Damn Am Minneapolis 2005

Posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 by Ryan

Check DamnAm.com for many more photos from the contest.
Robbie Kirkland - hard flip back lip
Scotty Conley - nose stall frontside revert on the bank to wall
Matt Giles - gap backside tail slide
Tommy Presley stuck this backside 180 nosegrind to forward on the first photo despite there being a sketchy double bank up to this bump to one inch long ledge. On the other side is tranny to 500 foot long ledge. Unless you love trannies and bowls, Louisville's public park can take a poop - I hate it, but that's just me
Tranny rippers like Scott Dorris love parks like Louisville. He and Chris Lehman were loving the place. Here, Scott's sitting on a layback slasher on his coffin deck
I asked Pat Stiener if I could take a photo of some stuff from this flyout session and he said, "Yeah, but don't be putting me takin' a poop." No problem, unless you're way off like Tommy
Shorty's has a car wash, but they won't allow the Clem-350 in there
Matt Giles looking like Brent Atchley on one of many, many, many trannies at the park
That's Ryan Clements in the full pipe. The only thing I used that thing for was some shade in between manual pad skating
Robbie Kirkland hard flips on the flat at Louisville Skatepark - the flat is the second best part of the park behind the manual pad. Other than that, they should fill the damn thing with water so you can at least swim there
Tommy Presley - take a flyout poop
Damn Am Minneapolis 2005
Words by Ryan Clements, Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

June 8th @ 10:52pm - Ramada Inn in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Kentucky
How’s this for a not-so-good start to a road trip? We left Tampa today at 10am and made really great time. We drove for about 11 hours and then stopped somewhere in Kentucky, less than two hours or so from Louisville, where we’ll be skating first thing tomorrow morning. This God-forsaken piece-of-crap of a town is “dry,” which means that they don’t sell alcohol. So the nearest place to grab a beer is 25 miles away. And to top it off, we can’t get a local number for Internet access at the hotel, either. Livin’ it!

June 9th @ 11:19pm – Days Inn in Wisconsin Dells, WI
Louisville has an amazing skate park. It’s free and has no rules. The course hosts ledges to full-pipes and everything in between. Basically, there’s something for every skateboarder at the Louisville Park.

Chris Lehman and Scott Doris killed the tranny while Pat Stiener, Robby Kirkland, and Dustin Eggling worked the ledges. That session lasted for about two hours and then, after a decent sunburn, we got back on the road and headed towards Minneapolis.

The drive was long and uneventful, with the exception of the guy that threw the banana that hit our windshield. We didn’t do anything to provoke it – it’s like I’m attracting this type of attention nowadays or something. Wisconsin Dells is a unique town – some of the hotels have mini-water parks for the guests. Not this one though. We only have a roof-drop for entertainment.

We’re heading out at about 8am tomorrow morning and we’ll be at 3rd Lair by 1pm at the latest.

June 11th @ 8:14am – Super 8 in Minneapolis, MN
The drive was short, so we didn’t even stop once. I know the crew gets sick of the long distances between stops, but that’s just how I do it. Hell, they’re sleeping most of the time anyway, so what’s the difference?

I spent the afternoon answering emails and retrieving Jason Rothmeyer and Jeffrey Marshall from the airport. Finally in the early evening I went to check out 3rd Lair. The park is more fun than I remember it, with enough variety of stuff to please the most finicky of skateboarders. I utilized my time wisely by skating the new bowl outside. It’s basically a larger version of our bowl at Skatepark of Tampa.

We cut out of the park early for a BBQ at Mark Muller’s home, one of the owners of 3rd Lair. The steaks were good and the hospitality was second-to-none. Thanks to Mark and Carrie and the rest of the friendly staff and locals that were there.

By Friday afternoon there were a lot of heads in town for the contest. Aquil Brathwaite was destroying the hip and bank-to-bank with every flip trick on command. Andre Genovesi has the nollie pop dialed and did the biggest bs flip over a barrier-on-steroids that I’ve ever seen.

Damn Am Bowl Jam
In the evening we hosted the Bowl Jam. There were nearly 30 entrants this year, so we had to break it into two heats. Everyone got two, 45-second runs to see if they made it into the Finals. I think Scotty Conley and I had more fun announcing that event than the skaters had riding in it. The vibe was great and the crowd was supportive.

The final 10 skated in a 20-minute, no rules jam that hosted several collisions and some amazing skating. Actually, it was the final 11 because Israel West threw himself in there just for the hell of it.

We ended it with a 540 Contest...you had to be there to appreciate that one, but we had $250 up for anyone that could pull a legit McTwist or bs 540 of any grab. No one made it, but we gave Israel an Honorable Mention anyway. Good times...

