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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, May 8, 2005

Skaters vie for exposure on MTV

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

The best skateboarders in the Islands showed up at 'A'ala Skatepark yesterday for an invitation-only chance to compete live on the MTV show "TRL."

Jarold Webb, standing, and other skaters watch the competition at the Lords of Dogtown Skatepark Jam contest at 'A'ala Skatepark. They are aiming for a chance to compete live on the MTV show "TRL."

Andrew Shimabuku • The Honolulu Advertiser

It was all part of a national promotion for the upcoming film, "Lords of Dogtown." And even the judges — the men whose skateboarding exploits in the 1970s inspired "Lords of Dogtown" — said that yesterday's competition ran counter to the purity of skateboarding.

"This is better for the movie than for skateboarding," Jay Adams said. "To me, contests aren't important. That's not what skateboarding's about. It's about having fun. It's a lifelong thing that you do for hours and hours every day."

Adams and fellow judges Jim Muir and Shogo Kubo were part of the Zephyr skateboarding team from "Dogtown" in Venice, Calif., who became known as the Z-Boyz.

Their outlaw exploits became the focus of a documentary narrated by Sean Penn, which served as the inspiration for "Lords of Dogtown."

As the poster for the film declares, "They came from nothing to change everything."

Jim Muir, right, and Shogo Kubo, at left, were on hand to judge the contest. Their skateboarding exploits, as well as those of fellow skateboarder Jay Adams and other members of the "Z-Boyz," helped inspire the upcoming film "Lords of Dogtown."

Andrew Shimabuku • The Honolulu Advertiser

Yesterday, the spins and flips that started out in empty Southern California swimming pools manifested themselves in 'A'ala Skatepark, where about 40 competitors hoped to get a chance to have footage of their tricks viewed by MTV. Similar competitions are being held in 33 other cities.

"Everybody we know that's good is here," said Aron Dinneen, a 17-year-old Mililani High School junior. "It's ridiculous."

Even Jarold Webb, an 18-year-old Honolulu Community College student, was nervous about his two 60-second runs in front of about 100 spectators and three of the Z-Boyz.

Webb last month won $1,000 for placing second in a skateboard competition in Phoenix.

But yesterday Webb landed only two of the half-dozen tricks he attempted in his first run.

"I messed up," Webb said. "I was nervous."

Only a few skaters had clean runs, such as 12-year-old Daniel Glassman-Vinci, a sixth-grader from ASSETS School.

He was one of the youngest and smallest skaters — weighing "65.5 pounds" and standing at just 4 feet 5 inches tall.

But Daniel grinded the rail, stuck his kick flip and even pulled off the surfing-inspired "Bertleman" maneuver that he was required to perform at the last minute.

"These are the best skaters in Hawai'i," Daniel said. "Even if you're young and not as good, it's an honor to be here."

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8085.