DC King of Chicago 2009 Article at Skatepark of Tampa

DC King of Chicago 2009

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Straight to partying after arriving last night, DJ Wade's night continues to roll into the early hours of the morning. There's that one building they have in Chicago
Jeff Pang with exposure tricks, DJ Wade, and Jimmy Astleford. We're in some Chicago dive bar playing good hip hop and skate videos
Our favorite Mexican, Paul Flores, is making it look warm and normal here in Chicago with just a t-shirt on. This is the last you'll see of that t-shirt all weekend, however
Apparently it's snowing right now in Minneapolis where Tabari Cook is from, so he probably thinks it's warm. It felt like it was snowing in my shoes and gloves all weekend. This little two stair and king sized ledge was the first zone on Saturday
There's a whole lotta black going on right here. That's our new friend Norman Woods. Next time I go to Chicago, I'm wearing a wetsuit like him to stay warm
This guy reminds me of the Chicago Stalker Steve lens lurking in the bushes
Jason Rothmeyer, John Muldoon, and Bob Reynolds - thanks for judging through the cold
Clay Stein - bluntslide
Shane Browning - call, cold crook
It's almost Halloween. Bring your pumpkin for autographs
I remember Mikey Sanchez killing it at King of LA last year. He came to Chicago and did the same
Seen Blabac's photo book yet? It's a classic for the coffee table for sure. Good to see he's not too cool to shoot photos at a shop sponsored contest at zero degrees
Corey Huber was definitely one of the stand-outs for the weekend. He ended up winning $500 this weekend and is going to use it to come straight to Tampa Am in December. Watch out for this dude that weekend
Jeff Pang helped out on the mic. If you were in the crowd, thanks for coming
Connor Champion crooked grinds the tall ledge while DGKalis comes in hot right after
I heard this neighborhood was Puerto Rican gangsterish. Is this one of those dudes?
I spy beanies, jackets, hoodies, sweatshirts, freezing people, and one shirtless ass Mexican, Paul Flores
DGKalis just saw something good go down. There was so much ripping skating that I missed due to icicle hands not working
This was the second zone for Saturday, a long five stair set. That's Corey Huber kickflipping it. By this point, I was limping from the Arctic storm going on in my shoes
Shane Browning - 360 flip
Tyson Reynolds is another one to look out for. That's a switch heel down the long five. Hope to see you in Tampa, Tyson
Next up on Sunday is this deck to two wall gaps, short and long
This rail is the other zone for Sunday. Alex Carrera is already jumping on it way before the Contest starts
Here's your run-up to that rail. A little crooked, pretty rough, 80 below zero
Corey Huber's got it on the big rails, too. Frontside boardslides were his warm-up
I would imagine slamming on this ground in the sub-zero temps feels similar to getting stabbed in the eye. Norman Woods isn't phased
Corey Huber - smith grind
Some scenes from around the high school the Contest was at
This dog looked real comfy. I wanted to slice him open with a light saber like Luke Skywalker and use him to keep warm
Mikey Sanchez - crooked grind
Corey Huber never made this frontside feeble in time. He sure worked for it, though
Your chief announcer ninja, Brian Schaefer
I missed so much stuff on that rail due to non-working frozen fingers. Next up is the wall gaps. That's Warren Devarennes warming up. Warming. Yeah, right
Shaun Turner - cab
Paul Flores is not helping me explain how cold it is with this shirtless frontside flip
High fives to everyone who ripped in the freezer all weekend
I didn't get any photos of CJ Tambornino who won it. Wow, I suck
Jeff Pang, Mike Blabac, Brian Schaefer - let's go get warm now
You know what warms you up? Sauce. Those tickets Pang has are the key
The bar we were at was called the Tilted Kilt. It was like a Hooters with an Irish theme. Check out those server outfits
Let' do some rounds with Clements. First up, Warren Devarennes and Clem
Tyson Reynolds and Clem
Corey Huber and Clem
Local lensman Ely and Clem
Cody Hale and Clem
Trevor Colden and Clem
Alex Carrera and Clem
Norman Woods and Clem
Tyson Reynolds and I need to start a hair band
Bob Reynolds and Alex Yang from DC. He definitely knows kung fu
Paul Flores is still shirtless! Thanks DC for another great time, ripping skating, and introducing us to a full gang of new friends
Having never been to Chicago before, it was a great opportunity for Jenna and I to be tourists for a couple of days. With the event starting on Saturday, we showed up late Wednesday evening to get our tourism on. Thursday was spent eating amazing food in artsy districts, checking out the Navy Pier, driving through the diverse neighborhoods, and having dinner 95 floors above the city in the John Hancock Building.

The city is very alive and the people are very friendly. It’s like a mini-New York, but it’s not miniature at all…the place is huge and the neighborhoods go on and on. We drove along Lake Michigan, which seems much more like an ocean or sea than a lake, but the most exciting for me was checking out Wrigley Field, the famous baseball stadium and home of the Cubs. Wrigley is literally located right in the middle of a neighborhood. You’re driving past houses and next thing you know…boom, there’s a stadium. The area is also filled with cool bars and restaurants, so we chose to visit a few of the sports-oriented Irish bars, of course.

