I have been attending these La Revolution contests since the very first one held at the old Ventura skate park where it all started back in like 99. Since then, the La Revolution contests are being held all over the U.S. and have been bridled with a great reputation.
The LaRevolution Contest in Ventura, CA by Josh Heino. Photo: Kay Clauberg
Adam Banton and “delightfully weird things”
I have been attending these La Revolution contests since the very first one held at
the old Ventura skate park where it all started back in like 99. Since then, the La
Revolution contests are being held all over the U.S. and have been bridled with a great
reputation. I have done stories on a couple, competed in a few, posed as a spectator, and
most recently I judged the amateur class at the new and re vamped Skate Street in Ventura.
I came to the conclusion that I have had a different feeling about competitive riding over
the years while I have been at each of these, and other events.
Anyone will agree to a
certain extent that as a rider and a person they are changing every day, and their feelings
and opinions on certain topics are bound to take new angles and contort as they mature from
new experiences. If your involved in the freestyle bike industry, contests will always be a
topic of controversy surrounded by stabbing opinions. Many things will contribute to how you
look at an event like this, and in turn change your perspective. The most significant
influence will probably be your friends, though, it could be as simple as who you end up
standing next to during the comp. You will more than likely have a variable reaction
depending on whether you think you were judged well or not while riding, or if your
sitting there licking an un healed wound glaring with jealousy at your peers shredding the
course in front of you, hopefully you wont leave feeling as discouraged as when you showed
up. Depending on your condition going to the contest and what part you play as an attendee,
you will be sure to come away from it with a different view each time. This was a contest
that presented somewhat of a moment of clarity for me in concern for competitive riding.
As I sat there judging the am class, I realized that it was absolutely worthless for me to
stress on exactly what score to give to each kid riding. Yes, they do deserve to be judged
fairly, but it is impossible to judge different riding styles accurately as it is all truly
a matter of taste. ItÃ•s very trivial, throw in some scores from a few different judges, and
come up with the top ten qualifiers. You have to expect some kids to be disappointed, but a
few will be delighted and surprised. You canÃ•t base all importance on that though, you must
not. I have been to some other events and couldnÃ•t even stand being there, but I didnÃ•t even
have to stand at all, it was the goals of the promoters and riders that were so stagnating.
I realized the most important thing is to have a good atmosphere that convinces people that
there is no reason to not have a good time. If you stress on simply placing well, your
missing the point of being there, to put more emphasis on recognition of ability and
newfound friendship gained from exchange of words and shared riding technique with strangers
will yield far greater reward. The actual competition is, or should be merely a disguise,
or decoy set up just to get people to attend and show how much they care for the sport of
freestyle. And to think some guys actually show up to try and win! ThatÃ•s an added bonus
though; itÃ•s all part of the bigger picture. The bottom line is, kids need events like this
to validate their interest and dedication in their chosen activity of riding bikes. When
these events are done tastefully and backed by respectable sponsors that are passionate
about the sport they are supporting, it stimulates growth. Keep the kids looking forward to
the next one, and get the regulars and pros to travel to the rest of them around the country,
we are looking for growth and stability, not titles and TV deals. I canÃ•t speak for the
Walsh brothers and Hell on Earth, but I can see a part of what they are trying to accomplish,
and itÃ•s very healthy indeed.
OK, enough of this mushy stuff, and on to this contest report thing, this comp
was packed to the roof with people, literally, standing room only. HereÃ•s a rundown of the
action. The AM class showed promising talent from all over California and the great western
states. Samar Carillo got the most tech in the class with lots of fakie stuff and spins for
third place. Brian Close was all over the place, couple good gaps and style for the runner
up spot. The winner was Alex Herrera; he worked the joint like a local for the big bag of
prizes from Etnies and Primo. The PRO class was big; the list of top ten doesnÃ•t give way
to the amount of talent that was present. Travis leines was the guy with the biggest fore
arms and did the biggest wall tap of the evening for tenth. Ty Hathaway has amazing style
and grace and slithered in for ninth spot. Matt Sager was the only one with a snowmobile
helmet on, and did some Hollywood box jump tricks for eighth. Adam Banton seems to be good
on the knee recovery since he whips the tail a lot, and he did some delightfully weird
things like he is known for, give him seventh. Alex Ramirez from the inland empire showed up
and went huge everywhere, he got beat on the vert wall though and was relegated to sixth.
Brian Foster is amazing, another knee recovery veteran showing that it is possible to come
back and learn anything he wants. I think he broke his jaw on a big wall slap; never the
less he squeezed into the top five. Scott Foster rode consistent with lots of different
moves, the kids got talent, but heÃ•s also got a big head, a respectable fourth. Kevin Porter
is amazing, he hucks himself so nicely, and looks good all the while, give that guy third
place. Chris Ariaga crashed every time I looked up, but kept getting up and coming back for
more, he rides the place every week, and it showed, I think he was happy with number two.
Brian Terada is not like a normal person, he is rare, he is so damn good at riding bikes,
its staggering, he can do anything he wants, period. He did everything first try, and
everything he did had never been done there before, or on something of equal size anywhere
else. Brian took the big win, a couple grand, a Fender guitar and a big smile home with him.
His parents showed up to see him ride for the first time ever, and they were scared shitless.
My feet were killing me from standing all day, but I felt proud to be amongst
the many people that were blindly building what may come to be the backbone of structured
event riding. Big thanks to Hell on Earth, Primo, Etnies, and Fender for making it possible,
and to the Walsh brothers for making it happen. If you cant stand whatÃ•s happening at a lot
of other contests, donÃ•t go, instead, go to a La Revolution comp, and be prepared to stand,
because the people are showing up in numbers, and all for good reason, itÃ•s a celebration.
Text: Josh Heino