As part of an essential piece to our partnership with our friends at SPoT, together we started the next chapter in amateur skateboarding contests where the stakes are higher and the path for career progression is more defined. Thus Damn Am Select Series was created, building off of the success of the long-running Damn Am, an amateur skateboarding tour that has traditionally provided legitimate recognition to up-and-coming skateboarding talent. With this new inclusion in the year–round SLS event calendar, skateboarding’s rawest young talent now have the opportunity to progress all the way to the top street skateboarding competition – the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship
Created by Skatepark of Tampa in 2001 as a supporting contest series that granted winners entry into Tampa Am, Damn Am introduced an international format to amateur skateboarding through which winners could earn both recognition and the chance to compete on an Am stage that mattered in skateboarding. In 2015, the newly restructured Damn Am Select Series will continue momentum for recognition of the best Ams with the help of SLS by providing two hopefuls a straight shot to compete on a stage alongside the world’s best pro skateboarders in the 2016 SLS Pro Open.
A field limited to 125 Am skateboarders at each Damn Am Select Series contest will compete for the top 12 places to progress into Tampa Am and the winner of each stop automatically qualifies for the Semi-Finals this November. The overall winner of Tampa Am along with the winner of the long-standing ‘Damn Am of the Year’ award will now have the chance to progress into the following year’s SLS Pro Open. The more Series stops an Am competes in, the better his or her chances to make it into the SLS Pro Open to compete on a global stage with the pros, and possibly make their way into the SLS Nike SB World Tour to compete for the title of SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Champion.
“As the proving grounds of skateboarding contests, the Damn Am has always been a way for the pros of tomorrow to get recognition,” says Damn Am co-creator Brian Schaefer. “Connecting these events through the SPoT contests and now into Street League really fulfills the vision we’ve always held for the series – that from the Damn Am Select Series a complete unknown can get a chance to skate against the pros and go on to possibly even win the World Championship.”
“The current amateur contest landscape is more fragmented than any other part of the skateboarding world,” says SLS President and COO, Brian Atlas. “The only exception to that is what the SPoT team has built with Damn Am. This is the only Am series that has helped launch careers for some of the best skateboarders out there, including SLS pros like Nyjah Huston and Luan Oliveira. To further align with Schaefer and his team to build this next chapter for amateur skateboarding is one of the most exciting initiatives within the SLS global platform”
Over the years, Damn Am has seen some of today’s best skateboarders cut their teeth at these pivotal events, such as SLS Pros Ishod Wair, Manny Santiago, Torey Pudwill, Felipe Gustavo, Chaz Ortiz, Luan Oliveira, and the reigning SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Champion, Nyjah Huston. Making their mark in skateboarding through the 2015 Damn Am Select Series are some names we can expect to be seeing far more often, like charismatic Dutch Am, Tim Zom, 17-year-old Gage Boyle, Nike SB’s Jereme Knibbs and currently standing first in the running for Damn Am of the Year, Dashawn Jordan.
Earning the title of Damn Am of the Year and winning Tampa Am have always been a part of a strong tradition in skateboarding, and now as part of the global qualification structure under SLS, this tradition has the potential to expand and grow by providing a young Ams with the unprecedented opportunity to become the official street skateboarding world champ as sanctioned by the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF), the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Champion.
Learn more about the Road to Super Crown at streetleague.com/road-to-super-crown.
Follow along the Damn Am Select Series journey with the next contest this weekend in Costa Mesa, CA. Find out more here.