The final contest of the Damn Am Contest Series blew up this past weekend (October 26?28) at Volcom in Costa Mesa, California. An entire new street course was constructed in Volcom’s parking lot by Brian Schaefer, Allen Russell, and their crew. The indoor Volcom park was available for practice all weekend. This contest was the last in a series that began in July and saw qualifying contests all over the country.
Friday was a casual day of registration and practice. Most riders didn?t show up until Saturday morning. The qualifying round began around noon. Five heats of 10-12 skaters each got two one minute runs. Those fellas were battling it out for a spot in the top 33 and a move on to the semi finals. Standouts included youngsters Grey Myers and Dylan Rieder, Pat Rakestraw, Sven Kilchenmann from Switzerland, Corey Sheppard, and Dennis Besenitz. Dennis qualified in 1st place to take him to the semi finals.
During the afternoon lots of pros were on hand to lend their support. Omar Hassan, Carlos De Andrade, and Ed Templeton were all having a good time hanging out. Volcom had a barbeque going all afternoon and was feeding everyone for free. Digital?s Bill Weiss was gearing up for Halloween by trying out his new full body DONKEY costume. During one of the product tosses, Brian Schaefer announced that whoever brought him a donkey ear would be the lucky recipient of a new board. I later saw Bill with both ears intact, so I guess that board was simply thrown into the crowd.
After the five heats went through the motions and the placing were announced. Everybody either went to east or came inside the Volcom Warehouse to watch the Vert Contest. I was surprised to see what looked like a five year old doing airs above coping. There were several early teens putting good runs together as well. But the main competition was between Shaun White and Ruda Lopes. The guys both had stellar runs and ended up tied for first place. The judges had to look at the second best scores and Ruda came out victorious.
Sunday started out with the top 33 skaters meeting the seven pre-seeded riders who had won their respective events at earlier contests. Two heats of 20 guys got under way a bit after noon. Only 12 riders were going to advance to the finals. There they would meet up w/ Dennis Busenitz who by qualifying first on Saturday went right into the finals along with Jon Newport, the regional winner from the Volcom contest in August. The action was heated and every rider gave it their all. Blind?s Corey Sheppard nailed the first spot. Scotty Moore from Wilmington, NC was in the number two spot. And Killing Machine?s Pat Rakestraw was in third.
The final 14 guys practiced for a solid 20 minutes and then it was “GO time”. Greg Myers and Dylan Rieder came out of the gates strong and fast and racked up high scores from the judges. When the smoke cleared Austen Seaholm took home 3rd place. Swiss rider Sven Kilchenmann was second. And the winner is 13 year old Dylan Rieder from Westminister, CA. He nailed kickflip fs boards on the flat bar in each of his three runs. He backed those up w/ backside lipslides and solid maneuvers all over the course. The judges sit is always a tough one to handle, but they certainly did a fine job. Dylan got sloshed with champagne as he accepted the FRANK HAWK CUP.
Darkness was falling, but a best trick contest was held on the main funbox/rail obstacle. Twenty minutes to see who could come up w/ the best trick. Greg Lutzka pulled a kickflip backside lip on the flat bar. Doug Desautels did a kickflip to fs 180 nosegrind. Chris Trembly from the East Coast ollied over the flat bar to fs nosebluntslide down the rail. I thought he had won, but at that moment Gailea Momolu stuck a nollie heal to fs lip across and down the rail. He ruled and won.
Dylan Rieder is now qualified directly into the finals of the illustrious Tampa Am contest in January at the Skatepark of Tampa. This was the first year of what willl be many more series to come. For more information on joining this contest next year, click here http://damnam.com. A big shout goes out to Volcom, IASC, and Brian Schaefer and his crew for making this all happen. See you next year.
1. Dylan Rieder (Westminster, CA): Quiksilver, PTS Shoes, Smith, Ninja, Webb, K-5
2. Sven Kilchenmann: Monkey Stix
3. Austen Seaholm (Anaheim, CA): Etnies, Illenium Skateboards, Oakley
4. Jon Newport (Roswell, GA): 510 Skate Shop, Satori, Venture
5. Dennis Busenitz: Deluxe
6. Corey Sheppard (Placenta, CA): Blind, Indy, Nadia Shoes, Darkstar Wheels, Droors
7. Emeric Prat: Deluxe
8. Andrew Cannon (Glen Mills, PA): Boardstiff Skate Shop
9. Gailea Momolu (Huntington Beach, CA): Darkstar Wood, Dub Clothing, Nadia Shoes, RDS Skate Supply
10. Brandon Jacobson (Huntington Beach, CA): New Deal, Circa, Destructo, Avant Wheels, Droors, Speed Metal
1. Ruda Lopes (Newport Beach, CA): Fuct Clothing/Wood, Smith Glasses, Scabs Pads, Connextion Wheels
2. Shawn White: Volcom
3. Jeff Thrush (Encinitas, CA): Hurley, Arnette, 187
4. Craig Whitehead (San Diego,CA): Natural Koncept, Smith, Aera, Gouge
5. Rob Lorifice (Encinitas, CA): Redsand, Pro Design, Active, Osiris, Arcade, VonZipper
6. Allen Young (Encinitas, CA):Hurley, Active, Osiris, Krux7. Roger Blinoff (Fontana, CA)
8. Renato Calve (San Anna Heights, CA): Transitions Skate Shop9. Mitchell Mendez (San Jose, CA)
10. Collin Provost (Huntington Beach, CA): Element, Split