Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

I am a total insomniac.  This might be because my brain is riddled with constant worry.  When people meet me they think that I am a mellow, easy-going type of guy. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am, in fact, a total stress case. The littlest, most, insignificant thing on my mind will keep me up all night long. If something should harsh my mellow just a few hours before bedtime I will be up all night replaying the scene over and over in my head again and again until the sun rises.

As you might imagine, the night before something as huge as our first annual Battle of the Shops, I can forget about sleep entirely. I should have known better; I should have hit up my mom for the heavy prescription tranquilizers she likes to take, but I didn’t. Instead, I climbed into bed and lied to myself about being able to sleep.

I of course didn’t sleep; I entered the sleepless state where horrible scenes of mayhem and disaster flickered across my mind’s giant plasma screen T.V.  I had visions of al-Qaida operatives rappelling from the Adio warehouse roof with machine guns. These little fuckers were blasting holes into our Tranny obstacle. “STOOOOP IT … YOU’RE RUINING IT!” I yelled at them. It didn’t do any good. Then they blew the double set to hell with an RPG.

Al-Qaida had infiltrated Adio; and their very own Jeff Taylor was a Muslim extremist with ties to a high ranking radical cleric and Osama Bin Laden. I wish I weren’t a huge liar, making all this stuff up, and that I really did have the elaborate Al-Qaida scenes keeping me up all night. The fact is, it was more mundane things that kept me up, like obstacles sucking and not being skate-able, sponsors being bummed, banners falling down and shop teams not showing up. Companies barging and not paying (this one actually did happen. I guess when you spend 80 thousand on a RV you don’t have any money left over for sponsoring shit).

All night my mind churned these stupid thoughts round and round. When I saw the light breakthrough my bedroom curtains I was relieved because I knew it was on. And on it was.  At 11:30 in the morning 2000 people descended on to the arena we had set up behind Adio’s warehouse and I realized there was going to be some gnarly shit going down.

For all who are reading about The Battle of the Shops for the first time, the contest was broken down into four categories of skateboarding: Rail, Tranny, Tech, and Gap.  Shops entered teams of their top four skaters to represent them on each obstacle. So, For example, shop A was asked to put their best rail skater on the rail, their best tech skater on the tech obstacle, so on and so forth. Each skater from each team got an hour to session each obstacle. Got it? Good, let’s move on.

The double set was the first obstacle to get annihilated and the annihilation began before the “official” session even started. This was the case for all the obstacles, everyone skated whether they were in the contest or not.

Once we got the double set under control the session began. Fitting 20 gap skaters up on the tiny platform was a problem. Dudes who may have been reluctant to fight their way to the front and drop-in on the little roll-in were left in the back and lost their opportunity to go.  Heads, who were not afraid to barge, barged and got to hit-it-up multiple times.
Active’s Lindsey Robertson, Street Machine’s Jimmy Carlin, Ozone’s Chris Bodford, Surf Hut’s Tony Powell and Identity Boardshop’s Vargas devoted themselves wholly to the gap.

Active’s Lindsey Robertson brought all of his Heelflip variations to the table at the 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops. Val Surf’s Andre Genovesi didn’t bother banging out his basics and instead went for his big guns spending the entire session trying to get a switch backside flip. (Did he mistakenly think it was a best trick contest?) Route 44’s Drew Potter tried to win over the Judge’s sense of flair by attempting all his tricks with a can of Budweiser in his hand. In the last 20 minutes or so, it was essentially four or five heads battling it out. When the dust settled Street Machine’s Jimmy Carlin earned the unanimous decision among all three judges, winning the Double Set.
Airmerica E.O.G raised the stakes and gave Jimmy an extra $200 for his ripping. As soon as the session was over everyone who wanted to skate the gap did so. It was during this free-for-all that Sun Diego’s Tyler Surrey broke his arm and wound up having to spend the rest of the day in the E.R.

Next up was the Tranny obstacle; right around the same time a heat rash began to form from my ball sack rubbing against my inner thighs.   My misery was beginning.
This obstacle was by far the one that I had most wanted to watch, partly because Jeff King had argued and argued with us that it was too gnarly for “Shop Ams.” I don’t think that he actually believed it. I think that he likes to argue just to fuck with people.

