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The Tampa article of hate.

TAMPA AM IS SCREWED. Somewhere along the line, maybe in the last three years, what used to be a proving ground of the best dudes on the cusp of professional skateboarding became a bunch of dumb kids in factory gear nobody could give a shit about. Maybe I've aged, but I seem to remember a Tampa Am contest where the average age was 18-21 and everyone ripped, but now, I swear, the average age is 14 and it's hard to find a guy in there where you can say "That guy's my fuckin' favorite skater! Why isn't he pro?" And in the hotel hallways it's like a day-care center. The only bros I can find are like team managers and some pro skaters that accidentally turned up so they could go to Mons Venus and Masquerade.

It is my harsh opinion that everyone who should be pro is already pro. I mean, I know there are some gnarly underground rippers out there, the next generation of Brian Andersons and Erik Ellingtons, but they are nowhere near Tampa Am. The reason is no self-respecting amateur skater wants to get beat by a 10-year-old. If I was 22 and am for Real or something there is no way I'd want to try to skate a street course for two one-minute runs just to get out "fattyied to flattied" by every shop sponsored little shit ever born.

So anyway, that's what I think, bitter old guy, remembering the Eastern Exposure days when the ams were awesomer than the pros. I was standing around on the day of the finals with my stupid non-digital camera thinking "None of this shit is remotely cool Skateboarding sucks a bag of turds, there will be no Tampa Am article this year." But of course, I get home and I'm swerving all these calls from Phelps asking for his Tampa Am story ... alright dude, luck, I'm writing it right now.

I think Deville might supply the photos, I saw him after the contest and he was like "Did you get anything?" and I looked at him with shock like, "No; What, did you? Did I miss something radical in there?"

"Yeah man, I got lots of stuff ... I mean, I had to. Like four magazines are asking me for stuff. Hey do you mind sending something to Thrasher for me? 'Cause I'm about to slit my wrists."

Anyway, I shot a sequence of Willy Ackers ... I like him cause he's one on my bros. I'm the most biased skateboard journalist ever. If I like someone, if we high-five and shit, then I'm going to favor him in the coverage department always. It's a tough life for the non-bro.

The Ninja kid or whatever that won? He was awesome. I'm a fan. Too bad he's 10 though, cause I hate 10-year-olds, and the fact that he won really screwed his life up until he's 17 or whatever and can turn pro. 'Til then he's going to have to sit around and try not to get second or third next year.

1. JOSH BEAGLE

AT MASQUERADE some girl was like "Who is that guy that just shot boogers on me and threw a beer bottle at my head?!"

"Oh that's Josh Beagle, don't worry. He's totally cool, totally cool, totally cool." I'm starstruck by his bro-ness. Congratulations on winning, and count me in for Barbarians at the Gate II.

2. LIZARD KING

THIS GUY should be pro based on pure awesomeness. I've never even seem him skate before, but he gets 2nd for pure psychic bronection; I think we were bros in another life. I mean that in purely a bromantic way; Uhh, I didn't mean that to sound so gay.

3. ALAN RUSSELL

AWESOME AS USUAL. I seem to remember him skating the course with a sword one year. He should keep entering the contest though, he's my favorite man-am.

4. NINJA KID OR WHATEVER WITH DREADS

HE WAS GOOD ... Too good ... But I'm taking a wait and see attitude. I have a problem with over-achievers.

5. DANNY ROSARIO

HE WAS REALLY MY FAVORITE skater of the weekend; he reminds me of Guy Mariano. He had the smoothest style and the best frontside flips ever. I think he'll do well in the future. He was one of the few skaters that didn't look like a spracked-out spaz shocker.

6. KEVIN "SPANKY" LONG

DESPITE what I said a few months ago, he has nothing in common with Axl Rose. I guess I can't include sarcasm or blatant lies in my stories because retarded kids believe everything they read. I'm always over-estimating my readership. Is it my fault kids are so unbelievably stupid?

BEST TRICK (O'DELL'S PICKS):

1. JOSEPH CORDOVA

ONE OF LEO ROMERO'S homies from Los Wherever California, he focused the window at Masquerade and spent the night in jail. If anything, you should be rewarded for that.

2. GUY THAT WAS TRYING TO GRIND UP THE RAIL

THERE WAS A GUY trying to grind up the rail. I was worried for his life--he was no Reese Forbes.

I WAS GOING TO STICK AROUND and take photos of the winner circle but I couldn't sit through that part where Brian Schaeffer thanks every dude ever born in skateboarding. It goes on for like two hours. Next year just say "Thank you God, my friends, my family, and everyone else who's helped me out along the way ... and the winner is Josh Beagle! Let's go to Ybor! Owww!"

