Every once in a while an event in skateboarding comes along to remind us that, no matter how it’s portrayed by the media, skating can be as simple as a friendly barbecue that everyone’s invited to attend. On Saturday April, 24, 2004 Donny Damron of Pharmacy Boardshop hosted a party for Leo Romero?s graduation into the pro ranks.
In Southern California there are so many skate shops and skaters, every shop has its territory. Somebody needed to claim the desert. Pharmacy did just that and has sprung up in five different locations in what most people would consider no man’s land. Donny looked past these challenges and saw a breeding ground for skate rats to grow. Within the past year, Pharmacy came to my attention because of its impressive team–Bryan Herman, Kevin “Spanky” Long, Matt Allen, and of course, Leo Romero.
Donny Damron, Emerica, and Foundation got together and threw Leo a “Going Pro!” celebration and was hosted at Donny’s home in Victorville, California where all of his friends and sponsored kids could come and skate in his backyard. He built two seven-stair Hubbas in his backyard. Along with the Hubbas, he also built a few quarterpipes, bank ramps, funboxes, and some flatbars to round out the skating experience.
An added bonus was the premiere of Emerica?s Kids In Emerica video and a 1,000-dollar best-trick contest on the Hubbas.
It ended up being a great day. I was able to talk to Leo and realized that not only is he a great skater, but he’s a good kid as well?very polite and generous. His mom and brothers were there, and I could tell they were proud of him. Leo will be around for a long time for sure.
For now, thanks to everyone involved: Donny at Pharmacy; at Emerica, Mark Waters, Justin Regan, and Jon Miner; and the Foundation guys–Mike Page and Josh Beagle.
For you the skater, here’s some advice: support your local skate shop–it may be you one day with the “going pro” party!
About 200 to 300 kids showed up for the barbecue. Donny didn’t hold back at all–plenty of food and drinks. Hotdogs and hamburgers stayed on the grill all day, while macaroni salad and nachos seemed to multiply every time I thought they were going to disappear. Like an oasis in the barren desert, beverages were served nonstop. The party went from 3:00 p.m. until people started leaving around eleven.
Many of the Emerica and Foundation team members were joined by other pros and ams: Eric Ellington, Tosh Townend, Heath Kirchart, Brian Young, Josh Beagle, Joey Poirez, Matt Allen, and Alex “Trainwreck” Gall came out to enjoy the party.
Emerica Kids In Emerica Video Premiere
As the sun went down, a sheet went up on the barn and everyone gathered around for the video premiere. Last year Emerica released This Is Skateboarding to much success and rave reviews. The team includes many of today’s top skaters–Andrew Reynolds, Ed Templeton, Eric Ellington, Heath Kirchart, Spanky, Leo, and Matt Allen all support and love the Emerica brand.
The Emerica team headed out on a whirlwind tour covering the United States, Europe, and other remote places on the planet. Jon Miner, Emerica?s filmer and editor said it best: “Kids In Emerica doesn’t follow the tour-video formula of we went here, we went there, and here’s this demo. In my opinion this is what makes tour videos boring, because you end up watching the same tricks over and over again at different spots. I know everyone loves Reynolds’ frontside flips, but it can get old if you see them at every demo. KIE was easy to storyboard, because the plan from the beginning was to take the best footage from all the demos and arrange it in a way that is pleasing to the eye–three main sections–wood, cement, and street. This isn’t necessarily an accurate portrayal of skateboarders touring around the world. But it works for Emerica because the brand is directed at skateboarders and communicates a language that only skateboarders underrstand.”
The video did just that. To see all the guys, not just doing what they do best, but to also see Heath Kirchart skating cement bowls and transition in the Northwest and Andrew Reynolds skating vertical transitions with the same grace and ease he does street, is a sight to behold.
Best Trick Contest:
Here’s the basic breakdown of what went down:
Mike White: kickflip backside tail to fakie.
Tosh Townend (not a contestant, just skating): nollie 50-50, nollie five-0.
Antwuan “Big Candy” Dixon: noseslide 360 shove-out, nollie heelflip noseslide equals 100 dollars.
Bryan Herman: kickflip 50-50, kickflip nosegrind, frontside noseblunt-slide equals 450 dollars.
Leo Romero: kickslip 50-50, frontside 180 nosegrind, backside 180 nosegrind, frontside bluntslide, switch 50-50, kickflip frontside boardslide, switch boardslide, backside lipslide, pop shove-it 50-50, backside tailslide shove-it equals 450 dollars.
Jay ThorpeJimmy Astleford–World am.
Steve Clair–Krew sales rep.
Alex “Trainwreck” Gall–check out his new company Young Guns and his new band Laser Beam!
Oliver Flores–Deluxe So Cal sales rep.