Great vibes, an international group of supportive skaters, a well-designed skate park and sassy weather all came together to make one of the most fun skateboarding events I have ever been a part of: The 2013 Rocky Mountain Rampage.
The second annual RMR showed no evidence of the fires that raged across Colorado Springs in the months leading up to the event. Despite the challenges the Sk8 Strong crew faced, the event was bigger and better than last year’s: It expanded to three days in order to include street as well as 14 & under and 15 & over categories in addition to pro men and women’s bowl and vert events.
As we warmed up for the vert contest, it was apparent that the Sk8 Strong team had put a lot of energy into maintaining the integrity of the vert ramp they fought to build: It showed minimal signs of having gone through aggressive Colorado weather.
There was a record-breaking amount of women and girls participating in the vert discipline with a total of 17 skaters scattered across 14 & under, 15 & over and Pro.
Gaby Ponce made a strong comeback in the pro division. This event marked her return from a post-2010 X-Games hiatus from skateboarding. Gaby came back strong and went home with the gold thanks to her powerfully solid style and tricks such as kickflip indys and les twists.
Close on her tail were skaters such as Allysha Bergado, who had the longest and most solid runs filled with smooth inverts and air variations, Lizzie Armanto with a powerful array of lip tricks and solid airs and Karen Jonz, who demonstrated her technical tricks such as fingerflips and varials in the qualifiers.
The men’s vert contest was won by local legend, Jono Schwan, who had just returned from skating in the X-Games vert contest in LA. He pulled off 720s and multiple 540 variations. Ronnie Gomes’ technical bag of tricks earned him 2nd place and Alex Sorgente and his massive saran wraps took 3rd.
It was an honor watching the masters skate the bowl. Jud from Utah charged the bowl with aggressive style, shouting “YEAH SKATEBOARDING” in between runs filled with tricks such as lengthy lipslide smith grinds. Mike McGill had a huge bag of tricks, beautiful inverts, and impressive speed lines that put him in second place.
Eddie Elguera really shone in this contest, putting together technical lines such as 5-0 fakies across the shallow to switch blunts on the hip. His consistency and technicality allowed him to win his first contest in decades.
Josh Rodriguez destroyed the bowl contest for the second year in a row. He started his run with a daring “late for the bus,” in which pure faith and skateboarding ability inspired him to run out of the bowl and then run and jump into a huge method bomb drop into the round and into a phenomenal run. Jono was on his tail, huge airs and 540s. Alex Sorgente’s fast style and impressive bag of tricks earned him another 3rd place.
Inclement weather cut off the other finals and the women fought to beat the oncoming storm. As usual, Allysha really stepped up her game in the finals with tricks like judo airs and bonelesses through the corner. Lizzie feebled and smithed her way through corners and threw crailslides, inverts and a variety of airs into her lengthy runs.
The ferocity and charge of the storm really shone through Julz: her fast grinds echoed the thunder and her runs took her well into the rain. Julz showed no sign of backing down as she sped through wet concrete and into first place.
The Rocky Mountain Rampage is an event held together by a pure desire to support the growth of skateboarding. Sk8 Strong makes an incredible effort to expand while making everything as comfortable as possible for the participants. The apparent love of skateboarding that fuels the event inspires a contest composed of considerate skaters who don’t dwell on weather delays, minimize snaking and root for one another until their voices are hoarse. I’m already looking forward to going back next year!
Top 5 results from each division:
Men’s Pro Bowl:
Women’s Pro Bowl:
15 & Over Men’s Bowl:
15& Over Women’s Bowl
14 & Under Boy’s Bowl
14 & Under Girl’s Bowl
|4||Bryce Ava Wettstein|
Mens Pro Vert
Women’s Pro Vert:
15 & Over Men’s Vert
14 & Under Boy’s Vert
14 & Under Girl’s Vert
|3||Bryce Ava Wettstein|
15 & over Men’s Street
15& over women’s street
1 Bia Sondre
2 Alexa Stewart
3 Alishia Stevens
4 Amelia Brodka
5 Lizzie Armanto
14 & Under Boys Street
14 & under girls street
|5||Bryce Ava Wettstein|