In the end of Battle of the Shops, the obstacle was totally destroyed.   Emerald City’s Jay Henry, Active’s Jay Thorpe, Val Surf’s Ricardo Carvalho, Ozone’s Chris Diehl and Sun Diego’s Steve Roche, to name a few, all totally killed it. Even little 13-year-old “Shop Am,” Cayden Riebe, broke off a large number of tricks (Backside Nosepick, Stalefish over the channel, Lein to Tail on the tombstone). So what if his mom makes him wear pads.  Shut up!

Zaroche, who barged and wasn’t even in the contest, broke it off so hard that I got all emotional. No really, I felt my spine tingle and I got all choked up for a second.  Objections were raised about him skating during the session, but I said, “Let him skate, damn it.” I figured that we could use him like the little rabbit they use to get the dogs running at the dog races.  He was blasting out of the quarters and bashing the loading dock doors and bouncing back in. That trick in itself was worth the price of admission.

It was also around this time that Glen Wagner and the Route 44 crew got themselves all worked up. Their mission at the Battle of the Shops was to get drunk, heckle people and come in dead last, thus making a huge spectacle. This mission was nearly completed. They got drunk and they heckled people, but they didn’t come in last.  Ha! I heard one plan was to hide in the bushes with a bb gun and shoot people in their asses. (At one point I could have sworn that I felt something sting my right buttock.)

Chris Miller unfortunately didn’t think that their antics were funny at all. When a fight almost erupted between Route 44’s crew and Val Surf’s Ricardo Carvalho, Chris jumped in to break it up. It is some impressive shit when the president of a publicly traded company is ready to throw down if needed. He is a true General that everyone at Atlas should be proud to follow.

When the hour was up on the Tranny Obstacle it was the technical wizardry of Val Surf’s Carvalho racking up a first place. His Backside Kickflip to Fakie over the channel and Blunt to Fakie on the tombstone were mind-boggling.

By the time the Tech Center session was due to begin, my little ball rash began to cause my mood to sour.   Since there wasn’t any fencing around the obstacle, and everyone who had a skateboard was skating it.  When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. I think that I even saw Gabe Ryan’s mom do a Kickflip-Nosemanual-Shovit out on it.
With 45 people hitting up the obstacle, gaining control of it so we could start the session was quite a task. Obviously in order to judge the contest, the judges needed to figure out who was actually in the contest.

Scott Taylor (one of the M.C.’s) looked at me, and with panic in his eyes said, “This is fucking insane, how are we going to get this going, no one will stop skating!”
It was time for me to step up and do something drastic. I grabbed Nate Sherwood. He seemed to not follow what I was saying, because, well, he is Nate Sherwood. I figured I should make an example out of him, so I ripped his skateboard out of his hands and beat him in the face with it until he was bloody and unconscious. I turned to everyone and yelled, “You see this! STOP FUCKING SKATING! Or this will happen to you! Now listen to the M.C.’s and do as they tell you.”
After the violent outburst, we were able to figure out who was who and get the session under way.*

No surprises who were the standouts on this obstacle at Battle Of The Shops, Val Surf’s Joey Brezinski, Pacific Drive’s Danny Wallace, Identity Boardshop’s Marcus Allen, and Street Machine’s Cody Brannin all put on an amazing display of technical skateboarding. One interesting side note: Jeremy Wray (one of our judges) actually subtracted points from Schmidt’s Sean Vogt for waxing the ledge in the middle of the session.  Sean, yes it may have been sticky but you don’t wax the ledge in the middle of a contest.  There was going to be no calculating the scores for first place, all the judges agreed Brezinski owned it.

By the time the San Dieguito Rail got underway I was reduced to a pile of shit. I had at that point been at it for a totally of 48 hours without food or rest. I was fading fast. To make matters worse, the ball rash had become so severe that I was actually thinking about asking Salman Agah to carry me around on his shoulders for the rest of the day.
As I had already described, the obstacles were getting totally annihilated before, during and after the “official start” of each session. It was no different for the San Dieguito Rail. Some gnarly shit went down before it even began.

I read on Active’s website that Ryan Bobier threw down “10 hammers” and bailed before the Battle Of The Shops even started. But when I checked the Judges sheets it appeared he got scored on a Switch Front Board and a Frontside Hurricane. Did he have a body double?

