Friday, July 11, 2008
The Maloof Money Cup has officially started. On the evening of Friday July 11, 2008, Emerica team riders Bryan Herman, Leo Romero and Braydon Szafranski joined in on the fun in the Pro Preliminaries of the "richest contest in skateboarding." The course was pretty swell and the weather was nice and cool.
All of the Wild Ride homies, including Emerica pro Heath Kirchart, came out to cheer them on and provide moral support.
Baker pro Terry Kennedy dropped by to say, "What up!" before the hammers started dropping. And when it got on, things really heated up. Amazing tricks were landed back-to-back by greats like Marc Johnson, Alex Olson, Nyjah Huston, Tommy Sandoval and Sean Malto.
Leo had so much fun, he didn't even care what "zone" he was supposed to skate in, and while the judges weren't looking, he landed an amazing nose blunt slide UP the Carlsbad gap!
Terry was on fire, and after landing a nice fakie 5-0 down the rail, he earned himself the right to introduce the Street Prelims for TV.
Herman decided to take the easier route down the gap, and ended up absolutely destroying it with this switch frontside flip, as well as a hardflip, a lofty nollie flip and even a nollie 360 flip. If you forgot why everyone calls him The Hermanator, now you know.
In the end, The Hermanator took a well-deserved first place in the prelims. He will join Emerica buddy Andrew Reynolds and the other pre-qualified skaters--amongst them such heavyweights as Chris Cole, Eric Koston, Erik Ellington and Mark Appleyard--on Saturday for the Semi-Finals. Stay tuned!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The second day of the Maloof Money Cup came and went with a bang. After Eric Koston and Alex Misurov took the top two spots at the mid-day éS Game of SKATE Semi-Finals, the Street Semi-Finals got underway in three action-packed heats.
Emerica pros Andrew Reynolds and Bryan Herman arrived early to get their practice in on the relatively empty course. The Hermanator was still feeling the heat from last night's superstar performance and had some warming-up to do.
Leo Romero didn't qualify for the Semi-Finals--even though he landed the biggest hammer by far--and showed up with Wild Ride homie Sean Eaton to provide spiritual guidance.
Reynolds and Herman weren't scheduled to compete until the third and final heat, so they could enjoy watching two sessions of epic skating before they needed to go again. The first heat featured back-to-back bangers from Mike Carroll, Eric Koston, Adam Dyet, Sean Malto, Jereme Rogers and Terry Kennedy. In between heats, Braydon gave Malto some much-needed tips and support. He was more than thankful.
The second heat continued on and saw intense skating by Darrell Stanton, Billy Marks, Sierra Fellers and Ryan Sheckler--with a standout performance by Dennis Busenitz, who used his trademark lightning speed and precision to ollie the entire manual pad like a giant cone.
Finally, the third heat arrived, and Reynolds and Herman were joined on the course by Nyjah Huston, Chris Cole, Erik Ellington, Paul Rodriguez and Tommy Sandoval. The small rails got destroyed with tricks such as Bryan's kickflip frontside nosegrind and Andrew's switch frontside flip and kickflip frontside lipslide (photo above).
After that, the skaters took on the bigger gaps and drops. Nyjah and Chris Cole stepped it up and landed some insane tricks, but in the end the Altamont alliance annihilated all--first with Bryan's hardflip down the Carlsbad gap, finishing off with an amazing nollie inward heel, followed by Andrew's fakie frontside half-cab flip down the 15-stair monster. Damn! It makes you wonder how much better the finals tomorrow could possibly be.
To be continued tomorrow!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Crowds, cameras, carnage! The final day of the Maloof Money Cup stood in stark contrast with the earlier days. No more mellowness, no more having fun--this was IT. The crowds were thick and the cameras many. For some odd reason, Bryan Herman got robbed of a spot in the Finals. In the end, it was probably better because, in my opinion, the Finals took themselves a bit too seriously.
Andrew Reynolds did get a spot in the Finals, and he showed up early for practice with Shake Junt mastermind Shane Heyl. Shane is still injured and walking with a cane, but he'll be back on board soon.
Before the Street Finals were to commence, the last rounds of the éS Game of SKATE Pro Finals were held, and Braydon decided to enter--much to everyone's amusement. Before his first round, he shared some quick trick tips with OG éS Game of SKATE creator, Eric Koston.
Braydon's first round was against Long Beach native Darrell Stanton. Dissatisfied with Darrell's trick selection, Braydon kicked away his board after Darrell served up a mind-twisting dolphin flip. Alas, his first round was to be his last. Yeah, Braydon!
Braydon's defeat didn't stop him from providing comic relief. As Stefan Janoski battled it out against Chris Cole, Braydon decided to take a swim through the sea of éS logos. All jokes aside, this led up to the most amazing Game of SKATE I've ever witnessed--a four man brawl featuring Chris Cole, Alex Misurov, Eric Koston and Billy Marks. I thought it turned out better than the Street Finals, with awesome skating by all four participants and tricks like a pressure Varial heelflip by Koston, a triple kickflip by Marks and a 360 double flip that brought Chris Cole the victory for a second year in a row.
After that, it was back to the street course, where Reynolds was joined by the other finalists--Dennis Busenitz, Terry Kennedy, Jereme Rogers, Ryan Sheckler, Darrell Stanton, Chris Cole and Paul Rodriguez--for five intense heats of media frenzy, er, skateboarding.
Unfortunately, it wasn't Andrew's day, and while he rolled away from some sick tricks--amongst them a frontside flip lipslide on the bump-to-bar and a backside 360 down the Carlsbad gap--he couldn't keep up with the contest-skating heavyweights. The Boss ended up in eighth place, while Paul Rodriguez walked home with the gold medal and a cool $100,000 in cash. Thankfully, at the end of the day, Leo Romero did get rewarded for his insane noseblunt slide up the Carlsbad gap on Friday with the Best Trick prize of $2000. Congratulations, Leo! That's it for the Maloof Media Madness. See you next year?--Foxxyz
Watch the Maloof Money Cup rebroadcast on CBS on Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 12:00 noon Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern.