2009 Windy City Riot Coverage

Blake O’Brien / Disaster Mute Kind Grind / Spot Two

For the past three years John Haynes has traveled to the Windy City Riot for a variety of print and online coverage. This year, formerly Iowa-based Adam Morris, now in New Berlin, WI, took to the streets with camera in hand to see the event for himself. Here’s his report on this long-standing Midwest street comp, with a look at some of the tricks that went down. — ONE

Organizer Collin Martin speaks to the crowd.

Collin Martin raffles of a pair of shoes before the competition.

ONE love!

Thinh Lee of Chicago splits the rail as Brian Bruno screeches to a halt at spot one.

Brian Bruno giving off some fierceness.

Farside SoyaleRoc City’s Dan Barnes with a styled-out TTS that comes off more as a Farside Soyale.

AO Topside Acid 360 OutWojda doin’ what he does best. AO Top Acid with a 360 out.

Rory Melehan was there, of course.

Disaster Top SoulChicago’s Steve Lerner laces disaster top soul at spot two.

Chicago’s Keegan Cousee regains his composure after slamming his head at spot two.

Toe X-GrindLogan Clark cruises with a toe (Rough?) X-Grind at spot two.

FishbrainLogan Clark finishes a fishbrain at the third and final spot.

SoyaleMark Wojda slides a soyale at the third and final spot.

Farside SoyaleBlake O’Brien going up the ledge Front Nugen to Fakie.

Topside X-GrindPaul John topside X-Grinds the last spot.

The King Kong of U.S. street competitions was a little quieter this year. Maybe it was the economy. Or the spits of rain. Or the cops. Or just me. It could have been many things, but it wasn’t a lack of sponsor support, skater ambition or organizational prowess.

Security clamped down at the first spot — a pair of layed-out line rails — after 10 minutes or so, just as the heavy hitting began. Although lots of great tricks went down throughout the day, I don’t believe the vibe fully recovered.

The second spot was a pair of ordinary down rails, unless you disastered to them. A handful of skaters (including Minnesota’s Blake O’Brien and Chicago’s Keegan Cousee and Sean Darst) separated themselves from the pack with their gap-to grinds. The third spot was a long staired ledge — no disaster option this time, so the competitors were all on even turf. There was talk of adding a fourth spot, but there didn’t seem to be enough enthusiasm for it.

One of my favorite parts of the day was seeing Chicago’s Steve Lerner take first place. Lerner is a textbook of tricks, and he’s long deserved more recognition than he’s received in Midwest street competitions. — Adam Morris

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