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Leigh is writing this series of articles on Season 3 of Thrasher’s King of The Road

for Viceland TV.

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When I saw it I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know if anyone’s ever skated this thing.
This is the true meaning of skate and destroy, find it and grind it.
-- Michael Burnett co-creator, KOTR


The Foundation, Element, and Real skate teams are into their first full day of the contest and heading from Reno, NV to Sacramento, CA for City Challenges. Foundation has 24 hours of eating nothing but pizza and skating with locals, the Pizza Skateboard crew; Element skates with Sacramento’s own living legend of skating, 1992 Thrasher Magazine Skater of the Year, John Cardiel; and Real does it 90s style, skating with skate icons Chico Brenes ( Chocolate Skateboards) and Mike Carroll (Girl Skateboards).

 Michael Pulizzi, rail skating wizard of Pizza skateboards brought 3 gigantic rails for the Foundation team to land some seriously technical tricks. Corey Glick went the length of all three rails together, up and off the raised kink on the end of the rail. Cole Wilson, too. Andy Roy needed to get in on the fun with a wager from Team Manager Mike Sinclair on who will land the flip-out trick off the kinked rail. Roy had a Hall of Meat-worthy slam off the rail and Aidan Campbell nailed the trick.

At the start of the 24 hours of nothing but pizza, Nick Merlino (Foundation took a bite of a banana and after a check of the rules, it was determined that if he threw it up, they could proceed with the challenge. With coaching from Andy Roy, Merlino purged the contents of his stomach, and Michael Burnett gave the OK after identifying fruit matter in the vomit. Game still on as long as Merlino heeded the notes to only eat pizza he wrote on his hands. Team manager Mike Sinclair ordered pizzas for all.

Foundation and the guys from Pizza Skateboards went to a menacing  spot that had wobbly handrails over a ditch with a drainpipe and unbelievable skating ensued on the rail into the bank and down into the ditch. Cole Wilson got a kickflip 50-50 transfer. More pizza was delivered and devoured.

So the city challenge is very ominous it’s just a location and were all fingers crossed on Cardiel showing up -- Cole Mathews, Team manager, Element

Element met up and got fired up with skateboard trailblazer and icon, John Cardiel, to skate a local spot he chose. The spot was a ridiculous tunnel-- the goal: a skater gets towed up to the spot by holding the back of a bike, then scale the vertical exterior of the tunnel opening. Painful-to-watch slams ensued but Mason Silva was able to dial in a trick and go all the way up and around. Evan Smith, who took one of those slams, didn’t want to leave the spot empty-handed, so he kick flipped in from the top and rode down the face of the tunnel with a roll away onto gravel.

Later, the Element crew hit the massive, intimidating J Street rail, made famous by John Cardiel’s groundbreaking skating back in the day, his front board slide on this particularly monstrous rail has been immortalized on many a shirt. Despite the fearfully short run-up to build momentum and actually get up on the rail, Mason Silva got the board slide down the rail in a monumental homage to Cardiel.

This was the time when skateboarding was reinvented through some of the pioneers at the Embarcadero in
San Francisco and the EMB crew.
-- Michael Burnett, co-creator, KOTR

The Real team met up with 90s skate pioneers Mike Carroll and Chico Brenes and received 90s boards complete with the era’s iconic teeny wheels. Next came 90s style makeovers rendering the Real team resplendent in the cut-off aesthetic: loose, oversize, cut-off high-water pants and half cabs improvised from sliced down high tops-- primed to perform all 90s style tricks. Maybe the tricks were different and the clothes a bit baggier at that time, but the 90s, particularly the EMB crew, were immensely influential to what skateboarding is today.

More challenges for 90s style tricks down the 3-stair set were achieved including Chima Ferguson’s glorious triple flip. Celebrating the intergenerational spirit of skateboarding, Kyle Walker (Real), Thrasher’s 2016 Skater of the Year (SOTY) had to do a trick with Mike Carroll, who happens to have been SOTY the year Walker was born: 1994. Together they executed back to back nollie late front flips down the small stair set.

Ain’t no one skates like him. He’s doing his own thing the way he wants to. It’s bizarre, but it’s sick and just his energy’s great; it’s awesome.--Andy Roy, skateboarding icon and KOTR master of ceremonies

Park challenges had all of the teams trying to land tricks that were true tests of teamwork including two team members drop in on the same board and  catch a teammate, set him in a handplant and let him go to drop in and skate away. Corey Glick (Foundation) landed a huge alley oop frontside flip and Evan Smith (Element) got a backside noseblunt backside 360 out. Tyson Peterson (Element) got a alley-oop frontside flip in the bowl that was pure poetry.

 

I think I’ve spent like $600 on pizza today.-- Mike Sinclair, Foundation Team Manager.

 

At the end, the teams seem equally matched and yet without the benefit of a definitive point count,
they seem pretty matched in points earned so far. The trip has only just begun.

 

A new episode airs Tuesday on Viceland at 9:00pm ET

Full episodes are also available at Viceland or on Viceland’s YouTube channel.

 

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