by: Blake Taylor

This year’s Panhandle Pow-Wow has left me in a whirlwind of emotions. Last Saturday night I was on top of the blade world, and by Thursday I was in the blade gutter. Pow-Wow came on the heels of the Winterclash and BCSD (also 5 star WRS events) hard acts for any event to follow, not to mention the Pow-Wow sized hangover that followed.

Don’t let the hype fool you, though. The Pow-Wow was picked to be on the stage for a reason. Maybe that 5th star was a bit premature but the event is still growing. Friday night, before the event even started, 2011 hype was buzzing the X-park. Everyone in attendance was more than satisfied they’d made the trip to Pensacola and most will be back next year. Before I go into
hibernation from event organizing for the next year, I have to let everyone know my personal favorites from this year’s event.

Andy Jacuzzi – even though I didn’t really get a chance to talk to Andy, his futuristic blading kept me in awe the entire day. Most would agree. He was even my mom’s personal favorite. I hope the world gets to see more of
his blading.

Rick Morgan – THE MAN. Rick is an old school vert skate boarder (36 years old). The kind that grew up picking on us bladers. Now married with 3 kids, he manages the X-park. I don’t think he said “no” to anything, and did everything. When the event was said and done, Rick was ready to take the money from his board company and dump it into blading. He was so jealous of
our scene as a boarder. Oh, we got his second born hooked too.

Oli Short & Gabriel Hyden (aka – “those guys in blouses?” aka Led Zepplin) – the beginning of the weekend Rick was all “WTF?” just like you see on the message boards. By the end of the weekend he was all “Oli is the man!” Which
he is, and if you don’t know by now then you never will. Gabriel – Franken – Hyden! Dude is so tall. He carries his height better than anyone I’ve seen blade. Those guys rip.

The Sponsored Obstacles – the X-park, the Gutter Lounge, and Liberty Lanes. This was my 3rd attempt with the commercially endorsed obstacles. I was finally able to get that idea to the point where I want it. Every one of the obstacles was used frequently thoughout the day, and they looked fresh. With the exception of the pavement, everyone really enjoyed the park and getting away from your typical disaster box style set-up. The venue was excellent, and they look forward to having us back next year. There may even be a Rat-Tail bowling tournament in the works?

Jon Elliot – interesting, very interesting.

Brian “freaking” Aragon – yeah he made it look like a walk in the park becoming the 4th Pow-Wow Chief, but even he’ll admit that during the finals, “he was in a zone he hadn’t seen in a while.” I really don’t remember him
falling either. On top of all that, he’s a really level-headed guy who works hard to stay on top of his blade game. He was refreshingly professional, and a great representation of our craft.

With that being said, I’m off to my alter ego world of insurance sales. Not to be heard from until next year, when the Pow-Wow will be back with a vengeance with 3 events planned for 2011 all throughout the Southeast. I’ll be around, though. Summer is here and I plan to be blading hard. Come skate with me here in Tally, or I may just be blading in town near you.

Captions:

– Andrew Jaccuzi, Sequence
– Andrew Jaccuzi, Full Cab AO Makio
– Andrew Jaccuzi, Full Cab AO Top Acid
– Carson Starnes, 360
– Daniel Henderson, 540 Royale
– Daniel Henderson, Fishbrain
– Franky Morales, AO Pornstar
– Matty Shrock, Fishbrain
– Quenton Lamb, Negative AO Acid