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Skateboarding News

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Protec Pool Party 2010 is over...

The Protec Pool Party 2010 is over. See you next year!

O King, live forever!

According to Daniel 6:17; about 3,000 years ago, anybody caught breaking the King’s law could be thrown in a deathpit with angry lions. At that time, praying for God was a crime, and officials could arrest you for that. Daniel defied the law by doing what he though was way cool: praying. Nowadays, you would think that 3000 years after that event, nobody would be arrested for doing something cool … You would think that things have changed a lot since the time of King Darius. Right? Think again: you could still be arrested for doing something cool. Take skateboarding. As much as praying was a crime 3,000 years ago, in 2010 skateboarding is a still a crime and you still could be thrown in a pit for not respecting the rule. But much like Daniel who was first happy to be thrown in a pit and then saved by King Darius, the vert skaters of 2010 are also happy to be thrown in a pit and then saved by the King of Masters Steve Van Doren and his big fat checks.

History repeated itself since last week-end, Saturday May 22, a whole bunch of skaters where thrown in a deathpit for … skateboarding! And much like 3,000 years ago everybody highly enjoyed the sacrifice and prayed for Steve Van Doren the Master of masters and rescuer of vert skating.
I’m not sure I understand doomsayers that bring visions of Apocalypse and repeat over and over again that vert is dead and that this year’s party would prove that any attempt to revive it would be hopeless. If any, this year’s Party was bigger that least year. Maybe those guys have not seen the buzz surrounding the few weeks before the event when people desperately seeking tickets and passes were asking everywhere how to get them. Unfortunately, there were no tickets available for sale for the party because it is all upon invitation and those who had purchased their tickets online (on Craig-list for example) were in for a disappointment. A big sign and a brief line-check filtered the genuine from the replica and left a flock of skate-hungry masses grinding their teeth outside of the temple when what they wanted was just grinding the coping. That is sad, but, hey, who ever said life is fair? So, if you were not among the 1000 or so skateboarding who’s who to catch the action live at Van’s skatepark or watch the HD webcast it on fuel you really blew it, because you missed the 6th Annual Pro-tec Pool Party, backed by the largest prize purse in the history of bowlriding (In addition to enhancing the overall purse of the Protec Pool Party this year to over $100,000, Steve Van Doren put an individual $100 price tag on each block for the winner of the Bucks For Blocks event) and you have no excuses for that, unless you were grinding and shredding somewhere in a secret backyard pool. BTW, I know fuel,tv will rebroadcast a compendium of the event in August but whoever had the technical savvy to know how TiVo the event, let me know because I wish to see it again: what were once vices are now habits.

Master view of the combi pool and the media frenzi. No, it is not a soccer game, but more than 1000 people gathered for the event which was broadcast on Fuel.TV. If you missed the action live, you can find archives of the HD webcast at Or you can see a one hour television special that will debut August 6 during Skate@8 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on FUEL TV

Cab doing what he does best: skateboarding in a nice outfit!

As big as Lasek's $30k win, the story of the night was Steve Caballero snapping Chris Miller’s five-year streak as Master's
champion in front of his public. Nonetheless, Chris Miller electrified the
crowd as he does each year.

The Master of disasters: No one in the world skates like Duane Peters who killed it in his own special way. Aggressive skating whole attitude fuck ya’ll. In the years that Duane Peters has made a showing at the Pool Party, we've all been treated to some of the most edgy skating ever witnessed by human eyes. Take for example his decked frontside rocks in the square, which certainly must have nearly blown Eddie Elguera off of his perch in the bleachers. Duane pulled out everything he had and often stayed on through sheer will and punk-ness. DP took home the 5th spot.

The Master Zen and aggressive Lester Kasai

The Master’s prelims were hot and I loved the runs of Cara-Beth, Mike Rogers and especially Pat Ngoho who I found incredibly smooth and effortless in his lines: this guy has the power.

But then, after the dust settled, only Lester Kasai, Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Tony Mag, Eric Nash, Duane Peters, Nicky Guerrero, Lance Mountain, Chris Miller, and Steve Caballero were up for the 2nd round.
Of course, everybody either at the Party or on Facebook was thinking Chris Miller would keep his trophy for another year, or maybe for ever.
It quite did not happen like that.

First things first: where does Lester Kasai get all his zen and energy?
It’s a real mystery to me, but his facial expression and powerful moves were not enough to convince the judges (Bostick, Alva…) as an arm injury took him out before the end of the final and he eventually ended 10th.

Viva la Arcadia: Jeff Grosso

Then I would say that I am totally biased towards "The prince from Arcadia": Jeff Grosso. That certainly has something to do with the fact that, for the last 5 weeks, every time I went to Vans, he was there and every time I wanted to drop in the combi, he offered me to go ahead, like a real Gentleman.

