On June 4, 2009, I attended the Maloof Money Cup Launch Party, hosted by Joe and Gavin Maloof at their Las Vegas Palms Casino. Over twenty pro skaters joined in as we toasted to this year’s event with Le Tourment Vert Absinthe and a high stakes poker tournament won by pro skater Jake Brown, who donated his winnings to the Maloof Skateboard Assistance Program, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to skateboarders who suffer injuries during contests. Also in attendance were Adam Dyet, Paul Rodriguez (Last year’s Maloof Money Cup Street winner), Pierre Luc Gagnon, Lizard King, Bob Burnquist, Bryan Herman, Jake Duncombe, Braydon Szafranski, Brandon Biebel, Bobby Worrest, Billy Marks, Clarke Miyasaki, Corey Duffel, Heath Kirchart, Chris Gentry, Silas Baxter-Neal, Kurtis Colamonico, Adam Taylor, Rune Glifberg and Rodrigo TX.
[pictured: Bucky Lasek]
After the poker tournament, Mr. Maloof invited us to dinner at the N9NE Steakhouse, where I plopped myself next to him, stuffed myself with a lobster tail that would have set me back $165 (menu price), and asked him a few questions about the event. Oh and just to clarify, if you think I would ever drop that kind of cash to eat a salty bug for dinner then you are crazy. Like maybe you need a straight jacket.
Hendrikx: How did you get involved with skateboarding?
Maloof: I used to look out my window and see all these kids playing basketball, soccer and baseball out in the street. Then I began to notice an overwhelming amount of kids skateboarding every day. Skateboarding has become a common part of our culture over the past years and I realized this as a great opportunity for my family to support and enjoy the sport.
[pictured: Ryan Sheckler]
Hendrikx: What’s going to be different in this year’s competition?
Maloof: This year we will premiere the first mini mega ramp designed by Bob Burnquist, Jake Brown and Pierre Luc Gagnon. It’s never been done before and attendees will have a chance to see it all happen up close.
Hendrikx: What’s on the Horizon for the Maloof Money Cup?
Maloof: We’re planning on increasing the amount of events each year in different cities. Next year we will have two competitions in Costa Mesa, California and in Las Vegas, Nevada. Eventually, we’d like to have four competitions per year. But what’s really exciting is that we are working toward leaving behind brand these new skateparks after each competition for the communities to keep!
Hendrikx: Last year the Maloof Money Cup aired on CBS. Where can the nation watch the event this year, if they can’t see it live?
Maloof: This year we are collaborating with Allied Sports to make the competition available on both NBC and MTV.
Hendrikx: Thanks Joe, you’ve been a fantastic host and an incredible ambassador for the sport.
Maloof: Thank you! Come back to the Palms any time and I’ll see you at the event.
(I just might take you up on that Joe, I just might…)
[pictured: Jake Brown]
Also dining at our table were pro skaters Lizard King, Pierre Luc Gagnon and Adam Dyet. While snacking down a thick steak and trying not to drizzle on his chic white suit, Dyet shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming contest and his love for San Diego. “I’m focused on making it into the finals, and then I’ll go from there,” says Dyet. “One thing I can say is that I will be partying for sure.” When asked about his affinity for San Diego, Dyet responded, “I go to San Diego all the time for photo and video shoots.” Dyet adds, “We usually go to Washington Street, the best skatepark ever, and then go shred the streets of San Diego.” Later we spoke more about his preparation for the event. “I’ve been learning a lot of new tricks this past year and plan to break some of them out for the contest,” says the public favored skater, who has won best trick contest for tricks such as his nollie heel flip big spin to a backside lip slide on the rail.
Following dinner we headed up to Moon, the hotel’s premiere nightclub, where skater/DJ Jake Brown provided music mixes for an entourage of skaters and VIPS, including Adam Levine of Maroon Five. We drank absinthe into silly hours of the night, skaters got down to Brown’s fresh beats and unanimously voted Adam Dyet as best dressed skater.
[pictured: Joe Maloof with Monster Girls]
Interested in seeing the world’s greatest vert ramp and street skaters compete for more than $450,000 in cash and prizes? Yeah, me too! The Maloof Money Cup presented by etnies and Monster energy takes place July 10 – 12 at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., during the opening week of the OC Fair. This event will showcase the Zoo York Pro Street Championship, Carl’s Jr. Pro Vert Championship, U.S. Women’s Pro Street Championship, World Industries Amateur Street and Vert Contest. With the largest pursed event in the history of skateboarding, this contest guarantees excitement and intensity you don’t want to miss!
For more information about the Maloof Money Cup event please visit www.maloofmoneycup.com
By Eric Hendrikx