Bling It!

Active’s 2006 Bling Fest And First-Annual Active Am: Skateboarding’s Biggest One-Two Punch

Words by Carleton Curtis
Photography by Skin Phillips, Chris Ortiz, & Blair Alley

The skate game has never been about flossing-at least blatantly speaking-so when silly amounts of fame and fortune rear their icy heads, skateboarders tend to avoid it like gonorrhea. Keeping it humble, so to speak. But there’s just something plain ‘ol appealing about Bling Fest. Be it the wads of hundys thrown around like penny candy, the eager ams trying to shoulder their way into the limelight, or the fact that nearly every top-name pro is out there dropping sledgehammers like they were fourteen again, Bling Fest is a favorite among industry types and fans alike.
The third-annual Active Bling Fest boasted the same type of energy, all despite the sweltering 90-degree SoCal heat (it’s mid-November, dammit!). And let’s not forget about the other, more annoying type of heat: Rancho Cucamonga’s finest fleet of rent-a-cops. Those little piggies pretty much redefined the “product toss” as the “safely give merchandise to the crowd” toss. I’m not exactly sure why, but hand-delivering a free board just doesn’t offer the same oomph as a twenty-foot dive bomb to the skull.
But it wasn’t the giveaways or Unwritten Law playing stage right or Chad Muska slapping 10G’s worth of Benjamins into the paws of on-point pros or the lovely Active Erica running around doing her thing that kept the vibe high. It was the all-out assault on the battleground, which consisted of a precipitous Hella Hyphy wall, a kinked-rail double set with dual hubbas, an eight-stair rail with Euro gap, and a retardedly giant hip and vert wall combo. Here’s a list of notables and gnartables organized into categories that by no coincidence rhyme with the word bling:
Bring: Vans Owner Steve Van Doren doesn’t need additional bling, so he brought his hamburger-flipping skills to the ‘Q.
Ka-ching: Dennis Busenitz’s rich bag of tricks made him the richest man of the day-$2,500 richer, to be precise.
Ding: Nilton Neves flyaway board shark bit the hell out of my ankle. It still hurts.
Fling: Terell Robinson barged the pro stage by flinging a perfectly executed backside 360 flip down the eight.
Yao Ming: Bling Fest’s hip obstacle was ginormous, but Ryan Sheckler had no problem lobbing up his signature kickflip grabs.
Ring: Arch Bishop Don “Magic” Juan is no stranger to the pimp game. How else do you think he could’ve paid for all his rings?
Spring: Andrew Reynolds still has it in his step, hucking a proper noseslide atop Mt. Hella Hyphy.
Sting: Steve Berra, Erik Ellington, and Johnny Layton were all out of commission with skate-related bodily harm. Maybe next year, guys.
Swing: Billy Marks swung a massive 360 flip to lip down the eight-stair rail.
Wing: It definitely wasn’t Red Bull that powered Fabrizio Santos’ frontside flip into the Hyphy bank.
Zing: TransWorld’s own Jamey Stone worked the mic with zingers like, “Next year, Active’s gonna have to call this the Cling Fest ’cause I see a lot of tight pants out there.”

The Final Results
1. Dennis Busenitz ($2,000)
2. Andrew Reynolds ($1,000)
3. Terell Robinson
4. Ryan Sheckler
5. Chris Troy

The second half of the weekend was a new addition to the Fest: the first-annual Active Am and the TransWorld $2,500 Best Trick Contest. Basically, the premise is this: Handpick the world’s top 26 amateurs, throw ’em on the course, then have ’em fight over five grand in cold hard cash.
Erik Ellington was outta commish with a bum hand and Johnny Layton had ankle surgery a few weeks prior, so they joined the panel of Mike Sinclair, Jamey Stone, and Aaron Astorga as judges. And you gotta love that obligatory “skateboarding is impossible to judge” speech right before the results were announced. No doubt, Tony Cervantes was back in proper form with lofty airwalks over the hip, Malto handled the janky hubbas with ease, and Terell was bouncing around the course like a super ball, but it was ‘lil David Loy-fresh off a victory at Volcom’s Damn Am-who took the consistency cake. Haters may hate on his youthful style (tinsel teeth included), but it was hard to argue with his plunging kickflip into the Hyphy bank, the gap to 50-50 on the funbox, and capping things off with a monstrous hip ollie to flat. The future is blingy indeed.

The Final Results
1. David Loy ($5,000)
2. Nick Dompierre
3. Tony Cervantes
4. Justin Figueroa
5. Sean Malto
6. Terell Robinson

TransWorld Best Trick
1. Marquise Preston ($2,500) – heelflip crooks on the hubba