Red Bull Manny Mania ATL Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Red Bull Manny Mania ATL

Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 by Rob

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

We went straight to Atlanta's spot called The Foundation. When I look at this old, run down mini-ramp, I think of all the good times that must have been had on it before it was left for dead. I also think about all the stink bugs and blunt nosegrabs for a nice chuckle. We were all children once and that's were we will all return
If you're going to grab the nose, best be like Clements here and make it a legit old school trick. This one's called a tail block. You can do this when you're three or 30. See more examples of this on the Tail Block Trick Page
Here's a wide view of The Foundation and all the DIY goodness
Both Schaefer and I have been legally drinking for 17 years and skating many more than that. That's old. We both just did our first ever pole jam this weekend at The Foundation. It's a little late to be learning that, huh? I've been avoiding them for ages because I have some kind of psychological fear of round bars. Glad I finally got that out of the way. Thanks for the encouragement, Schaefer
Ron Deily has the best tan in skateboarding. That's a no comply pole jam
When your rock and rolls are on the deck like that, you are a fully grown skateboard man
Ryan Dodge joined us in Atlanta this weekend to help with judging. Our pole jam efforts don't look so amazing when Dodge is doing them switch here. Thanks for hooking up the In4mation promo for the Contest, Dodge
Dodge has the hot foot needed for quick lip tricks on this tight tranny to wall. This is a frontside disaster. A short time after this, my camera took a crap and I missed photos of everyone else who showed up. As you can see by Ryan's story, it was a pretty amazing session
I spy a life-sized Barbie/Ken doll. The manny pad had several sections for an infinite variation of two wheeled tech
Keelan Dadd was killing it before any crowds showed up. That's a switch flip manual
Clyde spent a short time on the mic before disappearing
Connor Champion just started entering Damn Am and Tampa Am last year. Crooked grind pop over manual? Yep, he rips. Hope to see more of this dude. He's got a full arsenal of ignorant ass hip hop lyrics and got us all up to speed on our crappy radio rap knowledge. Thanks, Connor. Schaefer just purchased Gucci Mane today
The FSEC (Former SPoT Employee Club) was rolling thick in ATL. Dave Cruz is a card carrying member
Another FSEC memeber, Aaron Brown, is doing frontside pop shuv to manual here. There's so many in the FSEC crew that I can't remember which members are voluntary and involuntary
It's funny how some people can get away with things like neon socks and shorts simply because of their all smiles personality. Matt Fink is one of those people. There was plenty of microphone banter about those glowsticks, though
Dan Plunkett has a nose manual on command on this rollercoaster after Clements mentioned on the mic that no one had done it all day
I really need a camera that shoots faster sequences. This amazing manual to 360 flip out isn't quite caught correctly with five frames a second. Dan Plunkett sure won me over as a favorite am this weekend
There were some tech cameras and some not so tech cameras. Or, is that a pogo stick?
Anthony Williams recently did one of those head scratching board company changes
Check out the 7th frame of Keelan Dadd's switch heel manual. There's no faking that style like you can in a roll-away. It was unquestionable for Keelan to win
Keelan Dadd - nollie pop shuv manual
Anthony Williams - nollie flip manual
Stevie Williams still knows how to pick them. Not everyone else similar to him from the same era knows the same
I wonder if the Red Bull trophy girls know what a manual is. They probably think it's the instruction book for skateboarding
I made sure you couldn't see Matt Fink's socks in these photos, but then again, that shirt...
Prizes included a Red Bull hug
Congrats Keelan Dadd
It's now time for the chill cam dump portion of this trip. Josh Stewart is showing Ron Deily footage of his farmer tan
This place we went to see De La Soul is the sister club of the former Masquerade in Ybor
De La Soul didn't come on until nearly 1am when I was fully wasted from all those double sized beers. No one in the crew waited around for them so I hung out for a few songs then met up at the next bar
At the next bar I found a full blown dude dance party as seen in the chill cam video. That's Shad Lambert here with the Deathwish crew
Wow, Graham Bickerstaff, where ya been?
ATL local David Clark was ready for tomorrow night's mustache party
Thanks to whoever was buying my drinks. See you soon, ATL
We got a last-minute invite a little over a month ago to head up to Atlanta to help out our pals at Red Bull with hosting Manny Mania. Having just been up there back in June, I was more than willing to make the trip to enjoy the cool skateboarding scene that our friends to the north have developed.

We arrived late Friday morning and met up with everyone at Embassy Suites in Downtown. You know how it is when you’re rolling deep with a crew of about 15…nothing ever happens quickly. After a long lunch at Manual’s Tavern, a very cool spot with $3 lunch specials, we headed over to Atlanta’s very own DIY spot, The Foundation.

