This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on assignment for the City of Kennesaw to cover the 2014 Street League (SLS) Skateboarding Atlanta Pro Demo presented by Cricket Wireless at the Kennesaw Skate Plaza. This was probably one of my favorites to shoot since I’ve skated for almost twenty years now and love supporting the local skate scene. The 40,000 square foot skate plaza itself opened in Kennesaw in 2013 and it’s an awesome update to the old wood skatepark that used to be there. I’m lucky to live so close to it, so I drop by a lot to skate.
The event started off with kids, adults, dogs, and others making their way around the vendor area skating, eating pizza, and finding their perfect spot to watch the event. The pro demo featured SLS Pros Paul Rodriguez, Tom Asta, Chaz Ortiz, and Ishod Wair. Special guest and Nike Pro Justin Brock, who’s local to Atlanta, also joined in on the demo. It’s hard to say how many people exactly showed up, but it was definitely near a thousand or more. Tom Asta, Chaz Ortiz, Ishod Wair, and Justin Brock all warmed up while waiting for Paul to arrive.
After the demo many people gathered around the small stage area as Paul Rodriguez, Tom Asta, Chaz Ortiz, and Ishod Wair tossed out a ton of products like shirts, hats, wheels, and even decks. Some of the grabbing got so energized that the barricades for the skatepark started falling over. Luckily no one got hurt and order was managed well by the on-site Kennesaw police. Afterward, Paul Rodriguez made his way around the park tossing out stickers and other goods to the people lining the edge of the park.
There was also a best trick contest that was open to anyone who wanted to enter. Grand prize was $500 cash in crisp $100 bills and a brand new Samsung S5 from Cricket. Tons of people took to the task of throwing their best tricks down the rails and stairs, but there could only be one winner. Jordan Smith locked that spot with a switch back lip down one of the rails.
Once the best trick contest was over and the pros had a little time to relax, everyone lined up outside the pro booth to get autographs and meet with their favorite pros. Paul Rodriguez, Tom Asta, Chaz Ortiz, Ishod Wair, and Justin Brock were all genuinely very nice and awesome to everyone as they signed autographs, took photos, and talked to hundreds of people. I got a really bad sunburn even with SPF, but I had an amazing time. I got some awesome photos and a chance to hang out with everyone, so I have no complaints.
A big thanks to all of the vendors and people that made it happen and supported the event like Street League, Ambush Board Co., Cricket Wireless, Papa Johns, Monster Energy Drinks, King of Pops, the City of Kennesaw and the Kennesaw police.
My name is Matt Druin and I’m an Atlanta editorial and portrait photographer.
Contact Atlanta editorial + portrait photographer Matt Druin
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