Entering into the One Love Kickoff Contest in a special 30 & Over Category last weekend brought back some funny memories of back in the old days when by age I was still pretty young, but even then felt way too old. My favourite series of contests is the Bowl Series specifically for the reason that I’m not even close to the oldest competitor, but they are great because it shows a fact of how the older guys still rule the bowls, and even these young rippers have trouble placing against dudes in their 40’s.
I want to go back in time and tell you about a story from a contest held at the Skate Park in New West, and I’m not talking about Queensborough. I’m talking about the real New West Park on 8th St, old style bowl with coping in strange places, and tons of speed lines as long as you’re prepared to push 15 times as hard as you can before going into the bowl. It was a great park in it’s hayday, produced some solid skaters like Damon Kerr and Lil’ G, David Helmer, Ross Mcleister, and Dennis – you know Dennis. Between Lil’ G and Alex Chalmers, I think every gap remotely possible in this park has been done. I used to always say I hate New West Skate Park, but then I would always place Top 3 in every contest there, it was strange, there was something about that place that just fit my style back then I guess. So 1 day in about 2005 or 2006, Ross and Dennis decided to hold a competition there. The Bowl Series had removed New West off there map for contest locations so nothing else was ever happening there. These guys decided to throw a “Low Budget” contest and tons of people showed up. It was back when I was Team Manager for Substance Skate Shop and I showed up with a good chunk of the Crew – Jon Irvine, Cisco Gooding, Stu Benoit, Jay Mykyte, Drew Boyle, and of course Homer came for moral support. So they had a category called the Washed Up Category and you either needed to be Too Old, Too Injured, or Too Drunk to skate in the normal Advanced Category. Some of us fit all 3 of those assets. So there was only 3 of us in this category and really only 2 of us had the ability to win – me and Barry. I can’t remember Barry’s last name but I would recognize his face in a second after this day.
So our turn happened later in the day and we were all feeling extra comfortable on our boards. The run began and off we went, I was killin’ it inside the bowl and on the outer obstacles. Ross and Dennis had no sound equipment for this event so there was just music blasting really loudly from a big ghettoblaster and then they would yell their instructions across the park. So of course it was really difficult to know what the hell was going on most of the time. So I thought that I heard them yell out “Last Tricks” and so I shot this crazy line through both bowls carving and wrapping in figure 8 loops as fast as I could and then finishing it off with a wild wallride across the ledge on top of the bank, and I fell riding away. So I went over and sat around in our Surrey Corner, had a few sips and hung out for about 5-10 minutes. Then I got up and went back to land the line. This dude Rob filmed it and afterward he gave me a big hi five and said how awesome that line was. I just returned with, “Yeah, too bad I couldn’t land it in my run though.” That’s when Rob looked at me funny and said, “Dude, it is your run…”
So I went over and asked Ross and he was like, yeah you’re run’s still going. And I’m thinking what the hell has been happening during this 10 minute minute pitstop I just took, so I just ran back onto my board and started tearing it up again. So we’re going for like another 5 minutes or so and then I hear Ross yell out “Last Tricks”. This time, I know I heard it, so I drop a clean nose manual 360 shovit right in front of them and the crowd went crazy, then Barry busts a solid bigspin flip on the bank and the crowd went crazy; so I do a kickflip manual kickflip, Barry ollies some crazy gap, so I do a hands in the pockets kickflip on the bank, Barry tosses something on the quarter pipe, and it just kept going and going and going until finally Ross just told us to stop, and said it was a Tie!! I think we must have skated for like 25 minutes just the 2 of us, and we probably landed way more tricks then all the other guys that weren’t in the “Washed Up” Category. And after all that we each won $10 and a Tshirt. The shirt I won was an AXS Gear shirt, which I was already and still am sponsored by, and I paid for 4 people to enter at $5 each, so I was still out $10.
But it was a great battle that I’ll never forget about, and the crowd got a major Demo out of us that day.
Whether you like New West Skate Park or not, it’s always a good time…