You’ve probably seen footage or photos of this place before, but it’s literally a foundation of a long-gone building with some cement obstacles scattered around. Whoever got the ball rolling with this project definitely didn’t know how to pour/lay concrete, but really, that didn’t matter too much because the location and scene is just so damn cool there.

The session lasted for a few hours. At one point there were probably 30 or more people there and I commented, “This is probably more people than we have at Skatepark of Tampa at the moment!” We got to see locals like Dan Plunket and Grant Taylor and then the DGK crew rolled up with Marcus McBride and Rodrigo Lima…very interesting to say that least, but Grant was the ruler of the session. You’ve really just got to see it in person because it’s not the tricks, but the way he does it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the skate scene in ATL is tight. I really like it up there.

As the evening crept up on us we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and head out to dinner. The final stop of the night was The Masquerade, a somewhat-legendary Atlanta nightclub, to see De La Soul. But by about 11:45pm I was completely over it, so I threw up a smoke bomb and exited.

Morning came quickly since we had to be on site at 8am, and after a complimentary breakfast at the Ruth’s Chris in Embassy, we were off to the site of the event, Atlanta Underground. Downtown was very quiet early on Saturday morning, with mostly bums/street people walking around the temporarily-desolate area. But as we approached Underground, there were easily 50 Red Bull employees causing all sorts of commotion by setting up tents, couches, and tables all around a perfectly constructed manny pad set-up, built by Jona and the Hazard County Construction crew.

Contests that begin at 11am usually don’t start on time due to late arrivals, but we got the first heat going just before 11:30am…and boy was it hot and humid. It was definitely comparable to summer weather in Tampa and that’s nothing to be too excited about skating in during the afternoon hours. There were eight heats of skaters that rode for 10 minutes each, with the top 10 overall advancing to the Semi-Finals. Then the top four from the Semis got taken to the final, four man, 20-minute jam. That means that those four skaters that made it all the way to the end rode for total of 40 contest minutes. That’s not an easy task and they were obviously exhausted at the end of the Finals. Here’s how it broke down:
  • 10th – Dom Johnson – we haven’t seen him in a while, so it’s nice to have Dom back. If he had landed the kickflip bs lip fakie manny and kickflip fs blunt manny he would have placed much higher
  • 9th – Adam Kowzun – this guy had a resemblance to Yoshi, but definitely skated much better
  • 8th – Sturgill Horn – he looks like he’s probably more comfortable slashing a pool than doing a half cab manny to bs 180 fakie manny 180 out, but apparently Sturgill can do it all
  • 7th – Chris Head – I’m sorry, but I can’t remember a single thing this guy from Ruin did, but that’s because I was announcing and not taking notes
  • 6th – Travis Glover – always super-smooth, I personally liked the manny on the whoop-de-woo to backside lipslide
  • 5th – Connor Champion – Fat Bob’s boy with a great attitude and personality, not to mention a solid crooks pop over to nose manny
  • 4th – Anthony Williams – west coast, east coast…Anthony and his smooth style seem to spend time all over the place, just like we do
  • 3rd – Dan Plunkett – originally from Pittsburgh, the ATL transplant and DTE-LOC representative may just be the best skateboarder in the area
  • 2nd – Matt Fink – he’s just one of those guys that brings smiles and laughter to any session. When we were giving out the prizes he was yelling, “Skatepark of Tampa!”
  • 1st – Keelan Dadd – switch hardflip manual on command and a nollie double heel nose manny got Keelan a 92.33 in the Qualifiers and a 95 in the Finals. There was no denying that he dominated
Immediately following the Contest and Awards, we packed it up and bolted straight to the airport. After not being home for the past five Sundays in a row, Rob, Brian, and I wanted to remember what it was like to be in Ybor City for a Saturday night. Fortunately, we made it onto the earlier flight that I’m writing this story on right now. It’s always nice when things work out to one’s advantage.

Thanks to all of our friends at Red Bull…the hospitality was awesome and it was great hanging with you guys. Also, thanks to Clyde Singleton for helping out on the mic prior to getting his privileges revoked. Finally, thanks to all of the skaters of Atlanta for making us feels so at home in your great city. See you next time.


Chill Cam Footage

We spent the afternoon at the Foundation in Atlanta then went to the Masquerade to see De La Soul after which we danced. Yes, yet another dude dance party. It's okay, we don't live in this town. Bonus old man skate footage: Schaefer and Meronek first pole jam ever.


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