Eric Koston’s eS Game of SKATE Pro Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Eric Koston’s eS Game of SKATE Pro

Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2005 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements

Every skateboarder loves a good game of SKATE. I would venture to say that it’s the most common form of skateboarding competition. It’s played in every driveway, schoolyard, and skate park around the world, so eS decided to go around the world and find those that are the best players.

Mark Waters and his posse held games of SKATE all over the United States, Canada, and even in Europe and Australia. The winners of those games got flown to ASR to compete in the official World Amateur Game of SKATE Championship. To make a long story short, the winner of that one was Jack Cook from Melbourne, Australia, and he got to skate in Eric Koston’s eS Game of SKATE, which, in my opinion, is the highlight of the ASR weekend every September.

The actual Game of SKATE lasted only a little over two hours. When it was all said and done, Jim Bates was crowned the champ. Who is Jim Bates, you ask? Well, I’ve been seeing Bates around for a few years now. He used to ride for Status and actually had a pro model with his name on it back when they were in business. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything to him other than ‘hello,’ but he doesn’t seem to talk much anyway. I seriously doubt that he gets any sort of skateboarding paycheck nowadays, but he put a whooping on everyone out there and came up $15,000. Nice work, Jim, but you’re still weird. To add insult to injury, he skated the entire time holding a water bottle!

Rob viewed select Games and documented every single trick that went down in those. He’ll have those posted ASAP, but here are a few things from my perspective in the meantime:
  • It’s cool to see guys like Chico Brenes skate in events like this one. That dude is legendary status and pretty undercover contest-wise. Also, seeing a veteran pro like Chico skate flat-ground is a great reminder of why he has attained that legendary status.
  • P.J. Ladd was hanging out, but didn’t skate. I don’t really get that one.
  • Nate Sherwood was only practicing and told me he wasn’t entering. Then he came back over and told me that Koston told him he had to enter. He got taken out really quickly and ended the day by focusing his board in front of everyone.
  • Everyone that Koston played was bummed. Waters would announce, “Koston vs. whomever in lane one,” and that skater would have a look like, “You’re kidding me...I have to play Koston? Damn.” Jim Bates didn’t have that look.
  • As you know, Bates took out Koston. Here’s what Sparkles couldn’t pull:
    • Ollie impossible – Are you kidding me? Gimme’ an S!
    • Frontside flip – At this point I thought Koston was just messing around. Gimme’ a K!
    • Half-cab tre flip – Okay, this one’s a tough one, so I can see how Koston could have missed it. I figured by this time that he was starting to think, “I might lose this one.” Gimme’ an A!
    • Cab kickflip – The one Bates did was kind of hurting, but he still made it and Koston fell. Gimme’ a T!
    • Fakie inward heelflip – Granted, this is a tough one, but I thought Sparkles had it. In fact, he didn’t have a chance because Bates dominated the entire Game. Gimme’ an E! The crowd couldn’t believe it and neither could I.
  • At one point Johnny Layton was skating against Koston and he gave Koston a letter on triple kickflip. Koston was so impressed that he started trying them after he beat Johnny and asked, “Where do I put my foot?”
Check out Rob’s detailed analysis below.


eS Game of SKATE 2005 Pro
Words and Photos by Rob Meronek

Jim Bates took Koston out with a fakie inward heel. When Carlin and Bates both had T, Carlin threw down a perfect nollie frontside big heel. I’ve never even seen that trick. The crowd went nuts and figured it was over. Then Bates made it, even though it was an inch off the ground with no pop anywhere to be found. Maybe he was keeping it in that water bottle he skated with the whole time. Then Carlin missed a trick, which handed the starting over to Bates. Bates did a nollie flip backside 360, or at least that’s what you call it when someone like Jimmy Carlin does it. When Bates did it, it was more like a nollie flip backside 180, pivot around and oh what the hell, just call it a 360. Keep your pop in that water bottle, too. I’m just saying if they were counting style, Carlin would be on top.

I spent a few hours after the Game of SKATE doing these full trick listings of the best match-ups showing who got what letters on what tricks, but then my computer crashed and I lost it all. I also lost all my notes on what the tricks were in each of the photos. I'm over it. A few photos from the day are below. Check out more coverage at and, including some video footage.

Windsor James had to play the am winner (Jack Crook) in the first round. Windor lost to Jack on that one
Tony Tave's switch flips look just as good as his regular flips. Anthony Shetler took out Tony in the second round
The final three: Jimmy Carlin, Jim Bates, and Mikemo Capaldi
Rodrigo Peterson's switch frontside 360's were looking super good. He got beat in the first round by Josh Kalis
Sierra Fellers is a very consistent flatground skater. Jon Goemann took him out in the second round
Aaron Snyder made it to the second round, but got beaten by last year's am winner, AJ Burnett
Shuriken Shannon got taken out by Mikemo Capaldi in the second round
Eric Koston
Eric Koston
Eric Koston
Ryan Clements holds the flag during the National Anthem
Eric Koston and Scuba exchanging commentary on the Game
The traditional close up of Eric Koston's kicks
Jon Goemann was one of the last people at the table in the Bones Poker Tournament. Not sure if he won, but at least he got past Nate Sherwood in the first round in the Game of SKATE. He then got taken out by Sierra Fellers
Danny Fuenzalida got taken out by Dylan Rieder in the second round
Antwuan Dixon lands on the bolts every time. He ended up getting taken out by Sierra Fellers in the first round. Check his part in Baker 3
Chico Brenes is a damn good flat ground skater
Eric Koston thanks and congratulates Jim Bates
Mikemo Capaldi has the high snaps, too
Look at how much pop Jimmy Carlin has. The only time Jim Bates' board is that high in the air is when he's carrying it
Some chick was walking around using her tight shorts as a marketing tool. That's so sexist, just like these photos. Luckily, Braydon's nakedness in our room provides some content for the ladies
The Boost chicks would walk around with the letter that someone just got like it was a boxing match or something. Those girls had about as much personality as a rock
Jim Bates doesn't really smile much. He took home $15,000 for winning. I'd have to have surgery to have the smile removed from my face if that happened to me
Nate Sherwood and Jim Bates should start their own company together
What's Jim Bates doing here? I don't remember, but I do know it should be higher off the ground
Results from the eS Game of SKATE presented by Boost Mobile.


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