First off, I gotta say I had a great time! By the looks of it everybody else did too so I am stoked! Heidi and the rest of us are all very grateful for everyones volunteer help and support, the sponsors for their prize donations and support, the venues like Vans, and all the skaters that have been coming out to participate in all the events. It’s all interdependent on each other and its all been really good times and memories we will all share.
Carlos Novo grinding his plank
Let me re-iterate how grateful we are to Vans Skatepark and Steve Van Doren and their staff who helped us put this together with short notice! They really hooked us up just by letting us use the Combi all day, but they went above and beyond by letting their staff help us out with many needs for the event. Stuff like hanging banners, power for the PA, setting up the booths and tables, getting people checked in and signing off on their waivers. We really appreciate this and hope we can find a way to return the favor.
The first wave of competitors were already buzzing around the Combi when I arrived at 11. This was a good time to get a couple practice runs in. After I got warmed up I shifted gears to help get the formatting done for the judging, heat sheets, and late registrations. It was almost all good, but by the end of the day the little mistakes iron themselves out. But that is boring stuff, the skating is the funnest part so lets go!
Richard Connet Andrecht in the crunch.
50+ went first. Dave Hackett had it correct when he replied to a question of why did the 50+ division go first. “The 50 and over guys could drop dead at any time, like on the spot, so they gotta go before that is more likely to happen”, Maybe not an exact quote, but the intent is in there. We had 8 skateboard warriors charging the combi for all their worth in this division. Everyone who has been paying attention knows that Eddie Hadvina is the man to take down. There was lots of pre chatter wondering if it could be the day as Dave Hackett signed up. Who else could do it? Everyone was guessing. Out from left field came Richard Connet with his sparkling gold helmet and he was throwing down hard! Andrecht’s and steady airs in each bowl and smooth lines. Eddie battled back with long runs, hammering frontside grinds all over with some FS airs and Inverts to boot. The clincher might have been his bertleman in the square corner that come out of nowhere and was perfectly executed. Eddie held on to win by a very narrow margin, Richard got 2nd and Hackett got 3rd.
The 30-39 division was started off with a knock out punch by Bennet Harada. Usually the 1st person in set’s the table for the rest of thescoring to follow. He ripped so hard I think his 1st run was tops in the division by everyone. Tony Brisensio pulled off a second place with a couple of fine runs with lots of solid vert tricks. Mike Perez skated hard, getting sketchy but making stuff at all costs. The judges were clenching their teeth seeing crazy hangups being pulled in. George Watanabee has got some banging tricks, like huge body jars and ollie roll-ins, but was just not able to link them together for very long runs. He is super fun to watch skate. Steve Badillo said he was a little gimpy but he still managed to take some long runs with some good trips through the shallow end. In the end Bennet narrowly held on to the top spot with Mike Perez and Tony Brisensio right behind him in a tie for 2nd.
Mike Barnes – Smith grind lockage!
I should refrain from commenting on my own division, the 40-49. I hope you don’t mind, I am going to anyway. Pre-contest I picked Garret or Mike Barnes for the win and a wildcard for Rich Sanchez. These are guys that are in the big leagues, entering the Pro-tec and local to the Combi. I just didn’t know who else might show up. There were 4 heats lined up to go, but the last two were cut down by no shows. The top 2 were grabbed from each heat, then the judges added a couple more (judges discretion we call it) and made it a 10 man final. Garret nailed run after run at blazing speeds and tricks that fit the lines flawlessly, and took the top spot. Rich Sanchez was doing some lines and tricks that most will never have the courage to try and he was consistent enough to get 2nd place. Mike Barnes makes good skating look easy. Just fluid rip riding all over the bowls and solid trick mixtures. Dave Ruel sucked up some advil for his ailing back and tore up some coping blocks as usual, making about 1/2 the way around the round bowl in a frontside 50-50. Ron Chatman ripped it, back smith, no pads and dreads all over the place. (What was I doing in this?). Ben Butler rolled in from every angle and ripped it up. His beard followed him everywhere. I thought that Mondo would end up pretty high in the rankings, he has tricks galore and links them up well. Indy nosepick to fakie! I can’t fail to mention the balls on Mr. Bellmar. He went full on Combi era outfit and board. Watch out for the short shorts and hip pads. Kevin Rucks who made the finals was also mastering the old school set up popping ollies to tail and some inverts on a vintage plank.
The Old Gals Skate Jam came to order, and a few of the ladies showed up to ride with the men. Jean came out from AZ., and Mellissa and Scheryl, competed in their corresponding mens division. It was no matter to me, they all rule and get 1st place in my book.
I stole Heidi’s thanks: “A contest is no fun without a lot of competitors and you guys / gals made it an epic day! Big thank you to VANS & Steve Van Doren , all our Sponsors, Volunteers, Judges, Yoshi Nurijumi, Earl Okinaka, Jeff Greenwood & Carson Cornett. Impossible without everyone! 100% volunteer series! Special thanks to the guys who enter to have fun and not to win.. You make it even more fun!”
I’d like to additionally thank Jim Gray for the stickers, Steve Badillo for the extra judging and tabulation, Daryl Lee for helping me clean up all them bottles around the bowl. The filmers and photographers for documenting the contest. Lastly, one of the main goals of this contest series is to promote healthy activities for old guys. I think the goal is being reached. Many competitors are really stoked to have these fun contests to look forward to, myself included.
Jay Smiledge hooked us up with some photos. Great shots Jay! Thanks!
Tony Briseno – perfect vert style
Garry Shuck – ripping it up in the 40 division – FS tuckknee
Eddie Hadvinia and Dave Hackett along with all the 50+ guys are inspiring! Thanks for joining the Jam Series.
– Show up in flip-flops, then jumps on Belmars board for some stoke!
Mondo De La Libertad and a big bag of tricks. A Mute air in the square.
James and Leo have been in the game since they were in diapers.
Eddie Hadvina has fended off all challengers so far. One more to go for a clean sweep!
Kevin Rucks – Invert time machine radness.
Garret Naka Fired his path to victory. High Speed all over the bowl!
David Davenport sticking an invert in the round
1) Bennet Harada
2 -tie) Tony Briseno
2 -tie) Mike Perez
4) George Watanabee
5) Steve Badillo
6) Tino Desierto
7 -tie) Zack Mayall
7 -tie) Ryan Endo
9) Chris Purcell
10) Kevin Davies
11) Gob Del Fierro
12) Many Ortiz
1) Garret Naka
2) Rich Sanchez
3) Mike Barnes
4) Dave Ruel
5) Jeff Greenwood
6) Ron Chatman
7) Ben Butler
8) Mondo De La Libertad
9) Kevin Rucks
10) David Davenport
1) Eddie Hadvina
2) Richard Connet
3) Dave Hackett
4) Greg Garrett
5) Carlos Novo
6) Ken Coombs
7) Steve Wright
8) Howard Hicks
1) Mellissa Spillman
2) Jean Russen
3) Cheryl Jumao-as
Best Trick Winners:
Mondo De La Libertidad
A couple more pics:
Additional coverage is already availble here: