July 11, 2005I 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
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
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? Realskate.com. 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 Realskate.com 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 Realskate.com, 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
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
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.
|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
|Tony is actually punching
Rune in the head here at a rapid pace. (Tap C while holding
|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.