As a mob of rollerbladers invaded the Old Fourth Ward skatepark, my eyes begin to widen. It never ceases to amaze when I see our city pull in so many people, inviting them to our city as if they are family. Most of the people at the event have been skating together for decade(s). They have seen each other get married, turn pro, graduate college, become a working stiff, and/or embrace the romanticism of an alcoholic lifestyle. Such a tight-knit community has a very powerful impact on the strength of blading as a whole. Before my sappy ass nostalgia fully hijacks the rest of this article, let’s dive into the sordid details of A-Town Foursome.
In the 15 years I have known Brian and Carson Starnes, one thing has remained steadily true — they both know how to put on a party. Whether it be a 4-person session in downtown Atlanta or a 300-plus person event, they know how to make an occasion out of any type of gathering. The A-Town Stomp is a perfect example of this mentality. The entire contest feels more like a session with 200 of your closest friends rather than an ordinary street contest, and this year was no exception.
The comp kicked off at a long ledge setup near the skatepark. The ledge session seemed to be a molatov cocktail of chicken and S.K.A.T.E., essentially a glorified game of follow the leader. I fell as the first victim to this setup. After colliding with Daniel Henderson at full speed I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I would give more detail into what tricks went down, but five minutes after my collision I knocked myself out on the ledge. The next 30 minutes of the session were spent icing a monolithic knot on my head while attempting to decipher the dully lit blurs grinding what looked to be long grey ledge. Concussions will definitely skew your perspective on a comp.
Fast forward one hour, five high-strength Advils, and a bottle of white wine found underneath my girlfriend’s passenger seat later, and my vision had cleared up. With my head not pounding as hard as before, our convoy converged on what I think was an old church nestled into the woods. In the back of the church was a 16-stair drop ledge made of an odd composite of stucco and roughly poured concrete. Not exactly the best ingredient for a chill spot, but I wouldn’t expect anything like that from Brian and Carson. Tricks were immediately thrown down. Chris Smith cranked out true topsoul almost right off the bat, followed by Phillip Moore’s BS fastslide, and Julian Bah’s AO topsoul as well as AO fish. Keep in mind this is within 10 minutes of arriving to the spot. David Sizemore put on a clinic by linking ledge tricks into lines by clearing the stair set that cornered the ledges. As complicated as I made that sound, it is difficult, trust me. Mason Richards came through with some impressive tricks including a cab true mizou. Both Montre and Anthony Armstrong slammed dangerously hard, then proceeded to laced some of the most tasking treats down the ledge. Right at the moment the session’s energy began to die down, Brian and Carson concluded that it was time for the next spot.
As we pulled up to the last spot, I came to the realization how much Brian and Carson have invested in this years comp. I glanced up the street to see a gang of 12 rollerbladers pushing a Dodge Neon that looked like a reject out of Mad Max. Pushing the car into an empty building space, I gazed upon the final spot. Covered by PVC railing and tagging courtesy of Dustin Hinson, it became obvious that this ragged vehicular artwork was about to get wrecked (eh… see what I did there?). It was incredible to see how quickly everyone took to the new obstacle, especially since all the windows were one blade away from shattering into millions of handslicing pieces. It was hard to keep track of the amount of tricks that went down do to the effects of the meds and alcohol wearing off, so I will just rattle of the ones that I can remember:
I do apologize for the lack of clarity on the last spot, but I blame Brian Carson. Each year, even without as head injury, the entire event turns into one prolonged party… and I love them for it. Atlanta would be a very different place if it were not for these two brothers. And that brings me to the spirit of the A-Town Stomp. The A-town is not a street contest, it is not a soapbox for our industry, and it is not a contentious event filled with anticipation and bated breath. It is a love letter, a love letter penned by two brothers to blading, to our city, and our friends. That is the spirit of Atlanta. That is why I live here and that is why I love this city. — Troy Sanders
Photos by Corey Oringderff
What was the opening song?
Thanks i will add it to my collection!
hello I M SERIGNE SALIOU GASSAMA COME FROM SENEGAL WEST AFRICA DAKAR I SEE THE WEBSITE BUT IS NICE IDEAL IS GOOD I LIKE ME I DOING ROLLERBLADING ROLLERBLADING IS MY LOE IS MY LIFE I WOULD LIKE LOVE THE WORLD ROLLERBLADING HAVE PAECE PAECE AND LOVE I WOULD LIKE ARE FRIEND THE WORLD ROLLERBLADING