ASR, CrossRoads, & Hanging Out in CA Article at Skatepark of Tampa

ASR, CrossRoads, & Hanging Out in CA

Posted on Monday, September 14, 2009 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Ryan Clements and Rob Meronek

Clem's Photos and Captions
Didn't you know that Birdman has a great sense of humor? Backside smith on the extension of Carabeth Burnside's mini-ramp
Jesse Fritsch with fs 5-0 at Carabeth's, but I really wanted you to see that view of the Pacific in the background
That's Jared Pringle and he does all kinds of stuff behind the scenes at Tony Hawk, Inc.
This one is for Rob. Jesse handling the ultimate little kid trick
After the radio show, one of the employees at Tony Hawk, Inc. came in and handed Tony a large stack of papers that were awaiting his signature
Jesse showing off the newest "controller" to the Tony Hawk Ride video game
My feet up on Tony's desk. I just had to
I'm not really into anything past Galaga and Ms. Pac Man, but I was feeling the new Ride because the controller is pretty much a skateboard deck
Tony is super into his new game as his nephew and co-host on the radio show, John, watches
Jesse gets in a feeble to fakie on the spine at the Oceanside park just before the cops showed up. Apparently you have to wear helmets there, but no one does

Rob's Photos and Captions
I have never seen a backside noseblunt in person on a vert ramp. Bucky Lasek, thanks for the vert demo at Tony Hawk's ramp
This one I've seen Bucky do a lot in person, but it's always been in some baseball stadium or circus arena since the top vert skaters don't go to contests that are at places where regular skateboarders go
That's it for the vert photos. I missed my favorite trick that Alex Perelson does - frontside flip melon. Anyway, behind the vert ramp is little playground where due to somehow falling on my back with my hand underneath primo, I was sure I broke it. It's still swolen four days later but at least nothing's broken
Now we're at CrossRoads where you can find Jon Allie's Nova every time
Can you ollie? Well, come and join the chaos going down the stairs here. It was nuts with tons of randoms, but somehow people like Andrew Pott and Chris Cole snaked their way through and pulled a few tricks. It was impossible to shoot photos, especially with my folded hand. That's Brandon Westain't definitely not making a 360 flip Hail Mary
After a day of business was over, it was packed in the Black Box warehouse for the Best Trick Contests. I spy a heckling team manager with a bullhorn
Now we're at ASR, where the crowd is a bit different. The skullet is one of the rarest forms of mulletude
Volcom had some kind of Hawaiian theme going on. Are those short shorts acceptable in Australia? Ask Shane Azar
Justin Brock is the newest pro for Real. That's a gap to back tail on the escalator Best Trick obstacle
The other Best Trick obstacle was this Volcom stone ledge on the deck. Even if it's 80 feet high, that's still no excuse to blunt nose grab, especially if you're like 25. Puke
Next to the mini-ramp, there was a Desk Jockey Contest for all the sketchy skateboard industry Innetech office worker types. Uniforms were worn
I wonder what this guy's industry job is? I bet he pushes pencils as well as frontside grinds
That's Bama, TM at Black Box, powersliding through the totally tubular thing
On Monday this dude is going back to balance the books like this nose manual
Patillac skated Tampa Am way back in 2001. I remember how he used to pick the worst music ever for his runs. He's now the rep for Element in his local area
Adam Sullivan now works at Fuel TV. This grown ass man has teenager tricks on lock. That's a noseblunt slide on the box
Let's take a break and check out some of the randoms you can get if you follow SPoT on Twitter. We've got Darin with Justin Brock's new pro models that come with a foam finger under the shrink wrap, yet another wacky oriental at ASR, Jason Rothmeyer with the two trophies and bottles of Jager he won at the Desk Jockey Contest, Schaefer with Best Trick loot, Filmer Sara newly single and therefore looking to party, and Abdias Rivera on some aggressive make out
Jason Rothmeyer won the tech award for trickery on the box and also beat every one of these office geeks in a game of SKATE to win a second trophy
