Any night that starts out with two hours of free drinks for skateboarders is bound to be memorable. The lavish John Anson Ford Theatre in Hollywood was the site of this year’s TransWorld SKATEboarding Awards, and everyone from Jason Dill to Tony Alva came early for the free cocktails.
When the awards portion of the night began, I discovered I had the best seat in the house–I was directly in front of Mr. Sal Barbier. If you’ve ever been privy to Sal’s heckling genius, you know how much better he can make any situation. For instance, when an absent Rodney Mullen was awarded the Readers’ Choice Award, Sal exclaimed, “Best Cargo Pants–Rodney Mullen!” During the highlight of the night, Tony Alva receiving the Legend Award, Alva was midway through his speech saying, “This is what it’s all about,” and Sal quickly commented, “No it’s not, bro–it’s all about the paycheck. It’s all about Ferraris and fish-taco contracts, man (alluding to a quirky Wahoo’s award Andy Mac had won earlier in the night).” The seats in front of Sal were constantly chuckling.
By the way, with the exception of the Readers’ Choice, the Legend, and the World Cup awards, the winners in each category were chosen by pro skaters, who in the past few months were polled by the TWS staff. So if the video nominees look a little suspect–well, anyway…
After the awards, TransWorld’s new video, In Bloom, premiered. The video was really good, especially the skating and the music selection. I overheard some people say they liked it more than the Flip video that had premiered in L.A. two nights earlier.
The night included plenty of other highlights: Tony Hawk taking the stage to the screams of overzealous fans, and retorting, “What the fuck? You want me to do a 900 on the stage?”; a bloodied, post-brawl Geoff Rowley in the parking lot screaming, “Welcome to skateboarding!” at the kook he’d just fought; and Alva and Ragdoll joining forces to deliver a beat-down to a bouncer at a Hollywood after-party. Even if he’s not on the list, it’s a good idea to let T.A. into your bar.
Winners And Runners-Up
Best Street: Arto Saari
Runners-Up: Geoff Rowley, Eric Koston
Best Vert: Bob Burnquist
Runners-Up: Danny Way, Tony Hawk
Rookie of the Year: Mark Appleyard
Runners-Up: Bastien Salabanzi, Tony Trujillo
Best Video: Chomp On This
Runners-Up: Sight Unseen, Man Down
Best Video Part: Heath Kirchart (Sight Unseen)
Runners-Up: John Cardiel (Sight Unseen), Gabe Morford (Chomp On This)
Best Team: Flip
Runners-Up: Girl, Enjoi
World Cup Point Totals
(Overall Contest Winners)
Overall: Andy Macdonald
Female: Vanessa Torres
Vert: Rune Glifberg
Street: Chris Senn