Omen Southern Comfort Tour Part 3: King of Kona
Omen Longboards recently got back to Washington State from the #OmenSocoTour to Kona and bank. Check Nate Blackburn’s report from the Bayou Battle here – spoiler alert, Nate gets Tazed! After the debauchery in Texas, it was all the way to KONA Skatepark in Jacksonville, Florida for the crew. They had to drive through some crazy storms and battle some mildly adverse odds to get there. This is the 3rd and final part of our #omensocotour, camping out at the Kona Skatepark for the KING of KONA. [Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here.]
The King of Kona has ben known to be a fun, rowdy, all around event that features on-site camping and night-lights on the skatepark for all night shenanigans. I would say that about 100 people were skating, and about 130 people were camping. So the days were spent with lots of group snake runs, some hilarious One-sie Parties, interesting games of skate hockey, and amazing pizza parties thanks to event organizer and SUPER DAD Cam Frazier. This event was awesome because you were able camp with all of your friends within 100 feet of a massive skatepark with such a wide variety of features that everyone had something to skate. It was awesome to be able to see the amazing level of skating as well as the beginners who were learning to navigate the massive smooth transitions. [Learn about the history of Kona Skate Park here.]
King of Kona is one of the better events that you could attend because the vibe is so laid back, you skate any way you want and you can skate at any time of the day. If you do want to compete, there’s also an entire Challenge card with numerous tasks that you needed to complete by the end of the weekend to be considered for the Weekend Warrior title, and some of the challenges included getting slapped by me (Nate Blackburn reporting for duty!), giving a hug to filmer Alex Mof, and dropping in on the Tombstone.
It was exciting to see so many people giving their best efforts to complete the challenge card, but it was even more satisfying to see the amount of people who paid their money to just show up and skate, who were un-phased by the competitions and were there just to shred for the entire weekend and hang out with friends!
Unfortunately there was a bit of rain… in Florida. So I guess leaving Washington didn’t exactly give us dry weather, but at least we were warm. Everyone made the most of the weather anyways and we definitely learned some tricks from the Canadians.
Even though the event was incredibly laid back there were still some amazing competitions to watch and participate in. A mini-ramp jamp, a timed snake race, a Bowl Competition, and the Best Trick on the Tombstone were all amazing to witness, and ridiculous to see the level of riding, and the amount of skill that some people have with their skateboards.
Personal Highlights included the Night Time Flaming Shopping Cart Death Gap challenge, the Dizzy Bat Competitions, and the late night firework snake run parade!
Some of the winners to note for the weekend were; my van companion Troy “yardwaste” Grenier, who won the Weekend Warrior Challenge by completing the Challenge Card, and being capable of non-stop skating and being so stoked he barely slept for 3 days.
Steven Pineiro, the King of Kona, winning 1st Place in every event except for the Snake Race, where Troy had beaten him by less that 2/10ths of a second. Steven was flawless all weekend and capped it off with a big stack of cash, and a gnarly closing win on the Tombstone. The final event of the weekend is the tombstone competition which is a deceivingly massive object. It is a 6 ft. vertical extension on top of an 8 ft. bowl and you truly do not understand how massive it is until you climb up and stand on top of it and peer into the 14 ft. fall you can take if you mess up. So props to Steven for being 50% eagle and 50% cat.
All-in-all, the King of Kona was one of the best weekends of skating and fun I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy. There’s a lot of events and a lot of skate trips, this was in many ways the best of both worlds.
Right now I’m back in Seattle after recovering from the long nights skating the snake run, and sore cheeks from laughing and smiling for 3 days straight. There are a few heros of the weekend that haven’t been recognized enough and I want to give a shout-out to some un-sung heroes too. First off, Thank you to Martin Ramos, head honcho at Kona Skatepark, for providing us the opportunity to rage for 3 days in sunny Jacksonville, Florida. Thanks to Scotty, from Carve Skateshop for housing the #mobileruckus while we were in Texas, and then pulling together a last minute group of skaters to carpool from Houston to Kona. Last but not least, thanks to Cam Frazier for holding it down for 3 days straight, providing more food than the entire campsite could eat, keeping spirits high, and consistently making the weekend better with Live Bands, late night pizza deliveries, and for striving to make this event about community!
Some last minute advice from the #mobileruckus #omensocotour:
1- Call your mom often on a roadtrip, that way she doesn’t think you got abducted by aliens. Moms always assume the worst.
2- WEAR YOUR HELMET, it is so simple and yet so easily forgotten.
3- Go to the bathroom when the van stops. Don’t be that guy five minutes after you get back on the freeway that needs a bathroom break.
4- Sprinter Vans handle terribly in the snow and ice. Buy yo-self some chains.
Thanks for reading another series of adventures with Omen and Nate. I hope to bring you more ridiculousness on the web and at events as best I can. Love you. Mean it. Bye.
Also, big thanks to the homie Dustin “Monkey” Ascheman / Nwest Media for snapping all the exclusive photos on tour – https://www.instagram.com/nwest_media/. And to Wes Eldridge / Aero media for his photos, video and endless stoke and support – https://www.instagram.com/aero.media/.