The scene at the NISS Finals ruled! Set inside the Los Angles County Fair in San Dimas, California, you couldn’t have asked for a better location. The street course was right on target!
Have you ever skated across the top of a car? A Honda to be exact. NISS had a rail all the way over the top with transitions on 3 sides. You could launch up and over like Fabiola did - as if it was ice. Finally I got a pictures of Fabiola.
I met a few new girls to the international circuit like Roces skater Anneke Winter from Germany. Many of the guys couldn’t take their eyes off her with her movie star looks. But she earns much respect coming in second in street with technical tricks like fish-brains, alloy-oop souls, 540’sand farfignugens (how do you spell that trick? Anyone know?)Anneke Winter- Farfegnugen
Next I met little 12 year old Mina Nohara from Japan. She is an Ayumi clone all the way.
Ayumi has taken up street bye the way and is looking pretty cool at it. I truly believe that if you are a good vert skater street will come easy. Well not Real Street but skate park street. After all, the comp’s entire street course are just vert transitions, ASA courses more then NISS.
Neda Gane-wall ride
I know I have said this before, I know girls are great on rails and grinding on copings of long ¼ pipes. Actually girls rule on mini-ramps! To bad they are not in pro competitions.
Jenny Curry was going for her 3rd championship. Although she wasn’t skating her strong self, her father and road manger Peter explained to me, "...she knows the course with her eyes closed, so she should have the advantage"
the guys crazy for Anneke from left to right Manual Billaris, Scott Crowford & Shane Yost
New comer Debra West got a taste of pro life impressing the judges with her token 270 to topside soul on the lengthy ¼ pipe.
She got rookie of the year award. Go Debra! I was hanging in the hotel room with her and managed to get her to answer some questions. All I can say about Debra is, she skates to her own beat. Check out her interview and you try to make heads out of it.Fabiola -fishbrain
The woman of the day was non-other then Fabiola. She put together a very clean run and was more consistent then many of the guys skating in the finals believe it or not.
The run included 360 the spin to soul grind on top of the car. She launched huge 360 from the start box right into a fish-brain across the ¼ pipe then 540 the elbow. Through the elimination rounds she had to skate 4 runs and I believe she only missed a trick once. Well deserved, congrats Fab!
I’d tell you about how the vert went but I was filming it. I was on the top on the platform with a camera in my hand not really sure of what I was doing. Of course it was the Fabiola Ayumi show again. Come to think of it, besides Stephanie Toles, it was all the International Girls skating in vert this year.
Claudia Trachsel from Switzerland, Maki Kamori from Japan, Merce Borrull from Spain and Mina Nohara.
NISS Chicks - from left to right: Stephanie Tolles, Debra West, Claudia Trashcel, Anneke Winter, Merce` Borrull, Kate Ross & Angela Gallarpo Unfortunately Katie Brown couldn’t make the finals this year due to lack of sponsorship….we miss you Katie. Jenny Curry, who usually skates vert, was worn out from street and dropped out. Are there any more American vert skaters out there? They seem to be a dying breed.
Prior to the Niss Final I was down in San Diego for the ASR Action Sports Retailer trade show. This trade show is not open to the public and for many years was not friendly to the aggro inline scene.
It has been home to surfers and skateboarders since it’s inception. Back in 94, I believe, inline tried to make a show and was given a cold shoulder. But that was because Rollerblade brought in their dance team and made it corny. But Angie Walton of Daily Bread brought it back with only the aggressive market and I went to support the cause.
The best booth was Razor skates. Razor is a European company and has always had a more relaxed approach to the market. Their booth was modeled after Austin Powers the "spy who shagged me". Here I am with the owner Andy, looking very Doctor Evil, making myself comfortable... And with team Manager "Austin John Stein Powers".
This one's of the inline demo at ASR which was pretty pathetic....meaning nobody went to see it since ASR is mostly skateboarding and surfing...plus most of the good skaters were at the gravity games.
The trade show had a demo area were the inline guys got to session. Or should I say not session. The course was not very inline friendly, plus most the top skaters were at the Gravity Games, which coincided with this ASR.
Aggressive inline still has along way to go I believe. We were definitely not the attraction at this show 'cause our demo time was like a ghost town.
One cool attraction was a break dance demo area. Notice the chick in the back ground…..I stood there for 20 minutes but she never jumped in.
I would love to see a girl’s break dance. Many skaters are great dancers. I used to dance for a Hip Hop group a few years back………we hung out in the clubs and went off. I still do….sometimes……when I’m not glued to my computer.
On a more serious note …… at the trade show I attended the Daily Bread Inline Conference.
They spoke about Frame Standardization. This means that all skate companies would make the same mounting system so companies producing frames like Senate and 50/50 (and I’m sure many more to come) can produce a product for all skates. They see Frame Standardization happening by 2001.
So does this mean that we will have to buy everything in pieces? Some skates come without wheels so you may choose the ones you want. I think this is a great idea. Since I have a small foot and so do many girl skaters, I hope you will also have a choice of where to place the frame, i.e. slightly forward or back.
There aren’t many small size skates today on the market that allow you to skate flat. That was always a big problem for me cause I wear a women’s 6 1/2 or men’s 5. I ride K2 style points and my front wheel sticks out slightly and the back wheel does as well. So we’ll see if this frame change will do anything for the girls.
Another topic at the conference was an introduction to the World Governing Foundation. This is a future non-for-profit organization dedicated to aggressive inline.
A governing body is non bias and supportive of all entities in it’s field. So there are many questions to why the ASA doesn’t provide any information on their website about NISS competitions.
The WGB would like to see Pro Judges only and sanction your competition so you may be insured and no dues for amateur skaters. Many agree that this will take time. Many agree the ASA does not live up to true governing status and believe they are a production company putting on competitions like Anywhere Sports Productions(NISS)
All I know is I want to hold the 2nd Annual WASN sk8 Festival and make it the coolest skate session the girls have ever seen!
So I am all for the WGF….I only hope it happens sooner then Later.
Speaking of the ASA…..Sorry girls but I am tied up at work and can’t make it to the finals. I want so much to see you all skate your butts off!!
Fallen….if they don’t make you pro this year I will scream. Debra…..skate Clean and think about your line. Janna…..Just give them power with big gaps. Lissa put more tricks in your line, think big. Everyone else kick ass!
Anyone going to the Hoe-Down in Texas on Oct 23 at Arlo’s Park? I’ll be there….,might be the site for the 2nd Annual.