Here are the results:

1. Keegan Sauder – the front blunt in the deep end sealed the deal
2. Chris Lehman – more tricks than anyone, but not quite enough for first
3. Mike Owen – fast as hell with huge airs...shirtless for his broad
4. Dylan Reider – getting better and better every minute...serious future threat
5. Josh Folley – local shredder that must live in that bowl...the best lines
6. Jerry Mraz – undercover ripper that’s friends with Allen Russell (instant cool)
7. Jay Jensen – local ramp builder with a mustache for the dames
8. David Gravette – 360 melon transfer out of the bowl into the street course
9. Ryan McWhirter – best style going...we’re backing him
10. BJ Morrill – looks means as hell, but is totally friendly and nice

June 12th @ 9:50am – 3rd Lair in Minneapolis, MN
The Qualifiers were long, but entertaining at the same time. I had the time to chill and watch some great skating. Although he didn’t make the cut, Tony Cervantes is one of my new favorite skaters. Seeing this kid in person is better than his part in New Blood. Here’s a funny one: Out of all of the Skatepark of Tampa crew, no one placed higher than 57th. Check out how bad we did:

57. Matt Giles – not too bad...landing the back tail would have helped though
58. Tommy Presley – bailed every single trick in his first run
71. Scotty Conley – first-try noseslide on the handrail didn’t make it happen
97. Robbie Kirkland – came out swinging with a nollie inward heel, but it went downward from there
104. Chris Lehman – landed a bs boneless revert, but not much else
111. Jeffrey Marshall – Did Jeffrey land anything?
113. Scott Doris – the crail snatcher on the vert wall was gnar, but no dice

You guys really blew it. Props to Florida boys Brad Cromer, Dom Johnson, and Ben Gore for making the cut.

The nightlife ended up being pretty fun, but it just doesn’t seem too worth it the next day, you know? City Billiards was the place of choice and we rolled 15 deep in the F-350. I think that’s a new record. It was nearly impossible to get a drink in that place due to how many people were in there, so we ended up on the front steps heckling all passer-bys. Things got a bit out of hand, but only momentarily. This is my public apology for slamming Giles. Sorry, Dude.

June 13th @ 10pm – Super Sketchy Super 8 Just Outside Nashville, TN
Some serious skating went down in the Semi’s, Finals, and Best Trick. I have to quote Vern Laird, Listen TM, for this one, “I love this life.” I do, too, Vern. This is the best.


Here’s the top five:
1. Dylan Rieder – the lien nose-grab to front noseblunt was the deal sealer
2. Keegan Sauder – 1st in the Bowl and then 2nd in the Street? Keegan skates like a pro (Hear that, Jamie?)
3. Collin Hale – Napoleon Dynamite seriously killed it straight outta’ Vermont
4. Jamiel Nowparvar – local boy has some skills...he would have taken it if he had landed all of his tricks
5. Dominic Johnson – he cut the dreads, but didn’t lose the skills

Best Trick on the Bank-to-Barrier
1. Adam Dyet – full rock-star in effect with the kf bs tailslide biggie out
2. Eddie Kochenborfer – the black dude with the whitest name threw down a bs heel 5-0
3. Steve Fauser – straight-edge guys rip and Steve stepped up to the plate with a bs smith 180 out

For a full listing of the results check www.damnam.com.

Thanks to Adio, Hawk, and the rest of the sponsors. The Damn Am events are the real deal. Top 12 gets automatic entry into Tampa Am and the top two go straight to the Semi-Finals. So you’d better get registered for the Volcom Damn Am in October as soon as possible.

I heard that the After-Party was a good time at Majors, but I skipped out early after a nice dinner with Dave Pleshaw. The Clem-350 clocked nearly 1000 miles today. We’re just outside of Nashville and we’re going to skate some public park first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll admit that I’m ready to get home.

June 16, 2005 @ 1:48pm – My Office at Skatepark of Tampa
I just realized that I didn’t write my final installment for this article. Well, we stayed in a super-sketchy hotel in Nashville. Tommy got to harass his first hooker…pretty funny. We got up early to skate a great park they have there. It’s near the Grand Ole Opry, free, and cement, with good-sized bowls and a nice street course. I know all of this, but we didn’t get to skate it. Apparently someone spray-painted some really bad graffiti on it the night before and the cops were out there taking photos and writing reports while the maintenance staff tried to pressure wash the walls of the bowls. They had the place closed…how lame is that?

So we headed out of Nashville and made the long trek to Tampa. We got to SPoT just as the sun was setting, unloaded the truck, and said our good-byes (and those that had girlfriends waiting said their ‘hellos’ – lucky them). Thanks to 3rd Lair and the entire crew that went on the trip…I had a great time.