AmsterDamn Am 2006

Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 by Ryan

AmsterDamn Am 2006
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek and Steve Stratton

Nick Dompierre was definitely the stand out at this Contest. This backside big spin down the big four was during Best Trick
If you ollie from the deck to the hubba, there's still a gap. Nick Dompierre did that gap plus the deck gap to this frontside tailslide on the hubba
When Dustin Blauvelt qualified first on Saturday, his run included a perfect backside 360 down the big four that looked much cleaner than this one
Nelson Mosakili - full cab over the pyramid looking like Bastian but not crazy
Ruben Rodrigues catches this 360 flip in the clouds over the long bank to bank
There's a lot of "Who dat?" going on - I met a ton of new people this weekend and only remember about 1% of the names. This is a salad grind
Adam Dyet's got backside noseblunt slides super easy like you and me got boardslides
Who dat? Front feebs
Preston Maigetter, Thrasher filmer, and Rodney Johnson, Billabong Team Manager, were on the sauce for the entire event. It's hard not to be while you're in Amsterdam
Wieger Van Wageningen - thanks for showing up
There's the ollie chick again. They got a game going - ollie for a kiss or get slapped
Clem and I were hanging with our crew of 14 year old friends at the Contest After-Party. It was kind of weird hanging with the kiddies buying a round of Cokes to go with our round of beers. Skateboarding keeps us all on the same level, though. David Loy and Clements did the beverage switch for this photo
That's Jeb from Volcom. He hooked it up on the beers at the After-Party. Looks like fire's coming out of the beers. Probably because they're all piss warm over there
Cool skate parents holding it down at the After-Party: Tom Blauvelt and Donna Baker
Roberto Aleman and Preston Maigetter at the After-Party. They were judges for the Contest
This is Helder Lima. When I was checking him in, I was thinking he looked like a little kid who could barely skate. I went out to the street course and he was doing front blunt big spin out on the rail. Yep, he rips. Thanks for the smokes at the After-Party, Helder
It's just as hot there as it is in Florida right now. Except there they don't have air conditioning anywhere. Ice is also a luxury item. The Contest After-Party was in a room with no windows and no a/c, plus packed with people. I was one of many sweat soaked chillers drinking not so cold beer in that place. Kyle Berard said to hell with it and went shirtless
Ruben Rodrigues - nollie FSNG
Candy cane pants was ripping. This is Peter Molek on a back lip
Niels van der Zeeuw fell off in his runs, but he definitely placed high in practice. I like this kid. This is a front blunt on the hubba
Chris Troy without a beer or a spliff in his hand? Wow. Bluntslide on the hubba
Thanks to Volcom for hooking up an unlimited supply of Damn Tasty! pizza for free all weekend. David Loy takes advantage. In the background is the warehouse the skate park is in. It's in a huge old ship building warehouse on the third floor right above the pizza pile
Who dat? Frontside flip over the hip
Felipe Barea - 360 flip over the hip
A little bit of the view from the plane while flying into Amsterdam
This is the coast of Denmark while we were flying out of Copenhagen. Check out how the land just drops off on a cliff with no beach. It was like that for miles and miles
A burnt circle of friends - Tyler Adams-Hawkins, Chris Troy, and Rodney Johnson
I got lost for a while pedaling around the city with little Cody Davis on the back of my bike. It got a little sketchy for a bit, but we eventually found our way to the Contest After-Party. This is a kickflip back smith. Thanks for making the trip all the way out here, Cody
Who dat? Front feebs
Who dat? I don't know, but he's got some ill kicks I want. This kid rips. This is a nollie inward heel to nose manual
Does the snack bar at your local park look like this? Beer flowing and a cute Dutch chick to exchange words with every time you step up
Serious American lurkage going down - Chris Gregson, Adam Dyet, Dustin Blauvelt, Cody Davis, and Tyler Adams-Hawkins
After you're done checking Eero Antilla's flick to fakie, look to your upper right. Yeah, that's a disco ball and yeah, they have full blown disco parties at the Park. I saw a flyer for it
Axel Cruysberghs is like the Euro Sheckler who probably kickflipped his way out of the womb a little over ten years ago. This is a kickflip out of the quarter on to the bank
Phil Zwijsen is 360 flipping his way to 8th in the Street Finals
Woody Hoogendyk gets a congrats from his proud mom after his run in the Semi-Finals. I talked to his mom for a while. They live about an hour outside of Amsterdam and had to make last minute plans to stay overnight because they didn't expect Woody to make it to Sunday. Thanks to the Hoogendyk (especially Woody's cute older sister) for coming to the Contest
Eero Antilla - switch frontside flip over the hip
A random crowd shot. The judges sat on the roof above the Volcom banner. There's Woody's sister on the left with her friend. You should go talk to them
Bas Janssen, the Euro Colt Cannon, frontside flips his way to 6th place in the Finals
Lacey Baker won a thousand bucks two weeks ago at the Mystic Contest in Prague. She was just seven places away from loot here in Amsterdam in the Semi-Finals. This is a nollie heel over the hip
The prize purse of 15,000 Euros was given out in cash. They have 500 bills there. That's like a $650US bill. I'd like to light a cigar with that. Hans from Volcom Europe carted all that loot around in his backpack all weekend
Some young ladies with boyfriends in the Contest along with Rodney Johnson from Billabong
Adam Dyet - front blunt across the very popular rainbow box
Another attractive Euro skateboarding fan. Noel here was one of the cutest girls at the Contest
Marius Syvanen ended up in 5th in the Finals. This is a back lip on the rainbow box
Niels van der Zeeuw hard flipped the rail during Best Trick
Peter Molek switch frontside nosegrinded the rail during Best Trick
This is Henry Hofmann. He got last place on Saturday in the Street Qualifiers. While we were out there, Preston was helping us film a pilot for a TV show about all the SPoTlight Productions events. The show's called Last Place and is basically sort of a reality show on all these contests and events we do. Hopefully you'll see it on Fuel TV as a half hour show pretty soon if we can come up with 22 minutes of decent footage from every event
Lacey Baker goes for a disco ride on the trophies
Chris Troy got instant rock star status after the Contest and made a nice looking new friend for the night
That Amstersmoke was three times as large before this photo was taken. Adam Dyet used his Contest winnings to hook up a serious baseball bat for the circle of friends hanging out after the event
Top three on the Podium - Ruben Rodrigues, Justin Figueroa, and Chris Troy
Adam Dyet celebrates his Best Trick win on the streets of Amsterdam
Thanks to the Hale Family for making the trip to all our events. That's Collin Hale, Brian Schaefer, Paul Hale, Pam Hale, Cody Hale, Lacey Baker, and Ragin' Euro Asian
Can you ollie? Well, today's your lucky day if you're at the AmsterDamn Am. Here's a sample of some of the ladies hanging out. They're from Norway. Sorry about the PG13 censorship
Adam Dyet is having some Damn Tasty pizza and rolling a stick of AmsterDamn Am oregano with it
“That’s the worst idea that I’ve ever heard,” was what Deluxe TM Darin Howard said when he heard that we were hosting a Damn Am Contest in Amsterdam. It wasn’t like it was our idea though. Volcom wanted us to do a Damn Am in Europe and the most accommodating place that we could find in the short amount of time allotted just happened to be in Amsterdam.

