Some of the first people we met out in LA this time around were a pack of dudes from Denmark who were skating the mini ramp at Brooklyn Projects. After being briefed by Schaefer about the Damn Am at Woodward West, they decided to come out and enter, which they did, thus giving the qualifying round some serious international flare. The Japanese and Brazilian coalitions were also out in force, making communication a little tougher but the skating even better. All in all, the turnout was nuts. 131 people skated in the three-minute, three-man jam format, in an effort to advance to Sunday’s top 30. Some things I noticed: Hurricanes are hot right now, little kids are as good if not better than big kids, Expedition’s Brunners twins don’t look anything like each other anymore, and Robby Hargreaves should be given a Medal of Valor or something after dislocating a finger and almost blowing out a major knee ligament on two different slams in his heat. But he never stopped skating and was still at it when the lights were shut off at 9:00pm. True he finished in 128th place, but he’s still a champion in my eyes. Even without Robby in them, the Semi-finals and Finals are going to blow minds.
Then there was the vert contest. The turnout was less than 1/10th that of the street, but it was still completely bonkers. Bart Jones never looked happier in his life as he looked tonight while shooting it. Later he admitted he wished he’d grown up a vert skater. The average age of the kids on the pipe was probably about 13, but you’d never know from the trick lists. stalefish 540s, 720s, andrechts, elguerials, kickflip indys, heelflip frontside airs, and on and on. There was also a kid who entered under the name Cash Money Kenton. That’s solid gold. But at the end of a totally hairball 30-minute jam, the top spot went to last year’s repeat winner Evan “Big E” Doherty from Greenwood, MO. He’s 11 years old and recently learned 900s. This win will one day be looked back on as one of thousands.
Words by Paul Zitzer
Photos and captions by Bart Jones
Saturday morning and the stands are already overflowing.
Joseph Campos is 14 but skates with the style and pizazz of a full-grown man.
Dane Vaughn, Shmatty, Emmett Duffy... Thug Nation.
Sean Istaste has got a case of the willies.
Even Stallion Springs finest came out to check what all the hype's about.
Dane Vaughn takes a crook to the hilt.
It’s good to get them familiar with skatin’ while they’re young.
These fireman in the background came out cause they heard Sheckler was there. Kane Sheckler that is.
Gatorade keeps the bullpen hydrated and in the shade, now if the judges would just get their ipads and pay attention to the contest!
I stole this angle of Jonathan Perez and Josh Baldwin from Chany Jeanguenin but like they say ‘Imitation is the best form of flattery’ or something like that.
Men with hats.
The Brunners twins are here! This time it's Pierce with a noseblunt slide.
Tommy from Palm Springs killing it, sitting in as a second-angle cameraman.
"Style for miles". As cliché as the saying might be, Joseph Campos has got it!
When you come all the way from Japan to skate a comp, you want to at least see what place you got. These kids killed it!
Pierce Brunners again this time with a front crook, grinding for the masses.
First and second qualifiers plus Gold Tickets go to Austin Lenahan and Miles Lawrence. Austin had already left, so we had Nate Alton from Deluxe sub in for him for no reason other than randomness.
Then lets get this vert contest started!!
Reid Watson gets things crackin!
When in doubt grab it out. This time Mats Hatlem goes for the tail.
In a cluster of air babies, Victor Sposito works the lip conveniently enough with a lipslide.
A lot of bonelesses this weekend, just how we like it. Here’s one of many from Rylan Mancilla.
Tate Carew has got a thing for the color purple and Texas Plants.
Reid Watson screeches on by with a lien To tailslide.
Face thru legs, not always the most popular angle but sometimes it happens. Victor Sposito, FSA.
Evan Doherty AKA "Big E" frontside ollies in a pair of laceless Osiris High-Tops.. Nice!
The Vert contest was amazing. These kids killed it! Jeromy Green 3rd Place, Gabriel Machado 2nd Place, and Evan Doherty in 1st. Congratulations guys!!