The part that I was most worried about was the micro-managing. Lets go ahead and get this out on the table now so that hopefully you will understand the painting. I am extremely O.C.D., way to caring, and frustrated very easily. Not the typical personality types that makes sense together, much less seem like I should want to host a skate contest. I am not sure how long you have been blading or how many rollerbladers you actually know. But rollerbladers like to do three things. Blade (obviously), party, and fuck shit up. Now take all those and multiply them by ten and „Boom!“ you have the southern rollerblading scene.
Friday I knew would not be too hectic. Only doods that were a few hours away would be the ones to make the drive that night. Pretty much some cats from Memphis, TN showed and a few guys from Kentucky came down that night. Not much went on really and I was out of town due to prior obligations.
Then came Saturday, ha ha what a day. It started off with me driving back to Nashville only to catch wind that the Carolina crews had just arrived in to town. My phone (like always) was blowing up. The Nashville crew seemed to already be alive and well and getting shit organized as I was on my way home. Your boy Julian Mier had already taken the liberty to start putting together some street sessions. Kai Parkerson and Old school were doing me a huge one and playing mapquest for all the other cities that were on their way. By the time I had made it home all the Chattanooga doods were here finally. So a crew of about 20 some odd people decided to meet at the skatepark so that everyone could get used to the place a little. I scooped up Zach Leavell and Glenn Stiggie and made my way to the park to get this weekend started.
Arriving at the park was quite a treat. Don‘t get me wrong, Nashville comes hard for sure. We keep as many bladers in that jawn as possible. But wow, my expectations had most definitely been set way to low. Im talking total takeover. So at first glance the nervousness of how the next would go finally kicked in. I remember asking Kai (who was playing mapquest) if this was everyone and he listed off the other crews that he knew of were still on their way. See, going into this thing I totally expected my homies to support me. Here‘s how it went down: throughout that day basically the entire state of Georgia managed to show up. Later into the night Brian Starnes and some buds cruised up from New Orleans. Doug Williams crewed up and basically brought down the state of Kentucky and last but not least early the next morning Birmingham Al decided to also make an appearance. Not sure if you are any good with estimating, but I think you get the picture. By the time all of these people had finally arrived, a huge crew of us had managed to finally bounce from the park and make a move to Kaizers house for a little pre-gaming.
More and more people started showing up, or calling and asking to bring a few cars over. We all knew shit was getting a little too tight in there so I made a few calls and low and behold the man of the hour came through. A huge thank you and major props for doing it! Jon Huffaker said fuck it, and decided to play the host for the evening allowing whoever from wherever come over and rage. So that is exactly what we did, well they did. I and my loyal entourage of helpers headed back to the park so that we could sweep, mop, and wax the entire thing.
Michael Braud – Alley oop wallride 360° off
Bright and early the next morning I woke up to a phone with 23 missed calls. I knew what that meant. No bullshitting. Got my shit together. Had a little session with my homes here at the house. Packed Zach‘s car full of all the product and headed down the road to meet a grip of doods for breakfast. Had a peaceful little morning, made our way to the park.
I think arriving into that parking lot was when it truly hit me. You know that „Holy shit this means everything“-type of feeling. When you look over at what is usually an empty outdoor skatepark that is now being flooded with bladers of all types. One corner looked like a bag of skittles. The other looked like a fleet of lumber jacks. I could literally smell the stench of the hipster bladers, and an incredible amount of people of all shapes and sizes coming in and out of the park. And the contest didn‘t even start for 2 more hours. I got really lucky and the same reliable crew of doods plus my brother plus some other friends were all there bright and early to help set shit up and help me get things together. All the judges finally arrived who might I say were the most amazing reliable people I could have asked for. My highlight of that next hour was most definitely Jeremy Arnold and a crew of Clarksville guys already being there ready to shred. We continued to gather things and move things and clean things and smoke things and break things for the next hour or so and then there was no fighting it anymore. No ignoring it, that gut feeling I had been putting off for so long. My cell phone had finally quit ringing, the outdoor park was full of only skateboarders finally. I took the last puff of that cigarette, ask God to let me make all the right moves and „Bam!“ like I dream of genie I found myself standing in the middle of what two hours ago was five guys pushing brooms to 200+ people pushing and yelling and strapping up.
We kicked the morning off with quite an entertaining little contest for the groms. Props go out to my main man Rashad. A local kid who I watch shred on a skateboard and blades just lay it down and thrash his competition. Plus he was throwing his first 540 that day over a stair set. Shit was ill.