Travel and Accommodations
I know that it seems like it’s a world away, but going to Europe really isn’t even that big of a deal. I’ve been on some flights to California from Florida that were longer and way more of a hassle with layovers and all than my flight to Amsterdam.

Once you get to Europe it’s quite easy to get around. There are trains, trams, and busses that run pretty much all of the time. From the airport you just hop a train and in 15 minutes you’re in downtown Amsterdam at Central Station. From there we could walk to our hotel. And walk we did. You walk and walk and walk everywhere here. Maybe that’s why Europeans aren’t as fat as Americans.

Not only do you walk, but you also climb. Some of the staircases are so steep that it seems like you’re climbing a ladder to get up them. Our first hotel room happened to be on the fourth floor…and it’s not like there was an elevator. Then our next room slept seven, but it’s not like there were separate bedrooms or anything…there we just seven beds in an area that should have housed about three.

Schaefer, Meronek, and P-Stone came out an entire week early to go to Prague. Next year I’m going to Prague, too, but this year I’ll have to settle for only Amsterdam. So the Contest was actually on Saturday and Sunday, but Kyle Berard, Adam Dyet, and I came out on the Sunday prior to the Contest to take in the Amsterdam experience.

The Culture
Take everything you’ve heard about Amsterdam and double it. Yes, prostitution and marijuana are legal here. There is an area called the Red Light District. That’s where you can get your hookers, but that’s also where all of the bars and many restaurants are located, too. If you’re into going pub to pub to drink beers then this is your place. There is new bar to cuddle up to every 50 ft., so that worked for me.

But there are only so many days in a row that you can do that all day, you know? By my third day here I was ready for the Contest to begin.

The Contest
Everland Skatepark is the name, and although it looks like it would be a privately owned park, it’s actually subsidized by the government…like many things in Holland. However, the park is managed by a nice girl by the name of Elske. From what I understand, she is the only employee of the park that draws a salary – everyone else is a volunteer. Pretty noble if you ask me.

The Park is situated in the northern part of town and you have to take a ferry to get to it from the downtown area. The ferry is free of charge and you can catch one every half hour. Once you get across the water you’re dropped off in an old industrial-type area that’s being turned into an area for the arts. Everland is part of this project that includes space for artists and students. The actual skating area is in a GIGANTIC old building that was probably used for building or repairing ships at some point. It’s quite a spectacular sight.

