|Event: THE 1987 2-HIP KING OF VERT SERIES ROUND 1|
Date: april 18, 1987.
Place: Houston, Texas.
There were some jaws droppin' among participants as they walked into the Skatepark of Houston and saw what was in store for them. A metal-surfaced 12-foot tall halfpipe with what seemed like miles of vert, and a healthy dose of steel coping. Not a ramp for the inexperienced or timid. The Skatepark of Houston is owned and operated by Dennis Eppinette, a former BMX Pro, and is a virtual paradise for two.or four-wheeled vertseekers. No less than four halfpipes in varying sizes dot the landscape, and there is also an assortment of small ramps, and a small flatland area. Most all the ramps are surfaced with a layer of sheet metal that's screwed onto the ramp surface, and spot-welded on the seams and corners. To keep things from getting too slick, a coat of paint is applied for max traction, and if extra help is needed, a can of Coke can be lightly sprayed onto the surface for more grip.
Anyway, as far as the contest went, it was pretty hot-as usualwith King of Vert events. Rider attendance was a bit on the light side, though. In the Pro ranks, Mike Dominguez, Brian Blyther, promoter/rider Ron-Boy Wilkerson, and Hugo Gonzales made up the class. Todd Anderson was still in South Africa, McCoy was injured, and all the GT and Dyno riders were busy in South California working on the new GT Video.
When it came to the competition, Blyther's constant attack of killer air, smooth style, and multiple variations prevailed. Dominguez made a good run of it with a very high 540 over the canyon at the end (even though he ran out of ramp at the flat bottom and ran into one of the judges). He also was getting massive air, but Blyther had the complete package. Wilkerson took third with tricks that included front hops to drop-in, and a backwards drop-in (which was totally killer considering the height of the ramp). Bails cost Ron in the results, and they also gave him a tweaked wrist that kept him out of the AFA Austin contest a couple weeks later.
Am factory talent included Matt Hoffman, Joe Johnson, Eddie Roman, Eric Evans, and Gary Pollak (Gary did not exactly crave the amount of vert on the ramp). Semi-local standouts included San Antonio's Jack Smith (very good both in style and quantity of air), and Eddie Cooper (who has an unusual but very clean style, and looks way better on an eight foot quarterpipe).
Joe Johnson took the win over The Luftmeister, even though he bailed on his next-to-last run and couldn't make it out for his final round. The judges threw out everyone's high and low runs, so sitting out the final round didn't really cost Joe. But the bail did. A broken ankle will restrain Joe in a cast for at least four weeks.
That's about it, except for the sticker mania that took place afterwards, and Ron's dive into the crowd (where he was almost torn to pieces), or the slight defect in the lighting system, but that's another story.
1.Brian Blyther 2.Mike Dominguez 3.Ron Wilkerson 4.Hugo Gonzales
1.Joe Johnson 2.Matt Hoffman 3.Jack Smith 4.Eddie Cooper 5.Kevin Gutierrez 6.Eric Evans 7.Eddie Roman 8.Denny Sims
Da winnah, Brian Blyther.