The closest thing I can compare this to is the Rumble in Ramona. Mike Crum and his buddies in Dallas have nurtured a similar high energy, VERT PRAISING event. Mr. Jeff Phillip’s memory and his far reaching influence are at the center of the weekend. All the money raised goes to benefit the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas. The skatepark known as the Overground Project is the venue. And the outdoor, 48 foot wide vert ramp is the main stage. They have amassed a hefty vintage Jeff Phillips board collection that is on the wall inside. All the local shops and Texas based board brands have booths set up outside. BBQ is for sale. In addition, the mini ramp from the Converse SXSW event is set up outside. Locals bands played inside and outside both days.
A skate art show featuring Curtis Black called ReVert 2 kicked off the weekend on Friday. Saturday saw an AM JAM contest take shape as the sun began to set. MC Chris Gentry took to the microphone and kept the crowd going. A young east coaster name Zac Rose took top honors. He’s only 16 and rumor has it, he’s done 900’s already. An even younger Mt. Trashmore local, Collin Graham, came in second. Houston local, Lance Childers nailed a McTwist in the jam to secure 3rd place. The Pro demo immediately followed. Neal Hendrix, PLG, Ken Fillion, Jon Comer, Henry Guiterrez, Chris Gentry and a host of other locals blasted and grinded the evening away. Comer was throwing up frequent Texas plants. Neal blazed bionic frontside 5.0’s to fakie across the whole ramp. PLG has a huge bag of tricks, but my favorite was what I would call a switch caballerial feeble grind fakie. Fillion tossed up an assortment of inverts. Gentry spun 540’s, both ways and did a perfect Phillips 66 first try! Henry tried a few McTwists but couldn’t ride away….
In attendance and making plenty of noise were Craig Johnson, Billy Smith, Todd Prince and all the fellas from Embassy Skateboards.
Sunday saw 5 bands play.. The boneless contest didn’t really materialize, but I’ll give the award to San Diegan, Josh Stafford. Nolan Munroe, Zach Rose, & Anthony Furlong joined Gentry, PLG, and Comer along with some locals to fill out the demo.
Notably absent from the ramp on both days, was man of the hour, MIKE CRUM. I suppose there’s always next year!