What was Matt Field doing in the office worker contest? The only time I've ever heard of him being in an office was when the executives from Adio/K2 were in a meeting with the iPath guys years ago discussing the potential purcahse of iPath. In the middle of this obviously serious and big time bid'niss meeting with the suits, Matt Field entered the boardroom smelling like a marijuana forest fire, then walked over to the wall, did a handstand, and remained propped upside down against the wall without saying a word. The deal never went through
Bama's good enough to be on any of the Black Box companies, but he prefers to go the Jamie Thomas Personal Assistant route. That's a frontside flip
Put Matt Field in an office environment and you get this
Now we're back at the mini-ramp for an early morning old guys session. That's Mark Muller from 3rd Lair. I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid and plenty even today, but I was never into them enough to get a Wolfie tattoo. Check Muller's arm out. Wow, Mark
The editor of Frontside Grind Magazine would have been salivating like Wolfie at this session. Who did the smith grind best? Ryan Clements or Brian Schaefer?
Kevin Marks is going to get the two page poster centerfold in Frontside Grind Magazine
Porpe has to wait another 10 years before getting the cover of Frontside Grind Magazine, but he's way ahead of his time since he's already skating like a 40-year-old at the tender age of 25
Frontside Grind Magazine OG Tony Magnusson
Scott Koerner from Portland has been with Dakine bags for eight years now leading their direction in skate over there. The editors of Frontside Grind Magazine do not allow your wheels to leave the ground so this frontside disaster doesn't make the cut
Old Wolfie's got a mean frontside tailslide, complete with the tongue hanging out
Clem is trying to break out of the Frontside Grind Magazine mold by practicing his kickflips. This one's a rocket straight to Mars
New, from the editors of Frontside Grind Magazine, comes Blunt Nosegrab Quarterly. BNQ will feature tykes dropped off at the skate park as a cheap substitute for babysitting doing the hottest grom moves such as 50-50 kickflip out and of course, blunt nosegrabs. Chase Webb gets the first cover
Know what the two page poster centerfold for BNQ magazine is? Yep, early grab mega-blasters as shown here
If my junior high sweetheart came to school looking like this, I would have to take back my friendship bracelet
Who dat? I'll be honest. I wanted to get a nice laugh out of a photo of this kid's super high knock-kneed stink bug frontside airs when I set up for this photo. Instead, he grabbed stale fish and it looks great. Keep your hands out from between your legs or you'll end up in BNQ magazine, son
Chase Webb rips. He doesn't really do blunt nosegrabs. We just asked him to do that as a joke for a photo. Check this frontside nosegrind pop in. That'll keep you out of BNQ
Tyson Bowerbank is growing up and looking good. That's a frontside flip disaster
Niel Heddings has some kind of gluefoot when it comes to his frontside ollies
Chaz Pineda - gap crailslide
Chase Webb looks like he just saw a ghost in every photo. That's a gap crooked grind
Dan Pensyl is now joining us as a judge at selected SPoTlight Productions shindigs
When it comes to fully gross and disgusting looking skateboarding, there's good gross and bad gross. This Skreech dude is good gross. It's pretty entertaining watching someone you're expecting to bail somehow pull a sketchy rideaway from a trick
Curren Caples - that's how you do a frontside air
Louie Lopez did 50-50 from the deck on to the Volcom stone and into the ramp
Chad Knight doesn't need a nosegrab to blunt fakie the Volcom stone
Andrew Langi's looking like a vert skater on the ESPN podium holding his board up like that. I guess he rides for Mystery now?
Two Days in Southern California
After the long-ass ride to California on my motorcycle, I spent the remainder of Monday hanging with my pal Derewenko. We skated a park in San Diego called Memorial and ran into (I’m about to name drop) Matt Mumford, Peter Raffin, and Ed Dominick, marketing dude at Adio. Come to find out, Matt Mumford rides for Adio now. How about that?

