Footage and story by Joe Picciolo

The Tampa Pro contest went down March 11—14, 2004. This contest is one of the funnest events of the year by far—there’re no corporate sponsors and no TV coverage. The whole thing is run by skaters for skaters. SPoT’s Brian Schaefer and Ryan Clements and their entire staff are the best in the business. They don’t have 200-pound security guards and twenty different wristbands. They own the skatepark, so they make the rules.

Tampa Pro is a good old-fashioned skate contest. Pack the park full of people, give them refreshments, and have a barbecue going the whole weekend. Next have everybody’s favorite pros come and tear up the park. The kids are standing right next to the pros—no fence or V.I.P. section. Anyone can walk right up and get an autograph, ask a question, or just say, “Hi. This contest isn’t about the money or the biggest vert ramp, it’s about getting together with all your friends and having the best time possible. And everybody has a chance to get involved. If you want to run through a vile-smelling moat of sewage for ten boards, then by all means, go for it. If you’re a fat, old team manager and you want to relive your contest days, you can enter the Old Man Skate Jam. And if you stay for the entire contest, at the end they give away practically a whole skate-shop worth of goodies in the product toss. There’s something for everybody.

Here’s a list of people who had a good time and skated their way to the finals:

1. Bastien Salabanzi
2. Rick McCrank
3. Kyle Berard
4. Chris Cole
5. Kerry Getz
6. Danny Morrin
7. Caine Gayle
8. Daniel Viera
9. Peter Ramondetta
10. Dennis Busenitz
11. Billy Marks
12. Jeremy Wray

Best Trick Street
1. Chris Cole, kickflip backside noseblunt-slide.
2. Greg Lutzka, kickflip frontside nosegrind.
3. Billy Marks, 360 flip lipslide to fakie.

Vert
1. Pierre Luc Gagnon
2. Anthony Furlong
3. Neal Hendrix
4. Sandro Dias
5. Jake Brown
6. Lincoln Ueda
7. Paul Zitzer
8. Danny Mayer
9. Mike Crum
10. Phil Hajal
11. Brian Howard
12. Darren Navarrette

Best Trick Vert
1. Danny Mayer, kickflip 540.
2. Paul Zitzer, frontside heelflip (nor grab).
3. Pierre Luc Gagnon, nollie heelflip Indy 360.

The Skatepark Of Tampa Web site has a plethora of photos and footage from the weekend including the Best Trick annihilation that took place. Visit skateparkoftampa.com to fill your head.