This year, my trip to Tampa was a no frills, just go for the contest kind of trip. I got down to Tampa on Saturday afternoon around 4 or 5, so unfortunately I missed seeing some people skate that I wish I hadn't missed, including Jacksonvillians Chris Kendall, Neal Mims, and Mike Peterson. Still, I did get to catch some good stuff, even if I didn't get a perfect spot for photos due to my tardiness. At least I got to see dudes like Jake Duncombe killing the course. Also rad to see in attendance - A good portion of the old Shorty's crew, including Peter Smolik, Brandon Turner, and Sam Baptista. After the prelims were done, I stuck around and got to see Dennis Busenitz and Kenny Anderson shredding the park well after the last runs. I don't know what the hell Busenitz eats to get his energy, but I want some of that.
Dennis Busenitz, 270 on the hip
Omar Salazar, backside tailslide on the wallride
Paul Rodriguez on his way to the win
Luan Oliveira - He won Tampa Am 2 years and a row, and almost won Tampa Pro this year.
Saturday night I headed down to Ybor for a bit. First thing I did was hit up the Columbia Restaurant with my lady upon recommendation by Justin Riner. This place was seriously the best place I've eaten in a good while. (If you live in Jacksonville, you are in luck, because there is another location not too far away in St. Augustine.) After that we were off to hang out with the Board City crew and white Nate at the Czar bar. It was an alright time, but I wasn't really feeling the music. I was stoked to run into Rob Meronek and bought him a shot of god knows what. I think it was peppermint cough syrup. After that we headed out to the Reservoir bar to watch women get paddled on the ass and to read gay magazines. Well, just kidding about that last part. But they do have a good selection of them by the door if you are so inclined. It's a rad bar and great for skateboarder types, so stop by next time you are in Ybor.
Tyrone Olson, Bill Weiss
Fabrizio, Kevin Taylor, and Gershon Mosely
Adam Dyet and Photographer, zineographer Steve Ayers
Brandon Turner and Peter Smolik represented Skate Mafia while Jake Brown told me "It's Clobberin' Time".
Sheckler had some sick tricks but I didn't really see him put a big run together. Here, he did a perfect backside flip across the pyramid, and came back and did a perfect frontside flip.
The sunday finals were amazing as usual, though I was bummed to see that Jacksonville homie Mike Peterson missed the cut by getting 11th place in the prelims. In addition to P-Rod's perfect runs, I was stoked to see one of my faves, Peter Ramondetta ripping the course a new one. Torey Pudwill had some solid tricks, including a nice looking backside lipslide to tail across the box and some nice long slides on the CCS hubba ledge. Luan Oliveira had some impressive tricks, including HUGE flip tricks over the hip. When all was said and done in the the street run contest, Paul Rodriguez came out on top, with perfect runs and some sick switch tricks all over the park.
The Best trick contest was sick, but chaotic as hell with people coming from both ways to throw down on the tech center. Matt Miller took the win, he did a backside noseblunt slide AND a frontside one across the whole length of the high marble ledge. Dude was hauling ass when he did it, too.
Matt Miller's winning trick
Justin Brock and Eric Koston
Busenitz, frontside flip.
Ryan Clements and Jeff Pang Speaking at the Podium.
Fan Favorite Award: Peter Ramondetta
Thanks for Showing Up: Neal Mims. Nice to meet you, homie!
Top 3, Keegan Sauder, Paul Rodriguez, and Nyjah Huston.
In closing, I'd like to thank Ryan Clements, Brian Schaefer and the Skatepark of Tampa for having me, and all the skaters who supported the contest by showing up. It was a rad time. Oh, and thanks to Mike Peterson for the interview. See you all next year!
- 1. Paul Rodriguez – $20,000
- 2. Nyjah Huston – $15,000
- 3. Keegan Sauder – $10,000
- 4. Peter Ramondetta – $5000
- 5. Ryan Sheckler – $4000
- 6. Torey Pudwill – $3000
- 7. Luan Oliveira – $2000
- 8. Danny Fuenzalida – $1500
- 9. Greg Lutzka – $1000
- 10. Chaz Ortiz – $1000
- 11. Dennis Busenitz – $1000
- 12. John Rattray – $1000
- 1. Matt Miller – Backside noseblunt slide – $3000
- 2. Torey Pudwill – Front feeble up the a rail, shove it out – $2000
- 3. Seirra Fellers – Nose manual nollie flip out – $1000