Posted by: Necci – Sep 13, 2011
Maloof Money Cup: Washington DC
September 2-4, 2011
Usually when I think of the Maloof Money Cup, I think of everything that is wrong with skateboarding. Massive money prizes, live broadcasts, invite-only "best pros in the world" lineup--overproduced, corporate-sponsored madness is usually what comes to mind. I went to the Money Cup in NYC and it started to change my mind, but the overcrowded, snot-nosed kid-packed contest with Greg Lutzka winning over my favorite (and arguably much more skilled) skaters kept my opinion in the red. Mind you, the weekend of the Money Cup is packed with skateboarding-related parties, art events and so on. However, in NYC I felt like everyone was at these to see and be seen; the bars were packed with scenesters and pro hoes. DC, my friends, was a whole different story.
Bobby Worrest, Ollie to Tailslide. Top Image: Manny Santiago, Nollie Heel
Over the course of the first weekend in September, a more low key contest with a great hometown feel ensued. The good times were plentiful, as were the booze and after-parties, thanks to Velvet Lounge, Dodge City and PBR. The park that the Maloof brothers built for the Washington contest is a much more street-spot styled park than the others in NYC and Orange County have been. The California-based builders attempted to integrate remade local city skate spots (with some success), making a pretty fun course. Contributing to my changing attitude toward the Maloof contests is the fact that they are leaving this multi-million dollar skatepark behind for the community to enjoy, free of charge (as they have done in NYC). The neighborhood where this park is could definately use a facility like this, and most certainly one of this caliber.
Collin Provost, Big Ass Ollie
Under the daunting threat of rain all weekend, everyone shredded their asses off in pursuit of drugs, sex, and rock n' roll. I kid, I kid! But seriously, the amount of money involved in this event is utterly ludicrous. $160,000 was up for grabs for 1st place, $40,000 for second, $10,000 for 3rd and 4th, and everyone else in the finals got $1000. Local Washington DC pro and beloved friend to small animals and insects Bobby Worrest whipped some serious ass, making it all the way to 7th place and the final rounds, only to fall to the one and only Manny Santiago. Early in the morning on the second day of activities, our local Richmond buddy Gilbert Crockett braved a Best Friends Weekend injury (in all seriousness, a knee tweak is a potentially dangerous thing to a skateboarder) to grab 10th in the Amateur contest, with Ishod Wair taking the cake, and the $1000. And for that I won't hold it against him that he's never skated Pulaski (Freedom Plaza) in DC. (Don't get me started on the history of that place.)
Andrew Reynolds, Shifty Flip
Frontside flips were flying as Andrew Reynolds continually slaughtered the young gun pros, one after another. On the other end of the bracket, walk-on qualifier and Andrew's longtime friend Ronnie Creager slayed every obstacle in his path, proving why he has been a professional skateboarder for over 20 years. For the final matchup, an epic battle of legends was poised to go down. Ronnie Creager and Andrew Reynolds, two friends and two of skateboarding's greatest people in both skill and attitude, were ready to finish it up. The mere fact of these two skating together in one 5 minute heat for $160,000 was almost enough to cause another East Coast earthquake. Though Creager put up a good fight, in the end Reynolds squeaked out the win, ending with a frontside flip lipslide down the big gold rail. Because skateboarding isn't actually a sport and we aren't a bunch of jocks, the two competitors, covered in sweat from the unbearable humidity and heat, high-fived and hugged, happy that they both were walking away with a whole lot of money and some good times under their belt. In the end, Reynolds held up a check for $160,000, while Creager made off with $40,000 and Manny Santiago and Bastien Salabanzi walked away with a cool $10,000. Reynolds's mom was psyched. The only word to describe what happened is legendary. And maybe epic. OK, epically legendary.
Words and Images by Nick Ghobashi