Tampa Am is the world’s most important amateur skateboarding competition. Widely considered as a gateway into the professional ranks, the competition was first held at the SPoT warehouse in 1995. Over the years, several of the world’s most iconic professional street skateboarders have claimed victories at Tampa Am, including Monster Energy rider Aurelien Giraud and multiple SLS World Champion Nyjah Huston.
The 27th edition of Tampa Am once again attracted hundreds of amateur skateboarders from across the globe with a total of 16 countries represented in the event. On Friday, a field of 150 unseeded skaters had the chance to qualify into the competition via the Last Chance Open. Saturday then saw the field of 100 riders cut down to 35 semifinalists in a high-pressure elimination format. Sunday’s semifinals kicked the competition into high gear as riders battled for only ten qualifier spots into the final.
When all was said and done, three Monster Energy riders made the cut: Richard Tury from Slovakia earned his way into the top ten by posting a perfect run, including gap heelflip boardslide the kink rail and heelflip varial to 50-50 the Hubba for 83.78 points. Also making the cut, Columbian team rider Jhancarlos Gonzalez found a perfect line on his last run in the semifinal, including a gap switch backside lipslide the pyramid rail, Caballerial frontside boardslide fakie, and switch backside tailslide the Hubba for 83.68 points.
Qualifying into the final in first place, Monster Energy’s Filipe Mota put together a perfect second semifinal run. The winner of the 2020 Global AMdemic contest, who also competed against elite pro skaters in this year’s Street League Skateboarding World Championship Tour, netted 91.80 points for a perfect routine. Highlights included frontside bluntslide the pyramid rail, heelflip frontside boardslide the rail, kickflip backside tailslide shove-it the Hubba, and a frontside noseslide heelflip fakie on the flat ledge.
“That was such a wild semifinal, the level of skating is nuts right now,” said SPoT live commentator Andrew Cannon.
The level of skating escalated further in the final when each rider received three runs to post the highest score. Without scores displayed live and only announced in the awards ceremony, the battle for first place continued until very last attempts. Adding to the competitive pressure, a strong Japanese contingent including eleven-year-old phenom Ginwoo Onodera as well as Yukito Aoki and Raimu Sasaki set the bar high by posting ultra-technical tricks.
No stranger to landing technical tricks with style and consistency, Monster Energy’s Richard Tury held his own in the final by landing a flawless run on his last attempt. Tury covered the entire course, starting on a gap heelflip to backside boardslide the rail, kickflip backside 5-0 the Hubba, frontside nosegrind the kink rail, frontside bigspin boardslide and heelflip frontside lipslide the rail, kickflip backside lipslide the flat rail and frontside varial heelflip backside 5-0 grind the Hubba for second place behind Japan’s Yukito Aoki in first.
A long-time member of Monster Energy’s European skateboarding team, Tury is known for his consistency and versatile bag of tricks. Most recently, “Riso” took first place in the Valencia European Skate Open 2021 and second place in the Urban World Series competition in Madrid.
Also claiming a spot on the podium, Columbia’s Jhancarlos Gonzalez posted a perfect run on his second attempt. Gonzalez landed gap to switch backside lipslide the pyramid rail, switch frontside lipslide the flat rail, switch kickflip frontside 50-50 and switch backside tailslide the Hubba, gap frontside noseblunt slide the rail, 270 to lipslide the rail and a controlled switch kickflip frontside boardslide earned the young rider third place.
Closely missing the podium, Monster Energy’s Filipe Mota strung together a highly technical run, but could not lock in his final trick. Finishing in fifth place, the 15-year-old from Brazil landed frontside bluntslide the pyramid rail, kickflip backside tailslide shove-it the Hubba, gap to backside lipslide the rail, heelflip frontside boardslide the rail, Half Cab heelflip noseslide the flat ledge, backside Smith grind the flat rail, backside 180 nosegrind the Hubba and a high-tech kickflip frontside bluntslide the rail.