The Fifth Annual TransWorld Skateboarding Awards and the much anticipated Free Your Mind video premiere were held this past Thursday May 22, 2003 at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood, CA.
The offices of TransWorld looked like a ghost town. Deserted desks, computers off, and an empty parking lot; I thought I was the first to leave but apparently not! Everyone was amped on getting to Hollywood for the premiere (not to mention the “open bar”) and getting a head start on the LA traffic was a priority for us all.
4 hours later.....
The evening started with an amazing pre-party from 6-8p.m. Free drinks were readily available for everyone. I’m not sure how these alcohol sponsorships work? Free Liquor and beer? Hats off to the special events crew for pulling it off again!
It’s amazing to see so many of the top skaters in one place. All in a glance you could catch Bob Burnquist, Danny Way, Fabrizio Santos, Mark Appleyard, and Paul Rodriguez. The list could go on for hours.
2 hours later......
With the bars closing and the awards ceremony about to start, everyone moved in to the amphitheater. The crowd was definitely hyped with anticipation and when Editor in Chief Dave Swift took stage it was all too obvious. People screaming, heckling and yelling. Not even phased by their drunkenness, Swifters handled it all in style (as always).
We were all in for a treat as TransWorld had an anniversary video compiled of some of the best tricks from all the past videos. Video editor genius Dave Bergthold put it all together and for 8 minutes we all enjoyed our favorite memories from Uno (the first video) through In Bloom (the latest). Let me just say that it would be one of the most inspiring videos to watch before any skate session, and at 8 minutes long its perfect!
Don and Danielle Bostick from World Cup Skateboarding gave out the first awards of the night. All the winners here had the luxury of taking home G4 laptops donated by Apple.
The highest points in Street went to Rodil de Araujo Jr. and the highest points in Female Street went to Amy Caron. Jen O’Brien won for highest points in Female Vert and Andy Macdonald won for highest points in Vert and Overall Skater.
The Transworld Skate Awards were next and Felix Arguelles tripped on to the stage to announce the winners.
In the category for best team the nominees were Flip, Zero, and Girl. And the winner was....... Flip!
Next up was the Best Vert Skater award. The nominees were Bob Burnquist, Danny Way, And Rune Glifburg. All three deserved but only one could win -- and that was......... Danny Way!
The Rookie of the Year award followed with Paul Rodriguez, P J Ladd, and Chris Cole all nominated. Who would win? The one and only....Paul Rodriguez!
The Jefferson twins, Atiba and Ako, were the next MC’s for the night. The first award they announced was for Best Video. That was a tough pick with Sorry, P J Ladds Wonderful Horrible Life, and Dying to Live all nominated. And the best video of the year was? Flips ...Sorry
Best video part was next. The three nominees were Geoff Rowley, P J Ladd, and Arto Sari. Gee, I wonder who would win? Perhaps PJ Ladd!!!!! Damn that kid can skate!
The last Skaters Choice award was for Best Street Skater. Geoff Rowley, Eric Koston, or Mark Appleyard? How can you really pick from a list like this? All three are phenomenal! But for tonight, the winner was........Mark Appleyard!
The Readers Choice Award came next and who other than Rodney Mullen to announce it. You the reader picked the nominees: Jamie Thomas, Andrew Reynolds, and Mark Appleyard. So whom did you pick? I’ll tell you........Jamie Thomas!!!!
The last award of the night was the Legend Award, which was given to Duane Peters. The legendary Steve Olson was on stage and was psyched foor his long-time friend, stating that he was glad that it went to someone who was in it for the long run and not someone who was in it for the short term and quick cash. Right after the award was announced and the tribute video was played, Duane Peter’s band The Hunns took the stage and rocked the theatre with a 5 song set. If you haven’t seen the Hunns yet then you don’t know about the fireballs at the end of the set which always leaves the crowd in a frenzy and security not really knowing what to do.
To finish off the night Transworlds latest video entitled Free Your Mind, featuring Dan Drehoble, Rob Welsh, and Darrel Stanton was premiered. The video started with Drehoble just killing every kind of transition possible. Just doing things that seem so unnatural for a skateboarder to do, and doing them faster and smoother than anyone could ever dream. Dan came through with some street skating clips that would make anyone want to skate.
Rob Welsh had the next part in the video. Rob is just a pure street skater and his section in the video showcases that. Watching him skate flatground is a pleasure! And everything else he does is just a bonus. From flipping in and out of manuals to the insane tech ledgework skills he possesses, Robs shows the true art of technical street skating. From just watching you can tell how much he loves skating and it’ll only make you wonder about how many hours he has put in to perfect his talents. The long awaited video part was well worth the wait!
So that leaves us with the last feature in the video which goes to Darrel Stanton. Now, if you’re wondering where all the clipper ledge footage had gone to, well, it’s here in Darrel’s part along with a ton of other loose and smooth flowing maneuvers! If you look at the magazines recently then you already know that he is one of the most photogenic skaters of this decade. The frontside over-blunt slide is the first that comes to mind and that just shows how creative his skating is. Looking at things in a different way is refreshing and skateboarding needs more people like Darrel.
Midnight, and with the night coming to an end everyone was quick to get their last good-byes (drinks) in and stumble down the stairs to hopefully not their own cars to drive. I had the pleasure of leaving with the Drunken Ed Dominic from 88 Shoes and Dave/Stacey Swift from Transworld. I believe it took a good 30 minutes to walk maybe 300 feet. You have to love it though! Skateboarding (or alcohol) I mean, the places it takes you (or you stumble to), the people you meet (or forget), and the forgotten drunken nights that you get to watch on video afterwards (Ed Dominick)!