Photo above: Orange overview. Photo below: The winner, Milo Rivera
The Boost Mobile / éS Game of SKATE held in Orange, California was presented in conjunction with Active Ride Shop at the Village of Orange on Saturday, June 17, 2006. This was the third éS Game of SKATE on the 19-stop U.S. tour.
At start time, there were only 44 entrants, so we waited a bit in hopes that more skaters would come out of the woodwork. One of the detriments of skateboarding events in Southern California is that the skaters are so used to having good stuff to skate and contests every weekend that they get a little jaded. It would make sense that in a place with more skateboarders per capita than almost anywhere else in the world, we would get more skaters. Well, we eventually did. By the time the first round had ended, we had filled out six brackets and had 96 skaters.
As the Active crew cooked up hot dogs and gave out lots of water to fight off the heat, the rounds kept moving. Locals Derek Fukuhara, Weiner, Pepito Galindo, Kelly O’Rourke and more made it deep into the rounds, along with most of a crew of 10 from Arizona. One of those kids was a ripper named Bret Kalmbach, who had a bag full of tricks. Included among those were a number of wacky one-footed Ollie variations: switch Ollie norths, Dorothy Ollies--where he’d click his heels together--and Ollie souths and southwests. For an Ollie south, you kick off your back foot. They were all tricks that were within the â€œrulesâ€ of the éS Game of SKATE, but Bret tried to claim that kicking his foot different directions was a different trick, and it’s not. A one-footed Ollie is a one-footed Ollie, so the variations didn’t fly. Nonetheless, Bret made it into the Semi-Finals with this trick strategy. The odd part is that he had a bunch of tough tricks, but stuck to the slightly more goofy onesk, for some reason.
There’s nothing wrong with that--it’s important to remember that these kinds of tricks are all allowed--but just because they’re allowed doesn’t mean you’ve got to do them. There should be a sense of integrity that goes along with playing SKATE. Sure, when you’re playing with your friends in the parking lot, you can pull out kickflips landing cross-legged, or three-flips landing one-footed, but if that’s all you’ve got, it’s kind of a bummer.
Anyway, Kelly O’Rourke got past Bret, and then, as he went up against his friend Pepito, all the Arizona locals cheered on Pepito, who won and ended up in the top six. Another top six skater was Chris Mendez from the Inland Empire of Southern California. Chris blazed through most of the day and went up against Derek Fukuhara in the Semi-Finals, where it came down to a T-to-T tie before Derek advanced to the finals. The top three ended up being Milo Rivera, who looked like a favorite all day long, Derek Fukuhara, and Chad Pocher, a young skater with a deep bag of tricks. As soon as Chad learns all those tricks with some speed, he’ll definitely turn some heads.
Milo and Derek battled it out for the top two spots, with another T-to-T match. Milo took out Derek, earning himself a Boost Mobile i875 MP3/camera phone and service from Boost, as well as shoes and gear from éS Footwear, and an-all expenses paid trip to the Action Sports Retailer trade show in San Diego, California in September for the éS Game of SKATE Finals. Representing Cathedral City, California, Milo ripped through all seven rounds and should fare well in the Finals in San Diego.
Download a PDF of the brackets.