2007 Tampa Pro Coverage (DAY ONE)

Well, it rained last night. And this morning. We walked out of our hotel and it felt like we were stuck in the middle of a humidifier, in already-humid-as-hell Tampa. But as the day went the sun eventually made its way out and it actually turned into a pretty nice day. Wait a minute. Why am I even talking about this? What is this, the Weather Channel? All right, time for skate talk…

The park was pretty much open all day today for practice and all the pros came in waves. The course never got too crowded, as a lot of faces never showed (and some you wouldn’t expect to show up showed—aka, Rob and Big Black being followed by an MTV film crew) but some serious, no-joke skating went down—and Friday is supposed to be the mellow day.

Around one or two o’clock, some of Nike SB team was on fire. Omar Salazar was charging the trannys and pulling the most insane transfers to the vert wall. The small crowd that was there sounded like fans in a sports arena when he pulled the lien to tail on the top of the wall (if you’ve never been to the park, it’s about five or six feet above the quarter pipe). Stefan Janoski and Brian Anderson were also in full skate mode pulling everything first try will little or no effort. There’s three guys who are sure to be top contenders this weekend.

Then, it seemed to be new York reppin’ the course. Dr. Z was killing it, Billy Rohan was popping the hugest flip tricks on the bank, and Anthony Shetler and Kevin Taylor were all over the hubbas and bump to bar. All four dudes are super steezy and so enjoyable to watch no matter what they were trying.

And then, there’s Tommy Sandoval. Everything, really gnarly, first try, over and over again. Switch crooks down the hubba, switch nosegrind down the hubba, huge frontside flips on the quarterpipe… the list goes on. Of all the predictions of who’ll make the top twelve, I know who I’m putting my money on.