The skaters’ styles might be a bit different over here, but that doesn’t take away from how much they rip. Even though it was obvious that we weren’t from around their way, everyone was courteous and really cool to us. Some of the more entertaining moments of the weekend went down at the Registration Desk and over the microphone. We simply couldn’t communicate with everyone very well at all. Fortunately, nearly everyone speaks English and they gladly conformed to our lack of diverse language skills.

I could tell you who did what in the Qualifiers, but I still wouldn’t know their names anyway, so I’m just betting that Rob took an ample amount of photos to get the point of the skating across. And all anyone really cares about is the Finals anyway, right?

There were a total of nearly 80 skaters and we picked the top 30 on Saturday to advance to the Semi-Finals on Sunday. The top two qualifiers, Dustin Blauvelt and Marius Syvanen respectively, were awarded the Golden Tickets and were placed right into the Finals. The other 28 had to duke it out to make the final 10 cut.

When all of the dust settled, here’s how it broke down:

12th – 100 Euros – Axel Cruysberghs – European Nyjah killed it. He’s got some skills, a serious backside flip, and the style of a young Sheckler

11th – 100 Euros – Eero Antilla – Eero’s claim to fame is that he’s “Arto’s friend from Finland,” but he’s also got one of the smoothest styles and best kickflips to fakie ever

10th – 100 Euros – Collin Hale – our friend from Vermont with a huge bag of tricks made the trek across the pond with the entire family. He’s sitting next to me on the plane right now with his little bro Cody that only missed the Finals by one spot

9th – 200 Euros – David Loy – one of the illest little big men out there skated the course with authority and got extra ‘punk points’ for shooting his board up the vert quarter-pipe at full speed in protest of some goons that crossed the course and messed up his run

8th – 300 Euros – Phil Zwijsen – skated the course fast and gapped the big pyramid to fs 50/50 on the rail

7th – 400 Euros – Nick Dompierre – one of my favorites had runs that consisted of moves that would have placed him in a Best Trick Contest. He’s smooth, powerful, and under control, but he missed a couple of bangers and that left him in 7th

6th – 500 Euros – Bas Janssen – looked like a mix between Colt Cannon and Tim O’Connor and had one of the smoothest styles of all time

5th – 1000 Euros – Marius Syvanen – Marius is growing into his own. His style is amazing and his trick selection is on point – definitely a force to be reckoned with for a long time to come

4th – 1250 Euros – Dustin Blauvelt – straight outta’ Detroit to A-dam, Dustin and his pops had an epic trip in Europe and made some money for his 360 bs ollie down the big four among other moves and consistent skating

3rd – 1500 Euros – Chris Troy – my new favorite “the kid you love to hate” came correct with creative tricks and the most consistent big spin fs boardslide in the business. Hopefully he didn’t spend his whole bankroll at the Red Light

2nd – 2500 Euros – Justin Figueroa – soft-spoken kid from CA probably surprised himself with his placing. I barely know him, but he’s as nice as can be and can nollie into everything

1st – 5000 Euros – Ruben Rodrigues – I’ve never seen the movie, but apparently Ruben looks like the guy in American Pie. I do know that he’s got an amazing 360 flip – only saw him bail one over the long pyramid all day on Sunday. He’s also got switch kickflip frontside 270’s over the hip on lock. Bam! You win

Click here for all of the Results.

Best Trick
What better place to do a Best Trick Contest than on a round rail going down a big four? Imagine that. It was a 30-minute Jam and some serious ripping went down. Due to the sorta’ crappy microphones I think that there was possibly some confusion on when the Contest was actually over, so sorry if you thought that you should have won something, but didn’t…there’s a damn good chance you did it after time was called.

5th – 100 Euros – Helder Lima – mini-Darrell Stanton ain’t crazy, but he’s got a good backside noseblunt

4th – 200 Euros – Simo Makela – his switch 360 flip started off the Jam and set the pace as well

3rd – 300 Euros – Chris Troy – 3rd in both the Contest and Best Trick? Not bad…and not a bad fakie bigspin boardslide either

2nd – 400 Euros – Nick Dompierre – Nick skates big and his backside 270 ollie to boardslide was insane

1st – 500 Euros – Adam Dyet – possibly the most perfect kickflip back tail to fakie he’s ever done…and that’s saying something because Adam’s got that move on lock. It only took him two tries

It looks like we’re going to be doing this Contest again next summer. So start saving your dollars so you can convert them into Euros and lose some money. Seriously though, Amsterdam is an amazing city that everyone that loves to travel should experience. Special thanks to Jeb and Hans at Volcom Europe for making the Contest possible and Stevie and the boys at Volcom U.S. for getting it going. Thanks to Elske, Mike, and the rest of the staff at Everland for the use of the park. We appreciate the European skaters checking out what we do and for the American ones that traveled all that way for a Damn Am. See you next summer…