Philip Moore – Alley oop negative Mistrial while winning the old man contest
Next we moved things right along to „The Old Geezer Battle“. Shit went down is the least I can say. These doods handle shit. I got to watch some of my homies I haven‘t seen blade in years do their thing. I was very honored to be in presence of so many guys skating their asses off that I used to idolize growing up. Philip Moore from Alabama took home that #1 spot. Closely followed by Vijay Kanabar in 2nd and home town hero Jon (Knoxville) Huffaker. After that was over I decided to call an intermission for everyone so that the pheens could get in some nicotine and people could grab some food and a drink.
I remember standing on the porch smoking that cigarette talking to the guy at one point in time. Then he started shredding the little 6 stair rail on his own while everyone else smoked. I don‘t remember when he skated off, I do not remember seeing him climb the stairs, all I remember is a distant voice say „Grind that shit, Jordan.“ I looked over only to get motivated to do what I did. I ran back inside and snatched the microphone from the DJ and franticly screamed and pleaded and begged the entire audience and competitors to come with me. And like that we did, organized and hastily pretty much the entire skatepark fled out of the doors. I held the door open so I was one of the last ones out. Seeing everyone looking straight up I jolted down the stairs and over to the crowd. „Get him down, now!“ the manager of the skatepark yelled.
Jordan Dale meditating on top of a roof. With a cape on
See at first glance when I was outside smoking, Jordan had made it out like he was going to try to skate this 2 story drop rail on the side of the building. No big deal! Yeah, it was a little steep and had one hell of a landing. But I had seen the dood do some gnar shit plenty of times. I mean duh, it was Jordan Dale. But by the time I had went and got the crowd and made it back in, he had managed to climb over the rail and make his way out onto the awning. This I knew was a bad idea! At first I yelled and screamed along with the skatepark manager to get him down. I tried to convince him and call it off. But then I knew it was pointless. He had began to make this his meditating and I looked at the person next to me and screamed „Do it Jordan, lace that shit!“
Kyle, the skatepark manager, had ran up the stairs, pointed one finger at Jordan and screamed „Get off that roof, now!“ And like that, Jordan tip toed his way to the edge, closed his eyes and acid dropped two stories. Of course not. Why would you even for a second wonder if he landed it? Like 17, 18 feet straight jump, no speed. But it did make for one hell of a photo leaking around the internet and one hell of a story.
We somehow managed to get everyone back in and back to their spots and seats. Enjoyed a nice little performance by local hip hop artist/rollerblader Tony Woodland and his group „THE INDUSTRY“. Then finally, the first annual „Too Cold To Blade Outside Contest“ finally started.
There is no need for me to type out the details of the contest as the edit was super proper and David managed to capture over half of the highlights. Something I was extremely impressed by were the judges. I would constantly look over at them to see their reactions to the tricks done but all 5 of them kept their eyes glued to the competitors. Then in the final heat they managed to conduct a new form of comp. They had me help organize the entire last heat to go one at a time for a 10 minute heat. This was genius because it allowed each competitor to have enough room to lace whatever it was they were going for. Weather it was a hammer or a full line. The competitors vibes so hard off this and were flowing one after another just keeping each other full of juice. Needless to say by this point in time I was pointless, ha ha! Everyone skated their asses off all day. Big ups to Gumby for showing up and keeping that crowd awake with his ridiculous stunts. He won best trick for that 360° wallride come back in fakie (pic can be seen on top of the article). Landon Jordan took home third and left everyone in that room admitting that they had seen the future. Steven Tat took home second like always managing to pull out just enough perfectly executed tricks to get one of those top three spots. I can not tell you how happy I was when I got the judges final decision paper. Or how even much more happy I was when I got to announce that a 17 year old kid had not only managed to party hard with us all night, and worked his ass off keeping up with the big boys the whole time. Ray Kronenberg walked into that skatepark with the biggest smile that day and it was such a blessing to yell out his name and hear so many people loose it for him. Congratulations Ray, I am so proud of you man! You truly are a champion.
Ray Kronenberg – First ever T.C.T.B.O. Champion
I can not thank everyone enough for the participation, the fellowships, the attitudes, and good vibes. A huge thank you to all the sponsors, Left Foot Right Skateshop, Asphalt Beach Skateshop, Aggressivemall Skateshop, Origyn Clothing, Jug Footwear, Remz, Sunshine Distribution, Razors Skates, and of course my everything, SOUTHERNSCUM. An even bigger shout out to the southern blade scene for making this part of the movement come alive. My brother Brad Anthony for being such a loyal friend and having my back through all the stress. Doug Williams for that little pick me up/motivational speech in the parking lot. Rockettown and Sixth Ave. skatepark for letting rollerbladers come in there and take over. Most importantly the friends I have made here in Nashville who are willing to help me ride this shit until the end, T.C.T.B.O. would not have happened with out you guys. You know who you are. I really hope I see all those new faces at it again next year. Shit is going to be so much bigger and so much better! Enjoy.