"ACTUAL TAMPA AM 2005 RESULTS ...

TRICK

1. Andrew Pott: Big flip front board fakie flat rail, hard flip back lip flat rail

2. Sean Conover: Kickflip back Smith flat rail

3. Kyle Frederick: Kickflip front salad flat rail, nollie back tail round rail

4. Matt Mercer: Switch 270 front board flat rail

5. Sierra Fellers: Nollie heel boardslide flat rail

VERT

1. Chris Gregson

2. Josh Borden

3. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins

4. Alex Perelson

5. Packy Fancher

6. Dan Stephan

7. Jesse McDonald

8. Mike Owen

9. Zach Miller

10. Taylor Smith

DEVILLE'S SIDE ...

12th: Dave Kaule from Pittsburgh, PA

Since I didn't really watch any of the Qualifying or Semi-Final rounds, I had no idea who this guy was. I said to someone, "Who the hell is this guy? Did he sneak on the course or something?" No disrespect because the dude rips and once I saw him skate it was all good, but he looked a bit older and had a different style than the rest of the finalists.

11th: Keegan Sauder from Vancouver, BC

Keegan is one of the coolest guys out there and he really knows how to skate a street course, but that's to be expected when you hail from Canada's cement parks and have a few years of ripping under your belt.

10th: Anthony Janow from Simi Valley, CA

One of the younger guys out on the course, but that doesn't mean that his bag of tricks lacked at all. His move is the kickflip feeble and he's got it on legit handrails.

9th: Tommy Sandoval from San Diego, CA

Tommy is already a force to be reckoned with, so I can only imagine what the future holds. Shit, the tattoo across his chest reads "DIE TRYING." His Final attempts weren't as good as his Qualifying runs, so that left him behind, but he's got way more contest skill than I had ever imagined.

8th: Sierra Fellers from Whitefish, MT

This guy won Tampa Am last year with possibly the most amazing contest run of all time. Sierra can nail a nollie flip boardslide every try and he's soft-spoken and very friendly ... one of my favorites.

7th: Torey Pudwill from Simi Valley, CA

I believe this it Torey's third trip to Tampa. He's super-smooth and a solid all around skateboarder, but honestly, and this sounds pretty lame, but I can't remember anything at all that he did in the Finals. Damn, because he must have ripped to get there. Sorry Torey.

6th: Danny Cerezini from Curitiba, Brazil

Only the best ride for Flip, so that tells you what's up with Danny. I remember a few years ago when he first came to Tampa he couldn't speak any English, so when Schaeffer told everyone to clear the course he had no idea what was going on and kept skating. Schaeffer gave him $20 for the kickflip crooks on the flatbar way back then. Now he's very fluent and I bet his price is higher than $20.

5th: Willy Ackers from Wilmington, DE

This kid has been coming to Tampa for as long as I can recall. He gets better and more impressive every year. Some likened his skating to Chris Senn because he flies around the course throwing moves on literally every single obstacle. He did at least twice as many tricks per run than anyone else in the finals.

4th: Dom Johnson from West Palm Beach, FL

This kid's got the look. I know that sounds gay, but he's got the skating to back it up, too. His move is the kickflip crooks and he can put it down on command, along with a super-fluid style on everything else.

3rd: Danny Rosario from Curitiba, Brazil

This kid has been to the States a few times and still doesn't speak a lick of English. His style is buttery and he has frontside flips to die for ... the kind you catch perfectly at 90 degrees and keep going up, hovering there for a second, and then you make that final 90 degree turn on the way down. Sweet.

2nd: Sean Conover from Gainesville, FL

I know what you're thinking, because not too long ago I was wondering who the hell this kid was, too. Who cares what he did in the contest? He did a kickflip back Smith down Tranquility Rail in Houston. No more flow for Sean, he officially stepped it up.

1st: Nyjah Huston from Davis, CA

I'LL BE HONEST, because I seriously never thought there was a chance in hell that Nyjah muston would win. I've seen the kid skate several times in the past year or so at different events and he completely rips. I figured he'd make the first cut, and then possibly the second, but I didn't think he could pull it off when it really counted. How wrong I was, my friend. Nyjah completely destroyed the course with manly back tailslides down the big hubba, front blunt shoves on the flatbar, and kickflip 50/50's every single try on the bank to ledge. He did two flawless runs of which either could have won. Congratulations to the little man who blew minds.
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Author:O'Dell, Patrick
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:1780
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