Man, that’s why I love those guys: there are light-years ahead of you, but they act like we all were on the same team!
During those past 5 weeks at Vans, I saw Grosso study his lines, some of them that he did not even repeat at the Party.
Of course, I saw him training for his memorable boarslide again and again and again and I secretly prayed to God so he could win.

With hindsight, you can say that on May 18th, I forecast on this same website Jeff Grosso's 28-amazing-tiles victory…
But my blood suddenly turned cold after his acid drop from the peninsula turned into a fantastic wipeout. The chute even hurt me… The same thing happened to other guys, including the insane Duane Peters.
It seems amazing to me to see those guys not been able to walk after a fall but being able to continue skating and ending up on the 9th spot. But I guess that's why they are called "Masters".

Way to go Grosso.

Master brother from Heaven: Christian Hosoi

Then, just like what happened 3,000 years ago in the lion's pit, let’s just toss another sick Christian into the pit!

Hosoi was sick throwing his meal because of stomach flu but he was also sick throwing up a couple of 540 as the time had run out.
Even when double D said that his time at The Sanctuary was over, Hosoi just though “Let’s do it, just for the sick of it” and because skateboarding is just that: pure fun!

During all his runs, Hosoi was just cruising. Hey, Holmes has definitely has his own style with power and flow back......

After the contest, Hosoi simply commented in his Facebook page: “I had a great time at the contest this weekend... Was sick all the way to the contest second year in a row : ( Looking forward to next year) Gonna make sure that next year I will be at 100% so I can give the guys a challenge... Everyone ripped hard!!! Time to get to work!!! God bless you for all your prayers that got me through the day of the contest. Jesus reigns!”.

Skim the fat, take that pearl?

You could say that the rest is history, first with a reborn, albeit fatter Tony Magnusson taking 7th place and doing some kind of
magic HoKus PoKus of his own.

Then an Eric Nash who apparently discovered the French magic potion, a true source of strength and age-reversal ruse for those who fall into the barrel.

At the 6th place, Nash displayed some of the best skating we've seen out of him yet, big airs, inverts, lip tricks, effortless and speedy lines. Nicky Guerrero who landed 4th, , gave a remarkable performance once again, bringing new and old school vert moves together in some blistering runs, mirroring Nash's skillset and appearing equally youthful.

Master in engineering: Lance Mountain

The fight for the podium was harsh. Take Lance Mountain: he is a perfect example of staying power in skateboarding. He’s been in it since before the Bones Brigade days, and is showing no signs on stopping any time soon.

In an interview with double D, Lance Mountain said he had not skated much over the past 2 years, but in my opinion that he was not Extremely Sorry for that. He actually spent more time designing his own backyard pool and breaking the concrete of the combi that skating on it. Well, some may argue that it gave him an advantage over the rest of his breathens, but so was his acolyte Jeff Grosso. So, as an engineer of the new combi, do you think that he may have secretly redrawn the bowls to fit his style?

Whatever he did or not did, that worked pretty well for a guy that did not skate a lot in 2 years: he throw up huge airs, possibly bigger than any he has ever done. Finally, Lance Mountain landed 3rd.

Chris Miller: the challenger

Even though he quit being a professional skateboarder years ago, Chris Miller still dominates the Masters class in nearly every event he enters. Miller has won the Pro-Tec Pool Party Masters division all four years due to his unmatched style and speed. Plus, he has one of the most stylish frontside airs ever. He owns and operates both Planet Earth and Adio footwear.

Chris Miller had won all previous Pool Party Master’s titles and certainly looked like he was bluntsliding his way to a sixth win.
To the general surprise, Chris Miller came up just short, but not for lack of power and style. You should have see Chris Miller in the air over the hip and cruising like 15 feet down for touchdown with a flow so insanely smooth. But, this year, maybe Chris Miller did not expect Steve Caballero’s return with some "runs of a lifetime".

Maybe Chris was too confident or maybe he could not impeccably complete his runs. Anyway, even if he had, that was not enough to beat a glowy reenergized Cab.

The #1 Cab in a coalmine is just that: #1

Taking his cute canary shoes and shirt to a whole new level, Steve Caballero finally secured his first Masters title in 2010 by skating all day with consistency, moves and lines 30 years deep: first, he had the distinction of being the only Master to flip his board, then, he jumped into the combi and treated it like it was his own Public Domain.

The Master of MC & Master Cab

Look no more for Animal Chin, there you have it! After winning the title, he just said in FaceBook “I believe that the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything they have and don't take things for granted. Appreciation is something learned and also earned by how we treat others.” Amen!

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Tuesday, May 25, 2010 


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