The doors of Skatepark of Tampa open to everyone and anyone, for better and for worse. Tampa Pro weekend is the only time you will see so many people from the skateboarding industry in one place together, whether they be your favorite pro skaters, their semi-famous team managers, the company owners, or that one guy that made it on Jenkem last year. On the flipside, there are many that don’t know anything about skateboarding that are there because: a) they’re there for their kids, who are too young to brave the SPoT crowds alone, OR b) they live in Tampa and don’t have anything better to do than go to that thing that got endorsed by Lil’ Wayne!
All negative comments aside, Tampa Pro is one of the very best pro skate contests in the world, and the scene it creates is absolutely one of the most entertaining to watch. There’s the best skateboarding you’ll ever see under one roof. And there’s also a constant madness that ensues throughout all of it; the sprinkles on top, if you will. We love those sprinkles.
Having a presence in Tampa this March was great, as it always is. And the reason people actually traveled there, of course, was for the 22nd Annual Tampa Pro contest. At the end of the day, we’re there for the skating. And we can vouch that there was no disappointment there. Everyone showed up to either win or throw down, and we’re perfectly happy with either! Everyone has by now seen that Shane O’Neill won the contest. Carlos Ribiero earned second place, and Tom Asta showed up strong for a third place finish. Nyjah rolled away with the fourth place spot this time…
Being at the contest offers a certain insight into the action that can’t be shown on the webcast. It can only be personally explained or, even better, experienced for yourself. If you weren’t at the contest or watching each moment on the webcast, you’d have never known that Dave Bachinsky killed his contest runs. I mean, damn, he should be indicted for murder. And you would’ve never known that Dennis Busenitz did some of the craziest lines and made the course look like his backyard skatepark. You might’ve never even known that Shane O’Neill’s winning run (that we’ve all watched 20 times now), was the LAST run of the contest and happened after he choked on his first two runs.
I guess it’s really like any other physical event. You’ll watch the re-cap and get hyped, but you’ll get twice as hyped by experiencing it as the moments pass. Enduring sweat, sore legs, and large crowds make it that much better when Chris Joslin lands that backside flip. Not to mention that you feel the rumbling of the bleachers and the foundation underneath you. The sea of people erupts to no end, and you simply can’t experience that from any seat in your home.
Well worth the trip. Well worth the sweat, sunburn, and hangovers. We’ll be back again next year, SPoT. And we hope to see you there too!