Last Man Standing Competition: Brooklyn NYC
Disclaimer: The information contained within may not be 100% actual or factual. Please use your own judgement.
This battle in Brooklyn, Williamsburg to be exact, is the 3rd installment in a 5-month, 5 borough NYC rollerblade street competition. The 4th and 5th events are scheduled to take place in the Bronx and Manhattan during Aug. and Sept. respectively. As the scheduled Sat., July 28th, 2007 date drew nearer, many questions arose, as there was still no posting, mention or official word on this battle set to take place. There was lots of speculation and skepticism as to whether or not there would be a comp. People either neglected to show or simply could not afford to attend due to the improper organization of a comp that seems to take everyone's time for granted. Luckily for me, Myspace’s bulletin was back up and also had the comp’s 1st spot lined up, the very night before it was set to go down.
Despite all the negativity and doubt surrounding the event it all went down without any rain, or injuries and that’s what matters most. I arrived late around 1:30-2:00 pm and was surprised to see that a decent crowd had already been warming up and was far beyond ready for battle. With me was a spiffy red umbrella just in case it did poor but I only used it to shade the blistering summer sun. This first spot, Washington, is a well-known locale for skaters, boarders, and bikers alike within the little Williamsburg community just across the Williamsburg Bridge. Just a few blocks off the Marcy Ave stop on the J line is where you can find the popular George Washington Statue. Beneath GW lie small, 3-stepped ledges on all 4 sides and a few feet to one side is a thick black rail, which allows for forward-2.5ft gap-transfers to another rail, side-4ft gap-transfers to the left rail, or a 3 stair-forward-5ft gap disaster to a left sided rail.
At jump time the crowd remained relatively the same as there were approx. 50 skaters including their guests. Brooklyn powerhouse, Yannes Sootes had the support of both his mom and his sister as he put on a one-man show, transferring and gapping to disaster tricks with ease. Music played from an amp and was backed by a stereo mic for the hosts and judges who let us know that there was an option to skate either the ledges or the rails. This option wasn’t taken seriously though I did catch a glimpse of Anthony Soto’s patented super LOW backside unity to fakie on the ledges, so sick! Several others stuck to hitting the last rail w/o transferring. The biggest stunt here could’ve easily been the royale- 450 royale xfer left to royale that Chauncey Jenkins came so close to landing twice. The other heavy tricks to name a few were disaster farv (Jesus Medina), top soul xfer tts (Tim Franken), top soul xfer tru porn, disaster fish, disaster tru miz (Yannes S.), and top porn xfer back royale (Danny Figgz).
About 30 blocks later after playing follow the leader right into the projects; we all arrived at these thick but short and low stair rails, which were no longer than 7ft. This spot was just a few blocks off the Flushing Ave stop on the J line and directly behind Woodhall Hospital. As the heats ensued, very observant neighborhood youth began to gather, often offering their observations as if we were clueless to our own activities. This down rail saw an onslaught of almost every alley-oop, topside and 270 trick but it wasn’t until Julio Amiama, Chauncey, Yannes, Tim, Soto and others got down that this spot quickly became ill. Manhattan’s Evan threw down some tricks and even one-upped a chally (J. Medina’s slang for challenge) set by Mr. Medina’s 180 over the flat high rail atop a small set- with a 540, 2nd try. I should note that Jesus followed his gap into the second set where he laced a clean backslide and also that Evan wasn’t even in the competition. Other highlights included Yannes’ 360 sweaty, Chauncey’s 450 royale, Edwin Ed13’s pudslide, Figgz’s bs savanna, Soto’s mute to bs unity and a few too close to call misses.
Spot 3 was only 3 blocks north of the hospital and was yet another forward transfer rail spot, only these were your typical long handicap rails with about a 2 ft. gap between them. The spot itself was narrow and a bit difficult not only to film or photograph but also to skate without running into a fence, wall or spectator. By this time only the big boys were left to play and one by one it was clear to see who was winning and who the runner up’s were. Once again Brooklyn native and New York’s most talented unsigned skater, Yannes, put on a showcase with some really hard tricks whenever he wasn’t taken a really hard fall. His run consisted of top acid xfer tru miz back to acid and torque soul xfer top soul-bs backslide-tru soul. Chauncey landed a top acid-bs royale xfer bs royale step back acid-fast tap fish along with a few clean switch-ups on the last rail. Soto’s fish xfer bs royale was probably one of the sexiest. Tim snuck a bs farv-mistrial xfer top torque soul in with a cab royale xfer royale-ao fish. A crazy royale xfer ao top soul landed Julio in the psyche ward for most dangerous transfer where he was immediately joined by Yannes with a top soul xfer tru farv attempt. I’m sure he would’ve laced had he been given more time.
At the end, several people were left standing contrary to the competition title but only one man was dominant. This victory became the first thing that the mother Russian, Yannes, could say that skating has given him other than injuries and frustration. A WWE belt plastered with Jug stickers was awarded to the champ as the ceremonial water was poured onto his head. To make the moment sweeter was his cheerful mom and sis at his side as he quietly counted the sum of $5.00 per every 18 contestants. Yannes also gave a shout-out to his friend, Vitaly, a fellow skater who is currently in a coma from non-skate related injuries and needs our prayers. Chauncey Jenkins took 2nd place and Julio Amiama took 3rd place even though Tim Franken could’ve easily placed or tied (this is what sets this comp apart). Instead of taking the best person from the finals, host and creator Victor Callendar has decided that the best overall performance from start to finish, with the most consistency wins. This way no one spot or obstacle can work in one’s favor.
Last Man Standing: Brooklyn was by far the most enjoyable comp for me so far and it’s fair to say that in a borough with few well-known skaters, Brooklyn had a lot to prove. This competition was also the first of the NYC comp series to be WON by an individual from NYC, let alone from Brooklyn. The first comp in Staten Island was taken by Anthony Chen, and the second comp in Queens was won by Jon Jon Bolino, both of who are natives to neighboring New Jersey. The scheduled date for the Bronx comp is Aug. 25th and Sept. 8th for the final chapter in Manhattan.
I had fun and hope you all continue to, so please come out and show your love & support for rolling.
Written by Adonis Taylor
In association with EvoTek Media (myspace.com/evofilms)
All photos courtesy of Drew Humphrey (myspace.com/humphreydrew) -
Check the YouTube link below to see what DrewH threw together... - a lot is missing including the entire final spot so stay tuned for a better compilation of photo's as well as his own reposting of the report.
Disclaimer: The information contained within may not be 100% actual or factual. Please use your own judgement and always, EVOLVE RESPONSIBLY.[/b]