Monday, July 3, 2017
King Of The Road 2003: éS.
Alexis Sablone and Rick McCrank.
With Thrasher doing their King of the Road reality television show again, I thought a quick look back at the inaugural run of the contest was in order.
The first King of the Road took place in August of 2003. Thrasher editor and photographer Michael Burnett came up with the idea to have four teams race across the country and earn points for doing skateboard tricks along the way. There were points awarded for silly antics, too. It's kind of like a combination of the movies Cannonball Run and Midnight Madness. The teams had a list of cities they had to stop in with specific challenges for each burg. They were free to stop wherever else they wanted along the way as well, but they all had to end up at the Thrasher office on August 30th.
Deluxe, Tum Yeto, Volcom, and éS all fielded squads. The teams were made up of five skaters, a team manager, a photographer, and a videographer. Since this was a new venture, the teams often picked ams or flow riders as their representatives to go with a couple of seasoned pros. They were also assigned a mystery guest. Everybody had to meet up in Denver on August 25th to pick up their guests.
There was a trick list with point values for different maneuvers and terrain. The tricks were broken down into three categories of hard, harder, and hardest. A rock-n-roll in a backyard pool was a hard trick worth ten points where a 360 flip to pivot fakie on transition over five feet tall would net 50 points. The idea was to make it challenging, but also include tricks that people could get to keep the contest fun. Points were awarded based on video documentation. Bonus points were awarded for the highest and longest tricks. There were also challenges like the Billy Rohan Challenge for the best trick blindfolded or the Daewon Song Award for most rigged set-up. Finally, more points could be earned for doing stuff like getting a Thrasher tattoo, skating naked or making out with a person of the opposite sex over 30. We lived in tamer times back then.
The éS team consisted of Eric Koston, PJ Ladd, Paul Rodriguez, Alexis Sablone, and Rick McCrank. The late Tony Evjenth was the team manager, Luke Ogden was the photographer, and Scuba Steve Chalme was the videographer. Their mystery guest was the dearly departed Harold Hunter. They started in Philadelphia, hit up Pittsburgh, Skatopia, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Milwaukee, Denver, Boulder, and Salt Lake City on the way to San Francisco. They were shocked that the Volcom team visited Skatopia of their own volition.
After a two week break, I'm back for a day and then taking tomorrow off. Have a good Independence Day.
The photos are by Luke Ogden.
Thrasher - January 2004 Volume 24 Number 1