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Photos from the 2022 Skate contest Tampa Am at the SPOT Skatepark of Tampa in Florida
NEWS

Daiki Ikeda Takes First Place at Tampa Am 2022

Nov 142022

He’s unstoppable! Monster Energy congratulates team rider Daiki Ikeda on taking first place in the 2022 Tampa Am street skateboarding competition at Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT) in Florida this weekend. In the skateboarding world’s most significant contest for amateur riders, the 16-year-old from Tokyo, Japan, brought the house down with a flawless run in Sunday’s final.

Presented by Monster Energy, Tampa Am is considered as a gateway into the professional skateboarding ranks. The competition was first held at the SPoT warehouse in 1995. Today, the list of Tampa Am winners includes the world’s most influential pro street skateboarders, such as Monster Energy rider Aurelien Giraud and multiple SLS World Champion Nyjah Huston.

The 28th edition of Tampa Am again brought hundreds of amateur skateboarders from 19 countries to Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT). Skateboarders hailed from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sweden, and the United States.

Aside from the main street skating contest, riders also competed in the Concrete Jam bowl contest and Independent Best Trick session. The festival-like event also featured concerts and art exhibits to celebrate the full diversity of skateboarding culture.

The action-packed weekend culminated in the twelve-rider final on Sunday. With each rider taking three attempts to put together the highest-scoring run, the level of tricks escalated quickly as the capacity crowd celebrated every trick landed in unique Tampa style. Live broadcast commentator Paul Zitzer called the competition: “One of the greatest weekends of all time!”

 

As the final came down to the last attempts, Monster Energy’s Ikeda put down the kind of perfect run that leaves the skatepark’s walls trembling. In Run 3, the Japanese rookie landed backside 270 lipslide to 270 out and backside Smith grind on the long Pyramid rail, followed by a hardflip across the entire obstacle, kickflip backside lipslide the flat rail, and kickflip frontside feeble down the rail. The 16-year-old then proceeded to land a kickflip frontside bluntslide the flat rail and had the crowd on its feet with a double 360 kickflip off the stair set. Rounding out a flawless run, Ikeda finished with a frontside bluntslide kickflip fakie on the flat bar and kept covering the course with perfect tech tricks after time had elapsed to cement his victory.

 

At the mere age of 13, Ikeda won the gold medal in the Junior Street Division at X Games Minneapolis 2019 on his first visit to the United States. Supported by the Monster Army program, he garnered an invite to Thrasher Magazine’s AM Scramble trip and became a viral video sensation with his 2021 part for The Berrics website. After becoming a full-fledged Monster Energy rider this summer, Ikeda took first place in the first Damn Am 2022 tour stop at The Berrics in June 2022. This kid is unstoppable!

 

Also putting on a strong performance this weekend, 25-year-old Columbian team rider Jhancarlos Gonzalez clinched first place in Saturday’s Tampa Am Best Trick contest. On the red Rainbow Rail affixed to the center pyramid for the event, Gonzalez put down a high-speed frontside 270 lipslide fakie for the win and a $1,000 purse.

 

In Sunday’s Tampa Am 2022 final, Gonzalez finished in 9th place with a near-perfect run featuring highlights such as switch frontside lipslide the kink rail, backside 270 lipslide the flat rail, switch hurricane the rail, and Caballerial frontside boardslide down the big rail.

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