The rest of that evening was spent at hipster joints in the North Park section of San Diego, which was just a preface of the epic days to come because Tuesday morning I rode up to (more name dropping) Jesse Fritsch’s house and we went out to lunch with none other than Birdman himself, Tony Hawk. Being all full of BBQ meant that it was the perfect time to skate a mini-ramp, specifically Cara Beth Burnside’s mini-ramp. That session included a nice view of the Pacific I might add.

Later on in the afternoon I was a privileged guest on the Tony Hawk Demolition Radio program on Sirius, where an hour is spent talking about pretty much anything that comes to mind. Jesse and I finally ended the day with a little session at the Oceanside Skate Park. Not a bad second day. It really felt like a vacation.

I got my third epic morning in southern California started right with a nice motorcycle ride up to Black Box for CrossRoads, which is their version of a skateboarding trade show. Hands were shaken, backs were patted, and deals were made. It was a good vibe with all of the right heads in attendance. The Chief himself was out shaking hands and kissing babies to make sure that everyone felt at home while visiting his home.

I must admit that I wasn’t feeling the free burgers and dogs, so Rob, Jorge, and I headed out for some lunch and ended up back at (name dropping warning) Tony Hawk, Inc., the warehouse that houses Birdhouse, Tony’s gigantic vert ramp, and everything else that is part of the Tony Hawk empire. The vert session was absolutely going off with the likes of Bucky, Sandro Dias, Zak Miller, Andy Mac, a few others, and last but not least...Alex Perelson. Alex’s skating will blow your mind. Rob was so psyched that he shot photos of vert and I commented that the session was better than the last five Tampa Pro Vert Contests!

We couldn’t resist, so us non-vert skaters ended up on the street course where Rob nearly broke his hand, indicating that we should break out and head back to CrossRoads for the Best Trick Contests. The Best Tricks got started at 6pm and weren’t over until 10pm. That’s pretty crazy. There were four of them total:
  • Stairs/Handrail – this was complete and total chaos and went on for at least an hour
    • Andrew Pott – I think he won it with a hardflip feeble down the rail and a switch flip body varial down the stairs
    • Aquil Brathwaite – told me he got 2nd with the double kickflip to fs boardslide on the rail
  • Barrel Jump – a very entertaining carcass toss to say the least and Kechaud Johnson told me that next day that he jumped 14 barrels, taking home $2,000
  • Flat Bar Over the Water Gap – I completely missed this one because I left at the end of the Barrel Jump, but I heard that it was good
  • Rainbow Rail Over the Water Gap – missed this one, too
Overall I left CrossRoads with a feeling of satisfaction that the skateboarding industry homies will make things happen when that’s what’s needed.

The progression of our purpose of attending ASR has changed drastically in the past decade. We used to come and hit up sponsors for Tampa Am and Tampa Pro funding. Then the party years ensued where we spent a lot of time drinking. Now we’ve ushered in the age of mostly work and a lot of meetings. I had obligations from early in the morning until late in the evening pretty much all three days. Not complaining…just saying.

Besides the meetings, we had some damn good skateboarding to witness on the mini-ramp the first day of the show. Since I’m on a roll with dropping a lot of names, I will continue by letting you know that Justin Brock, Dan Pensyl, Stevie Reeves, Louie Lopez, and stylish Australian Jack Fardell were all in attendance and performed some great stunts on their skateboards. We had $1,000 courtesy of Volcom and ASR to give the guys for their efforts, but the main event was the next day.

Volcom Mini-Ramp Jam
The prior night ended with a meeting until 10pm and started bright and early with a meeting at 7:30am. Oh man. But next it was time to witness some great skateboarding and give away nearly $7,000 in the process. Not a bad purse for a couple of 20-minute Best Trick Contest, right? There were two obstacles: One was an escalator that abruptly ended with a 3’ gap and then continued with an extension. The other was simply an 8’ tall Volcom Stone positioned next to the tallest extension of the ramp. There was a big crowd ready to see some great skating and Volcom kept the scene hyped:

Escalator Best Trick
  • 1st - $1,000 – David Loy – smith grind up the escalator to gap to tailslide on the extension…and he really slid it
  • 2nd - $800 – Andrew Langi – he did several grinds up the escalator to gap over the channel onto the extension, including fs 5-0, nosegrind, and feeble
  • 3rd - $500 – Shawn Hale – gap from extension to fs feeble down the escalator
  • 4th - $400 – Dan Pensyl – gap from extension to feeble fakie down the escalator
  • 5th - $300 – Ryan Reyes – gap from extension to bluntslide down the escalator
Volcom Stone Best Trick
  • 1st - $1,000 – Andrew Langi – as if the fs pivot, nosepick, and smith on top of the Stone weren’t enough, Langi took the smith to gnar
  • 2nd - $800 – Jack Fardell – fs 5-0 transfer from low to high and using the Stone
  • 3rd - $500 – Shawn Hale – feeble grind frontside 270 out from low to high on the tall extension
  • 4th - $400 – Neal Mims – fs smith and regular crooks from low to high on the extensions extension, but the ollie from the extension to the Stone and then into the ramp was the kicker
  • 5th - $300 – Chaz Pineda – nice to see him back and give him some money for the fs 50-50 all the way across the extension to fs grabber in
As the Contest ended, the party started at the Volcom booth with the free beer and tunes. The only way it was going to end was when security pulled the plug at 6pm and everyone got the boot from the Convention Center. From there, yes, you guessed it, straight to another meeting.

Now it’s Saturday morning and the meetings are all over...and we head back to Tampa this evening. Hats off to ASR for taking such good care of us guys at Skatepark of Tampa and SPoTlight Productions. We truly appreciate the respect. Volcom, you guys did it again. The “island” theme got us all in a jovial mood and provided for good times. See you again in January, San Diego...


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