Steve Rogers


The Boom Boom Huck Jam (Almost)
photos and story by Steve Rogers

July 11, 2005—I woke up in a cold sweat that morning, the day of the much-heralded Boom Boom Huck Jam (BBHJ), dreams of Hawk and Ventura doing 900s still swirling in my head. I had my morning diuretics, a coffee and a smoke, and then proceeded to the bathroom.

As with all great thinkers, my swill- and cig-generated dump brought about an epiphany. I needed to get into the press area to get the real shots, to get the real scoop, to see inside the seedy underbelly of Tony Hawk's traveling extreme sports fest.

This was doable. You see, I have this generic "Media Press" card, equipped with a chain that goes around your neck to make it appear official. That, coupled with my excellent bullshitting skills, and I should be in the door.

I perused the BBHJ website for Media contact information. When I called them for a media pass I was quickly denied. Once they found out I was not on an actual assignment from the official press I switched gears and told them I'd be sending my photos to skate mags. That didn't work either. I guess they are not dummies, however they were annoyingly organized and a bit on the curt side.

Time for another coffee and more thought. In the midst of my caffeine buzz I decided to e-mail a few skate mags to see if they would like some shots of the BBHJ and maybe they could get me a press pass. They'd get some decent shots for their mag, and I would get unrestricted access to practice my craft.

I e-mailed three different skate 'zines and who was the only one to write me back? After some e-mailing back and forth with Clarkie, she decided to contact the Media Production Group to get me a pass. Score. Nice; I was going to get some money shots of some of the masters of vert. Sick.

The Metro was packed with stinky people, and I only slightly feared a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, Clarkie sent me an e-mail with a response from The Media Production Group saying "Sorry, we will not be able to provide you with a media pass." Of course I was well on my way by the time she heard back and sent me that extremely useful bit of information I never saw until I got home.

I arrive at MCI Center and head toward the "Press Area" cause I am all important now and I require attention immediately. I told these two large staffers sitting behind a desk that I was with and I am picking up my media pass. He mumbles something and walks off and I am left standing there for 20 minutes.

The staffer returned with Miss Important Public Relations woman, who had a rather nice backside I might add, and I gave her the same story, told her the Media Production Group was contacted by the editor of, and that everything was in order, official. She told me to meet back there at 6:45 p.m.

I was punctual, and so was the important woman with the nice ass. She took me to the press area. It was working! On the way she mentioned that the press area is on the 2nd floor balcony, looking down at the ramps, which totally sucked in my opinion. I was hoping to be next to the ramp, you know, so close that maybe I could get my face smashed by that guy that always wears that yellow helmet. Damn. Then she informed me I had eight minutes to take the photos. What is that? I might've been able to only get 20 good shots at the most with that kind of time.

Once up on the balcony I realized I was the only person there. For some reason I was the only member of "the media." Oh well, press on. I started to prepare my camera gear when I hear...
      "What?" I retort.
      "No Flash Photography!"

Apparently the PR department did not understand that the ramps were rather dimly lit, and if you take photos in low light of fast moving objects, with no flash, you'd end up with colorful blurs instead of useable photos. It all became clear; there was a damn good reason no photographers were there. Oh well, I was there to take pictures, so I persevered.

The show started. DJ Areo was busting out jams like B-Boys, Fugazi, Minor Threat, various Trip Hop, etc. Tony, Sergie, Rune, Yellow Helmet Guy, Mat Hoffman, and several guys on motorbikes were all flying through the air at high speeds doing fakies, McTwists and 720s. I was clicking away on my camera with delusions of grandeur filling my mind and then my eight minutes was up. It took all the power I could muster within my peaceful soul to not throw that PR lady with the hot ass over the damn balcony and onto the ten-year-olds below.

I needed a recharge and Sunny D wasn't going to cut it. I stood in the beer line for about four years. I tried to relax and watch the show.

As you can see in the photos the ramp set up was ingenious, the motocross track around the ramp had two jumps that launched the riders over the half-pipe. This, however, was not conducive to a large variety of tricks, but it was still spectacular when they launched over it. And of course the 10-year-olds went wild every time.

Probably the most spectacular moment was when they unveiled the five-story drop in on the left side of the half-pipe. These crazy fools would drop in and launch over 40 feet in the air, over the middle of the half-pipe and then up a 20-foot quarter-pipe. Hawk at one point did a hand plant on the bar of a jeep that was sitting on top of the quarter, which meant more screaming from the 20,000 teenagers, which in turn made me feel like my eardrums were going to burst.

I wouldn't say there was really one star of the show, however, Sergie Ventura and of course Tony Hawk were the guys I noticed most. And of course Mat Hoffman was the man on the BMX. Ventura was doing sick 180 judos over the channel while Tony was doing McTwists and 720s. The MotoX riders were doing really cool, high motocrossie moves.

So overall if you are a hard-core street rider, the only thing you might have appreciated was seeing some of the real masters of vert do their thing. Personally I was hoping to see more creative lip tricks but it was entertaining and it was great for the young ones to get them excited about the sport. The future of the sport truly rests in their hands, and the BBHJ hopefully gave them a goal on which to focus. And, if not, at least they could go home and sit on their butts and play Tony Hawk 4.

The Photos:

Kagy, Tony, Rune all doing uhhh 900 christ air mctwist to backside grind in unison. If you don't believe me just take a good look at the photo.
Hold the B button and tap on Y rapidly to see Tony Hawk do this special finishing move he displays for us for the first time in DC.
Tony is actually punching Rune in the head here at a rapid pace. (Tap C while holding left trigger.)
Rarely caught image of Ronnie Faisst in lightspeed mode, invisible to the naked eye. (Hold both triggers for 1.6 seconds.)
Mat Hoffman, opposed to backside grinds, is seen here morphing to attack yellow helmet guy. (Hold C tap Y & X for 5.9 seconds.)
Final Boss emerging from the flames of the MCI Center.
If you missed the BBHJ in DC you also missed the Second Coming. Lucky was I to get a shot of this never before seen footage.


Real Skate Copyright © 1999-2005 by Clarkie, Santa Cruz, CA. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, photographers, writers, or artists named herein. Trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
(What this means is, Please Don't Steal!).