Building a nation in the old Americas took planning and many pitfalls. The Midwest became a barren wasteland between the landing points at Ellis island and pre-industrialized towns on the East Coast all the way to the gold rush mountains of the Californias. It was only when the railroads became abundant that middle America began to take form. Importing goods from overseas was done through a series of waterways, canals and our nation''s great lakes. You can travel by water faster and cheaper when hauling goods and the farthest you can get into the middle of America by those hydration hallways is all the way to Chicago, Illinois.
Making a history for itself as the City of Big Shoulders, Chicago became the hub of all importing and the pivot point for railroading in the developing country. Without a doubt, the Windy City boasts bigger and better things in store for America. As the Zumiez Couch Tour blasts into this mega metropolis, we too have big expectations. The outcome of this showdown will be one for the record books.
Couch Touring across the nation gives the great American troubadors' dream a new spin. Rolling up to the scene brings the excitement of butterflies and the boom of a thousand hi-fidelity speakers blaring rock and roll that this misled youth so brazenly craves.
This year's Zumiez Best Foot Forward Am contest in Chicago went off in a big way with no slacking. Dudes were hucking themselves like none other. It was the biggest spectator audience we have seen yet and the passion from the crowd was unparalleled.
The finals came down to Chicagoland's biggest and brightest. The Zumiez Destroyer Award went to Shawn Turner. Shawn was ripping out switch front big heels and switch laser flips down the double set like a champ. Shawn looked smooth all day as he rocked trick after trick down that three flat three.
Third place went to Justin Smolenski. A late entry, Justin came out with aggression and didn't stop until the full ten minutes were up. Busting a hardflip off the huge bank ramp platform to flat got Justin into the third place standings with ease.
Second place as well as the Transworld Best Trick Award was scooped up by Jason Siebert. And what a trick it was! Not only did Jason kill the whole contest but his execution of a front pop shuv boardslide to rewind back shuv-it out was unbelievable.
The man of the day, all the way from Detroit was Dustin Blauvelt. He put on quite a show and switch 270 lipslides down the handrail weren't enough for this Motor City native. Dustin ripped a 270 revert out of the tornado lip to the amazement of the crowd. He busted and busted all the way into the finals and wouldn't be satisfied until coming out on top. This makes a repeat winner out of Blauvelt.
The Real Skateboards team came in with full ferocity and tore the course like a band of jackals taking down a wildebeest. Killing the rail and tackling the channeled transition was Kyle Walker. With back lip shuv-its and nosegrinds across the abyss, K-Walks made the grade with smooth style and cool essence. Joined by Robbie Brockel was James Hardy, the killer. After pulling off an allie-oop frontside 180 to fakie 50-50 down the hubba, Hardy went for the unthinkable and swept the crowd off their feet with a allie-ooped 180 ( the hard way) to switch five-O down the hubba. Peter Ramondetta, Dennis Busenitz and Ernie Torres took to the course and made small work of the A-frame rail and various ledges and gaps seen covering the masonite.
Jake Donnelly found the manual pad a bit too boring to skate 'on,' so he just decided to skate over it. With mach speed, Donnelly blazed a path and after a number of attempts, manages to kickflip over the entire thing to flat, a gap spanning ten feet easy.
All of thirteen years old, Alex Midler was out there representing and busting back 270 to back lips down the rail. Davis Torgerson came straight out of Minneapolis and onto the masonite like a madman. He busted like mad with picture-perfect front blunts on the hubba ledge.
Set Your Goals, the band, not the self-help book, took the stage with aggression. Their self-help message was heard by all within earshot. With all-inclusive lyrics and a tag-team vocal duo, this pop punk brand of rocking good times kept the crowd on their toes and jammed into the dusk light.
With more people out there in the crowd than we have ever seen at any other Zumiez Couch Tour so far, the masses were going nuts when We Came As Romans showed up to shred the stage. Belting out such huts as, "To move is to grow" and "To plant a seed," We Came As Romans slayed the Zumiez stage. Concert-goers moshed and romped around like their lives depended on it.
Chicago would go down as the best in-crowd participation here at the Zumiez Couch Tour. There were twice as many patrons here than at any other event we have had this year. We will forever feel the gnar that has been placed upon this metropolitan mecca.