LG Phones decided that Boost Mobile and Verizon were having too much fun sponsoring extreme events like the X Games and Boost Mobile Pro. LG phones threw down tons of cash and held a little mini X Games of it own in Pomona, which is near LA. This was the first year of the and it is going on for a least 4 more years so we decided to cruise up and let the fans know if it’s legit or beat. Well the festival itself was very cool. Attendance was kinda low but that’s probably because it was the first year. Whatevs, it was fun and there some hot skate action going on by the best skaters in the world. Next year this event might become the year end World Cup Skateboarding finale. There were also motorcycles, bikes, bladers and some bands playing at this event which was really cool, but all we care about is skating, right? Read on to see what went down.
The vibe was definitely low key even though $30,000 went to the winner and the overall purse for street was $100,000. It’s not that the skaters were not giving it their all, they were, it just was not an intense atmosphere. The tricks going down were sick but it seemed that the amplitude and energy level was low, the course looked a little slow to me. After chatting with Dayne Brummet my suspicions were verified, he said the surface was indeed very slow. That made it difficult for the skaters to flow from trick to trick. Since you probably skate, you know what I mean. Josh Evin and Chris Senn also said the surface was slow. Slow or not, all these guys ripped and are always fun to watch.
Most of skateboardings heavy hitters were there, so just getting into the 10 person final was a big deal, even though Koston, Trujillo or Rodil Jr. did not show up to try get the 30k. Sheckler was clearly the crowd favorite. Ryan was not looking super solid in practice but he did put together a sick run in the final. Ryan dropped in on a huge wall and front flipped a big step to start his run. The rest of the run consisted of a big arsenal of tricks. A kickflip to 50/50 on a bench struck me as one of the harder tricks he pulled. A bail in each of his runs cost him some points. Third place and the hearts of many teenage girls went to Sheckler. Chris Senn just plain rules! He skates so fast and has such creative lines. Really, you have to see him skate in person to understand. Chris artistically blended speed, style and technical tricks to take 2nd place. Daniel Viera was the man, he clearly won. A 360 flip step up, backside flip and a huge nollie noseslide helped Daniel win 30k which is a hell of a lot in Brazilian currency.
The vert contest was one of the better ones that I have seen, but not without some controversy. It seems that a few of the skaters did not like the ramp and after some debate it was decided to throw a huge demo instead of a contest and everyone split the prize money. After a little more debate the demo idea was revised further. Skaters would qualify for a 10 person jam final and the top three would get more money than the others. It turned into a contest after all. The contest was thrown in jam format which the skaters seemed to like. Instead of limited to three crucial runs a jam format allowed for some creativity. By the time final rolled around everyone had the ramp wired. It was a great final so cheers to the skaters for kicking down radical action for the fans after all.
Bob Burnquist is a complete alien. Bob goes from normal to switch stance and you can hardly tell. Bob managed to pull a 540 kickflip indy, one footed grinds and a samba flip as well. Bob landed in 3rd place for his out-of- this-world efforts. Sandro Dias was flying high, as usual. He has all sorts of 540 variations done at top speed and maximum height. Sandro even does 540 Body Jars or Gnar Jars. It also needs to be said that Sandro almost pulled a 900 during his 2nd place efforts. Bucky, what caan one say about Mr. Lasek? Bucky pulled a few insane tricks like an alley-oop f-side heelflip over the channel and a nollie 360 flip mute grab. Heck, for Bucky a rodeo 5 is practically a set up trick. All the vert guys skated really well and I am a jaded man so that is saying a lot.
The whole festival was a lot of fun overall. It is supposed to be around for 5 years so check it out next year. There are a few kinks to fix but I am sure the fine corporate folks at LG Phones will work it out. The event may move to a new location next year, like Phoenix, Miami or Vegas, we will see.
See you in some cement bowl, just look for the grumpy guy.
We asked Chris Senn a few questions. Chris is 17 years older than Sheckler and still freaking rips, he’s an inspiration to all.
A Chris Senn minute:
TWS: Hey, do you get nervous before this stuff?
Senn: I actually do, I tend to get more nervous as I get older.
Senn: When I was younger I didn’t even care but now that I’m older I am just thinking I’m old…
TWS: (interrupts) You need more money?
Senn: Yea (laughs)
TWS: How was the course, it sounded kind slow?
Senn: Yea it was, really, really slow. The ground was fucked up.
Senn: The course was good but the ground was rough so that made it really hard to get speed for everything, you know?
TWS: I was thinking it would be good on Gravity board.
Senn: Yea or mini cubics would be good. (laughs)
Skateboarding Street Results
1. Daniel Vieira $30,000
2. Chris Senn $17,500
3. Ryan Sheckler $12,000
4. Paul Machnau $8,000
5. Chad Bartie $6,000
6. Josh Evin $5,000
7. Kyle Berard $4,000
8. Ronnie Creager $3,000
9. Tosh Townend $2,500
10. Paul Rodriguez $2,000
Skateboarding Vert Result
1. Bucky Lasek
2. Sandro Dias
3. Bob Burnquist
4. Neal Hendrix
5. Tas Pappas
6. Mike Crum
7. Paul Zitzer
7. Lincoln Ueda
10. Chris Gentry