Volcom Stone’s 2011 North American Wild in the Parks tour continued with a stop at Houston’s Southside Skatepark on Sunday, May 15th!
Our annual Texas pilgrimage is anything but religious but always a good time. Eric and Janine Visentin are two of the most gracious hosts we encounter on the WITP tour and always roll out the red carpet for us. This time around was no different as they both went above and beyond to see that every small WITP detail was handled.
Ryan Thompson was just one of over 200 madmen who signed up in search of victory in the 2nd WITP of 2011
Joseph Howard destroyed everything in sight on the way to his 14 & Under division victory
I’m not sure what it is about Texas, but for some reason everyone we run into is ridiculously polite and accommodating. “Yessir”, “nosir” and other such pleasantries were volleyed about like rumors of secret ingredients in my grandmammy’s johnny cake mix!
Here’s Justin Williamon’s frontside flip to flat in zone 1. Heavy duty.
This year’s WITP at Southside got off to an incredible start as the young-ins tore onto the park and made some serious noise! The older, more seasoned competitors could only stand by and watch as the 14 & Under division got to work! Joseph Howard exploded out of the woodwork and onto our radar with a host of impressive tricks!
Jared Nichols floating an impressive ollie over the entire manpad in zone 2
A 720 shuvit complete with lazy cameraman bonus
Not to be outdone, Christian Dufrene and Joe Brinkley were also stepping up and giving the judges plenty to think about. We saw nollie heelflips, switch flips and backside lipslides amongst a rash of other notable heavies! After the scores were tallied, Joseph Howard prevailed in 1st, Christian Dufrene was a close 2nd and McKenzie McCune earned a 3rd place finish for his efforts!
Drake Flores walked with a pair of shades and a cool $50 after winning Electric’s “Hype of the Day” award for this ridiculous backside flip to flat
The 15 & Over division was up next and slow starts are apparently not their thing. Consisting of more than 100 skaters, this group got after it and did an insane job keeping the WITP’s momentum tearing along at 100mph! Nathan Hammond, who placed 1st in the 2007 WITP Championships, was in the house and showing he hadn’t lost a step!
Nekio Cruz entertaining the crowd with this fine lipslide to 5-0 in zone 2
Across the board, the level of talent on display was next-level! One of the nice things about this was there would be no clear-cut winners. Justin Williamson, Frankie Gamboa and Paden Johnson (among others), were all looking good and vying for top spot! After the dust settled, Nathan Hammond was able to hang on for victory whilst Frankie Gamboa and Mikey Whitehouse ended up a close 2nd and 3rd respectively!
Allen Dehn fastplanting in the midst of a tre-flip in zone 1
The Open division had the honor and distinction of rounding out the day’s mayhem and certainly didn’t shy away from the task! With cash, prizes and an invite to the $25,000 WITP Championships on the line, motivation wasn’t an issue. With notable heavies like Ke’Chaud Johnson, George Karvounis, Drake Flores, Chris Luhring and Ryan Holloway in attendance, madness was poised to ensue!
Despite an injury, Dakota Roberson was still charging and getting plenty of things done
Needless to say, the crowd wasn’t disappointed with what they saw! All three WITP contest zones were attacked in an unmerciful fashion as a ‘who’s who’ of Texas’ am talent put on a show to be remembered! The crowd was buzzing and kept the competitors charging until the final buzzer! Shortly afterwards at awards, Ke’Chaud Johnson successfully defended his 2010 Houston WITP crown while Ryan Holloway locked down 2nd and Drake Flores skated into 3rd!
Ke’Chaud Johnson’s skills and consistency were turning heads at the WITP all day. Backside 360 to flat here
Thanks to the Visentin’s and the rest of the fine folks at Southside Skatepark for all their support and WITP dedication! Thanks also to our judges Guru Khalsa, Big O and David Langston, Volcom’s Jeff Hammett and Robert Casanova and all of our WITP sponsors below for pumping up the winners with extra prizes!