Skatepark of Tampa
March 12-14, 2004
Straight off the Hotlanta to Tampa éScapade, during which the éS team bagged footie from Atlanta down to Miami for their upcoming video, our boys Eric Koston, Rick McCrank, Rodrigo TX. and Justin Eldridge rolled up to the 10th annual Tampa Pro contest at the Skatepark of Tampa just in time for all the fun.
As for the rest of the éS team, Tom Penny was enjoying some vacation time down in Buenos Aires, Argentina with his son Nicolas; P.J. Ladd was hiding out in Encinitas, California with Ryan Gallant; and Cale Nuske was chilling at home in Adelaide, Australia.
After settling into the hotel and getting some much-needed slumber, the éS crew awoke Friday and began mapping out plans of utter domination (and near-domination, as it would turn out) of the long weekend's proceedings. Late Friday evening, they even enjoyed an exclusive, clandestine hour-long session at SpoT, logging in some much-needed warm-up time on the street course.
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Eric and Justin got their shred on at an infamous local cabaret called Mons Venus. After a few hours of enjoying various worldly delights, the dynamic duo shut the place down at 4:30 a.m. and returned to the hotel. Eric ventured off straight to dreamland, and since Justin is an amateur who didn't feel like entering the pro contest, he packed his bags for an early bird flight home.
On Saturday during the qualifiers, Rodrigo got taken out by a board to the knee, leaving Eric and Rick to take Tampa Pro by storm. And that they did on in the finals on Sunday. Rick ended up beating some heavy hitters like Chris Cole and Kyle Berard, as well as about 110 other accomplished skateboarders. Boasting backside 360 nosegrinds on the fun box ledge, kickflip 5-0s up the Euro gap ledge, stylish backside tailslides through the quarterpipe corner, 360 flips over the huge pyramid, huge melons to fakie on the quarterpipe and switch k grinds across the pyramid flat bar, Rick kept the pedal to the metal all weekend and ended up with a second place check ($7,500) and trophy thrown into his hands.
Feeling left out, Eric stepped-up his performance a notch during the subsequent Worst Trick event, offering a 270 bone-up to frontside noseslide down the big rail for the coveted first place trophy (an elegant plaque sporting a photo of SpoT owner Brian Schaefer). The night was capped off with a swanky sushi dinner in the company of supermodels and exotic dancers at Samurai Blue, as well as carousing at the Green Room bar, followed by early bird flights home the following morning.
We here at éS would like to thank and congratulate Rick and Eric for doing their best and worst, respectively, at the 10th Anniversary edition of the raddest contest anywhere…Tampa Pro!
Addendum: It takes a lot to make a contest like the Tampa Pro happen, and when companies pay a lot of money to sponsor a contest, they don't like it too much when other companies get the same promotion for free. So the good folks at the Skatepark of Tampa gave us a nice little invoice for all the éS stickers we put up at the contest. It's OK, though, just wait until Brian Schaefer and Ryan Clements--Tampa's two main men--see the bar tab we ran up on their credit cards! Thanks, Tampa!