(Photography by Aaron Smith and Carleton Curtis)
After the early-morning ruckus at Lockwood was over, everybody headed over to L.A.’s other famous schoolyard: Belmont High. Ray Maldonado came out on top at Lockwood, so he was the favorite coming into Belmont’s “small” 9-stair and freshly deknobbed big 9-stair spots. But Belmont’s beastly rails required a different type of skill set, so all kinds of new contenders emerged. Ricky Webb, Moose, Trevor McClung, Mikey Sanchez, Keelan Dadd, Kevin Romar, and soon-to-be King Nick Merlino all stepped up and threw down the afternoon’s gnarliest bangers. Nick’s finale, a switch backside lipslide down the big 9, proved to be the clincher—he placed 1st at Belmont picking up a grand of cash, which lifted him up to 1st place in the overall KOLA standings. Want proof? Check the slideshow and sequences below…—Carleton Curtis
Julian Arellano half Cab crooked grind.
Cesar Fernadez holding on this this nollie frontside noseslide, even through a broken tail.
Trevor McClung getting this big ol’ backside flip.
Almost missed Nick Merlino’s nollie heelflip boardslide.
Travis Glover coming through with a smooth frontside feeble grind.
Ricky Webb getting a banger down the big rail with this frontblunt-slide shove it out.
Mikey Sanchez getting that steeeezy 360 flip.
Taylor Orman, frontside 360 over the rail. Crazy!
Nick Merlino killed this rail! Banging off trick after trick, like this nollie noseblunt-slide.
Nick Merlino getting his last-minute banger, switch backside lip. Gnarly!!