AQUA CLARA SKATE SHOWDOWN

AQUA CLARA SKATE SHOWDOWN
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA
SATURDAY – SEPT 3, 2005
Written by Charlie Crank
Co-authors: Jerry Lukas, Leanne Lennon
Photos by Jerry Lukas

The Aqua Clara Showdown was a legendary skate party in the history of Clearwater. Maria, the owner of two motels sporting both a sweet right-hand kidney pool and a square pool with nice transitions, believed Charlie and Adam G. (Legend) were science students intent on draining her algae-infested pools. The kidney pool had been out of commission for a while, due to a desperate drug addict';s suicide dive into the shallow end. She was happy to participate, ordered pizza, and we got started throwing pumps in the muck, digging out the sludge, and chugging beers in the afternoon sun of one of the hottest Augusts on record in Florida.

Charlie Crank, pool finder and general mayhem producer (now licensed), felt the neighborhood needed something positive. After weeks of skating the pools with the locals, Charlie and Jerry approached Maria with the idea of an all-inclusive skate benefit to repair a broken pump and to resurface and fill the abandoned pools. Maria was on board and all decided that a Labor Day blowout on September 3rd would be appropriate.

The wait was interminable. On the day of the party, spirits were high and riders came out of the woodwork to experience the dream of pool skating. Wheels were ripping up tile and dust from the marcite in the form of a mushroom cloud! Local skater Tully assaulted the tile in both pools, while Josh Black, Chris Lemire, Mike D., and others killed it throughout the night. Jerry hoisted the Bulldog Skates banner and photographed the event. Even Mike Freshour from Z-Flex was on the scene, passing out stickers and t-shirts. He was also on hand to award the best skaters with Z-Flex decks, but was thwarted when his best-trick deck was handed over to Benny while he was away from the kidney. Several lucky attendees were given grab bags filled with swag from our sponsors: Reklis, Skate Park of Tampa, West Side Skate Shop, Juice Magazine, Bulldog Skates, Z-Flex, Villin BMX, Atomic Tattoos, Printquickness.com, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Low Key Films, Urban Skateshops, and Jerry Lukas Photography.

Because skaters came from all over the state and rented rooms, ;No Vacancy signs were used for the first time in fifteen years. You can imagine how rad the vibes were. At least 500 people showed up, though some were disappointed that the Speed Wobbles insane punk show was shut down due to noise ordinance regulations. However, everyone got to hear live hip-hop by FLA at the square pool and a set by Guy Smiley at the kidney. All types were there, from street urchin to pro skater, making it a real mix of skating, BMX, prostitution, disorderly conduct, police misconduct, and partying to the hilt. It’s true that someone was dangled from the second story balcony at 3am, but, in spite of that, there were no injuries or arrests. Everyone will agree this was the biggest summer skate blowout to ever occur in Clearwater.

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