Tampa Pro is an experience like none other. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely one of those things as a skater you have to see first hand at least once. As much as it has evolved over the years, the parts that make it one of the best events in skateboarding have remained the same. While the rest of the NYSB Crew held it down up here in NYC with the livestream, Austin Angelo and I packed up and flew down to Florida to cover things in person.
First stop was to check into our hotel. One of the things people take for granted is how cheap the trip can be if you split it with a few friends. Here’s a rundown of what we paid for two people:
Flight: $266.00 round trip.
Rental Car: $273.00 for 6 days.
Food: Most days we grabbed food at the bricks or around Tampa. If you are on a budget there are plenty of fast food places nearby the hotels.
Beverages: If you’re above 21, there are tons of great places to grab a drink, including Cigar City Brewery and SPOT’s Ybor bar The Bricks. If you’re under 21, the concession stand at SPOT has you covered.
Trip total: $642.50 for 3 Nights / $1019.00 for 6 nights. Split that a few ways between friends and you’ll barely feel like you spent anything for an experience you’ll never forget.
After spending Wednesday night on the Ybor strip we woke up and headed to the new park where the famous bro bowls once were. The new park is sick and even includes a replica of the bro bowls that are skate-able, as well as the original bumps in the grassy area. Thursday’s are for practice so those in town that aren’t skating the contest usually check out some parks and street spots around downtown.
After skating we caught up with Josh Stewart at the Polar and Theories of Atlantis premiere of “I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Don’t Wake Me This Time.” If you haven’t seen this video yet, stop reading this and go track it down.
Friday we headed to the park to watch the team manager/VIP contest and then headed over to check out the #Gonzstoragespace/LB Project art show at the Boardr.
After the art show we headed straight back to Ybor for the legendary Tampa Pro after party in Ybor. If you’re down in Ybor you will know three main bars: The Bricks, Czar Bar & Resevoir Bar. There are a few others, but these are the most commonly visited, skater friendly spots in Ybor night life. We were out until the bars shut down and got evicted by cops on horses.
The next morning, while nursing our sore heads and bodies we headed down to a staple of the south: Waffle House. We needed this pitstop to prepare us for the rest of the day.
Not everyone can get tickets before they sell out. Just ask our friends from Beercurb skateboards out of Lake Worth, Fl who we found tailgating outside.
Tyler Coffman (2nd from right above) missed out on tickets the last two years but was able to get some at the last minute this time. Last year, he snuck into the concrete jam after getting kicked out for not having a ticket and took 2nd place, he got 8th this year behind Chris Gregson who took 1st place.
Right after the Concrete jam Yelawolf headlined the Saturday night party to close out the night at the park before everyone once again headed out to Ybor to keep the party going.
We finally made it to Sunday home of the moat race and the 2016 Tampa Pro finals. Some of the weekend’s heaviest skating went down like Evan Smith who was killing it all weekend.
One of the other things we had to do before we left was get a free tattoo from the guys at Atomic Tattoo Shop who have been providing tattoos right there at SPOT for years now. It’s become a Tampa tradition.
After the tattoos we went back inside to catch the finals. We all know by now how the results went down so we don’t need to rehash that, but that ultimately doesn’t even matter. The best part about Tampa Pro is going away with your friends for a three day, all out party with a huge part of skateboarding. You’ll meet incredible people, make memories you’ll never forget, and want to go back immediately after the finals end. It’s not about the contest itself, it’s about the whole experience. While most of us will never be a professional skateboarder, for one weekend we’re all just good friends out to party.
Big thanks to Brian Schaefer, Paul Zitzer, Ryan Clements & everyone at SPOT and The Boardr that showed us good times and hospitality. That wraps it up for our recap of the Tampa Pro experience. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend you make plans for next year. Trust me, it’s worth it… See you next year.