Ozone’s Peter Watkins looked solid early on, he stepped up and threw down a few first try bangers but hurt his knee. This forced Ozone to bring in their pinch hitter. The ultra butter award would have to go to Pharmacy’s Marquise Preston. The dude has such a sick style.

Val Surf’s Justin Eldridge didn’t fail to break it off either; his strategy was to not even bother with the basics but to go straight for the hammers. He (and everyone else) wanted that 360 flip nose blunt soooo badly.

Surf Hut’s Tommy Sandoval absolutely killed it. The dude’s got “Die Trying” tattooed right across his chest. He clearly lives by the motto. In his charge at the rail he broke two boards and a truck. This didn’t stop him from continuing his assault on other people’s setups. In the last 15 or so minutes, he tried to get a backside nose blunt. The “official session” had ended and he kept at it until he got it. He had the crowd so riled up they threw in their own cash for him.

The man of the hour however, was Sun Diego’s Steve McNeal. McNeal was coming off an injury and hadn’t skated in a few months. Maybe the time off helped him because he was on fire.  First he rattled off his basics. Then he did them switch. Switch boardslide, Switch Frontside 50-50 (first try), Switch Tailslide, Switch Lip and for the big banger, a Switch Back Lip.  It was a truly amazing thing to watch. At one point he walked by me and said, “I don’t know what is happening right now, I can’t go wrong.” He didn’t go wrong, and by unanimous decision among all three judges, he got first.

The biggest of thanks goes out to everyone at Adio. As far as I am concerned there is no better group of individuals working over there. There is no way the Battle of The Shops would have been as successful as it was without them. They made the event happen; they are truly down to support skateboarding. From Jeff Taylor all the way to the warehouse crew, you are the best. Also hats off to our troop: Paul, Kreigs, and Climax Dan. Jeff King and his crew. Props to our judges for doing an amazing job: Mike Sinclair, Jeremy Wray, and Danny Montoya. Scott Taylor and Oscar Jordan thanks for enduring the long hours and keeping the words flowing. Also a big thank you is in order for Wahoos and Skateraid for bringing the food and drink. The makers of music deserve a big hug as well, DJ Peril, The Burbs, Caustic Uproar, The Knives, and Kut-U-up, and Brendon at Atticus for coordinating all the bands. And lastly thanks to all the sponsors below for putting up the money to make this event happen.



  Double Set
1. Jimmy Carlin / Street Machine
2. Lindsey Robertson / Active
3. Chris Bodford / Ozone
4. Vargas / Identity
5. Andy Beaumarchais / Surfride
6. Tony Powell / Surf Hut
7. Merced Perez / K5
8. Tyler Surrey / Sun Diego
9. Tyler Dingvel / Asylum
10. Ryan Zammit / Pacific Drive

Tranny Obstacle
1. Ricardo Carvalho / Val Surf
2. Jay Thorpe / Active
3. Jay Henry / Emerald City
4. Chris Diehl / Ozone
5. Cayden Riebe / Urban Boardshop
6. Steve Roche / Sun Diego
7. John Willy / Pharmacy
8. Evan Menezes / Identity
9. Ryan Cotrell / Jacks Garage
10. Chris Troy / Surfride

Tech Center 
1. Joey Brezinski / Val Surf
2. Danny Wallace / Pacific Drive
3. Marcus Allen / Identity
4. Cody Brannin / Street Machine
5. Gabe Ryan / Sun Diego
6. Roy Calles / Surf Hut
7. Tyler Brick / Urban
8. Kenny Hoyle / Surfride
9. Herbie Grover / Jer’s Boardshop
10. Thomas Eukovich / Ozone
San Dieguito Rail
1. Steve McNeal / Sun Diego
2. Tommy Sandovl / Surf Hut
3. Justin Eldridge / Val Surf
4. Marquise Preston / Pharmacy
5. Jeff “Blue” Wright / SurfRide
6. Charlie Castelluzo / Pacific Drive
7. Peter Watkins / Matt Quan / Ozone
8. Cheyne McEwen / Schmidt’s
9. Lenny Rivas/ Street Machine
10. Matt Dryer/ Identity

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

Automatic Magazine’s 1st Annual Battle Of The Shops

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