Most of Friday was spent nursing a hangover and wondering if the rain was ever going to stop. I think that I didn’t notice how cold it was out because we busy trying not to get wet for extended periods of time, but when the clouds cleared on Saturday for the Contest, I learned what it was like to not be able to feel your feet due to cold temperatures. The locals were like, “It’s not even that cold. This is nice!” But being from Florida, our blood is thin and we chill very quickly.

The Event
The DC “King of” Series works like this: They have Qualifiers in different areas all around the country. For example, there was one in New York, LA, Portland, one at our home of Skatepark of Tampa, and several other cities. All of those top skaters then converge on Chicago to battle it out to be crowned King. Additionally, DC accounts in the Chicago area were permitted to enter some skaters, too.

The main concept behind the “King of” is that it’s hosted on an already-existing spot in the city of choice. DC “rents” the spot, maybe makes an improvement or two, and then hosts the event. The King of Chicago took place at Roberto Clemente High School, which is very reminiscent of a crusty-ass east coast spot. There were just over 50 skaters that were broken down into six, 10-minute heats that skated on a total of four sections.

One Saturday, two zones were skated, the “Two Stair & Ledge” and the “Bank to Ledge & Long Stair.” On Sunday, two more zones were ripped, the “Long Flat Rail & Ledge” and “Party Deck Wall Short & Long Gap.” The participants’ scores were based on each individual section and then totaled up for each day. So if you killed the Two Stair & Ledge with a 100 and bombed the Bank to Ledge & Long Stair with a 0 on Saturday, your average was a 50. A 50 will not get you a damn thing because the awards were given out per day, not per obstacle, and the King was crowned on overall performance based on his skating during both days and on all four obstacles. Sound complicated? It’s really not, and truly is a fun-ass concept and great way to run a contest.

Saturday (Tech Zone) – “Two Stair” & Ledge and “Bank to Ledge & Long Stair”
  • 1st - $1,000 – C.J. Tambornino – representing Cal Surf out of Minneapolis, CJ handled business and did harder tricks than anyone
  • 2nd - $500 – Corey Huber – everyone from Pit Crew in Maryland is legit
  • 3rd - $400 – Norman Woods – he’s 24, out of LA, and we had never seen him before since he had never previously participated in a SPoTlight event
  • 4th - $300 – Julian Christianson – the first time I ever saw him was at GvR a year or two ago. He killed it there and showed that he’s progressing nicely with his performance over the weekend
  • 5th - $200 – Cody Hale – the younger brother of Colin is making Talent Skate Park proud
  • 6th - $100 – Shaun Turner – “bundled up” is the only thing I can remember about Shaun. As you can probably tell, I announced and didn’t take any notes on the skaters’ tricks. Hopefully Rob got plenty of pics though
Sunday (Gnar Zone) – “Long Flat Rail & Ledge” and “Party Deck Wall Short & Long Gap”
  • 1st - $1,000 – Alex Carrera – he skated fast and did a fs feeble on the tall-ass rail like it was nobody’s business
  • 2nd - $500 – Norman Woods – how funny is it that DJ Wade knows Norman from the LA party scene, but didn’t even know that he “really” skated until this weekend?
  • 3rd - $400 – Julian Christianson – I think that Julian got bummed on some of our microphone comments, but showed that he’s got a good sense of humor when he did the bennihana over the wall gap
  • 4th - $300 – Cody Hale – we haven’t seen any of the Hale’s recently, so it was rad to have Vermont in the house with Cody’s presence
  • 5th - $200 – Mikey Sanchez – straight out of Long Beach and into a crooked grind on the long, tall handrail
  • 6th - $100 – C.J. Tambornino – frontside nosegrind nollie flip out in the last second possible on the ledge into the handicapped bank
King of Chicago – CJ Tambornino
Walking away with an oversized check that read in the amount of $5,000 was CJ Tambornino. The overall scores were tallied and his averages were higher than anyone else’s, therefore crowning him King. Quick CJ story: He’s got “GRATITUDE” tattooed just below his beltline. You’ll have to personally ask him why he chose to get that the next time you run into him because I’m not at liberty to let you know the reason.

I always feel like I’m kissing DC’s ass way too much when I say “thank you” to them, but really, they do go above and beyond to accommodate everyone and everything needed for a successful event. From flying the winners from the different regions to Chicago to picking up our bar tabs, thanks so much to Alex Yang, Jefferson Pang, and Bob Reynolds for always being so damn easy and fun to work with. Thanks to Jason Rothmeyer and John Muldoon for also holding down the judging with Bob. DJ Wade did a great job of spinning the beats as usual. And the rest of the DC crew handled all of the setting up, breaking down, and everything in between. Thanks fellas. Most importantly, thank you to the great skateboarders of Chicago…we really felt at home in your town. Ryan


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