Skaters from across Long Island, Queens and New York City flocked to Uniondale, NY, on July 21 for the unique opportunity of showing off their skills for the thousands of attendees at the Nassau Coliseum stop of the Vans Warped Tour.
The amateur mini-ramp skate jam has been a staple of the Warped Tour since its inception in the mid-90s, when the "skater-punk" stylings of Pennywise, Bad Religion, NOFX and other Epitaph recording artists, filled the stages of the event, and the 2012 installment continued the tour's winning skateboarding tradition.
The Warped Tour this year may have featured more pop than skate-punk - with hip-hop phenom T. Mills, electronic-driven Blood On The Dance Floor and the teeny-bop pop rock of All Time Low - among the most popular bands with the touring carnival this year, but the skateboarding action was a little throwback to the early days of the tour.
Keeping The Skate-Punk Spirit Alive
The bands and faces may have changed over the year, but the one constant of the tour has always been the amateur skate ramp.
The spirit of the original 1990s' lineups endured, as New York's most talented amateur skateboarders took to the ramp on July 21 to show off some epic tricks for whoever was willing to watch.
Since the concert was a 10-hour long affair, there was plenty of time between bands for fans to catch a glimpse of the action going on at the skate ramp.
The vibe on the ramp seemed to be friendlier than in years past, as the skaters were patting each other on the back and giving each other tips on how to do new tricks. There was a true emphasis on sportsmanship, and the mild temperatures and lower humidity than in past New York Warped Tours undoubtedly helped keep the energy going throughout the day.
Since Vans, a skateboarding and shoe company that has provided top-quality gear for skaters since 1966, is one of the tour's featured sponsors, as it has been since 1995, there was a major emphasis on tying the athletic elements in with the music components of the tour.
Among the many other skate companies sponsoring the Warped Tour this year included Live Olley, a foundation created to send a positive message to the world using extreme sports, to create awareness at a younger age, and to give the youth a way to give back and to change the way people perceive the world of extreme sports.
Another great sponsor, All-Girl Skate Jam (AGSJ), will be featured on other select dates of the tour. This brand helps to promote skater girls of all ages and all abilities.
"I came to the Warped Tour to watch Patent Pending, Yellowcard and some other pop-punk bands, but the skaters really rocked it on the ramp," said Evan Gardner, 19, of Levittown, NY, who was attending his third straight New York Warped Tour. "I love that the tour keeps bringing back the skate ramp year after year. It's basically tradition by now."
The Vans Warped Tour will be on the road for two more weeks this summer, hitting stops up and down the east coast before wrapping up on Aug 5 with a stop in Portland, OR.
Eric Holden has been covering amateur and youth-league sports since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
Personal Source, Evan Gardner