Slam City Jam #1 words and photos by, Dave Swift

Bucky Lasek For the fifth time in as many years, Vancouver, the Pacific Northwest’s finest city, was the feasting grounds for a display of skateboarding by the day’s finest professional street and vert skateboarders from around the world. Countries represented included Canada, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. Our crew showed up on Thursday, May 2 in time to check out the bowl jam/barbecue at the White Rock Skatepark just north of the Canada/U.S. border. The place was crawlin’ with skate junkies from anywhere and everywhere. They were mingling with the pros and industry types, and skating the bowl and snake run at White Rock. Canadian Alex Chalmers was killing the place by flying up and out of the bowl with many variations. Chad Muska put a crooked grind on the long rail while holding his ghetto blaster on his shoulder. And trick of the day would have to go to Toy Machine pro Brian Anderson who did the sickest frontside bluntslide shove-it on the handrail. Brian es muy macho.

Friday was set up to be open practice all morning, but the street course and vert ramp didn’t get finished until the afternoon. Practice was mobbed and minimal for those who had to qualify. There were more than 100 pros not ranked in the top 50 entered and they all had to skate in order to qualify for the actual contest. Only 27 of them would skate the next day. Three skaters pre-qualified by skating well in the Tampa contest last month.

The qualifying started at 4:00 p.m. and lasted until after 10:00 p.m. I was burnt out after the first heat, but heard that Gonz killed it on one of his runs.

Sunday was the big day: the time when the best skating of the weekend goes down. Finals were held in both street and vert as well as Girls’ street competition, which Toy Machine’s Elissa Steamer won with ease. The first final of the day was vert and each of the top ten riders got three runs to show their dominance. Lincoln was ripping but was a bit inconsistent. Fellow Brazilian Bob Burnquist had a few new moves like one-footed backside Smith grinds and an Eggplant flip but it wasn’t enough. Bucky Lasek had his lifetime best contest run that had to be seen to be believed, but he couldn’t knock out Flip’s Rune Glifberg who dominated for two consecutive rides.

In the street, Chris Senn was looking good as he sped around the course at mach ten hitting any obstacle that got in his way. Rick Howard, Chad Fernandez, and Rick McCrank also had sick runs but the ever consistent Brazilian Rodil De Araujo Jr. rode all the way through the finals without falling off his board. Not to mention he did some pretty sweet 360 kickflips across the box. For the full story on the 1998 Slam City Jam check out the October 1998 issue of TransWorld Skateboarding.

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