confident that skateboarding will get through this tough economic cycle. Now with that being said let me try and give you a quick glance of what happened at ASR.

All three days SPoTlight Productions hosted open mini-ramp demos on the showcase floor. Unfortunately they had us fenced off in the back of the Convention Center, but the crowd still came out to support. There was the usual grip of groms throwing down, displaying their progression from the last show.

For the first time in ASR history there was a not-so-mini-mega ramp on-site. Personally, I found it rather entertaining. I've never seen a human willfully wanting to catapult themselves before. They need to take that contraption to Cirque du Soleil or Barnum and Bailey.

Additionally, there was not one, but two High Ollie Contests. One was hosted by Grind for Life and the other by DVS. Luis Tollentino won the Grind for Life, pouncing his way over 42", and Andrew Brophy won the DVS Hands Free Big Air Challenge with a 42" ollie as well. I guess we will have to wait and see if the 44.5" record will ever be officially broken. Rumors have it that there may be a possible High Ollie Challenge at The Berrics at some point, but don't quote me on that.

That pretty much covers it on the skateboard end of things. I have to give it up to the people behind ASR for understanding the frustration that retailers and manufacturers are going through during this economic downturn. I felt as if they did an excellent job in accommodating those who came to the show. I was able to get free coffee, breakfast, and lunch on ASR throughout the whole weekend just by using the resources they provided. And big thanks to Converse for dinner.

Ride on,