A Note From Jim:
There are some really great things in skateboarding, things that happen for all the right reasons, that unfortunately sometimes can be taken for granted. Phoenix Am is one of those events. For 9 years now the people at Cowtown have been quietly and consistently busting their collective asses every year to make Phoenix Am happen. It’s a mountain of work. A very, very tall mountain of work I’m sure. Doing it for 9 years is awesome. Doing it really, really great for 9 years is a hell of an achievement. It was never an ego trip, never a money deal. Nothing like that, Phoenix AM comes about from the combined efforts of a very tight, strong group of skaters and fans of skating who are actually doing something for skating. Year after year Trent, Laura and Ed and their crew make it happen. If any of us are ever dumb enough to again take what they do for granted our only excuse and heartfelt apology is that they do it so damn well that we simply can’t imagine what skateboarding would be like if it weren’t for them being a part of it and all they do. Thank you guys - its appreciated. What you do for skateboarding is a huge part of what makes it so great. -Jimt43
Interview with Laura & Trent Martin, and Ed Cox of Cowtown Skateboards
How long has Cowtown been around? What made you want to start the shop and how long after the shop opened did you start the PHXAM contest?
We opened the shop 13 years ago, put everything into our passion, skateboarding…..
What was your motivation for starting the contest and to keep it going every year?
Improving the skateboarding scene, bringing everyone together for a good time, and most importantly exposure for all the skateboarders here in AZ that are amazing and don’t get the coverage they deserve since they aren’t living in California.
What is the gnarliest thing you’ve seen at the contest over years?
Robbie Brockel winning best trick two years in a row with a BS 360 kickflip down the 10 stair then the next year he made the 360 biggerflip down the same set.
Robbie taking the cash PHXAM 2008!
Trick, slam, or after party antics, what takes the cake for “holy shit! I can’t believe that just happened?”
Clyde passed out and peed himself in our friends car, he paid for it to get cleaned up, so i guess it is ok. Clyde is awesome!
Clyde MC PHXAM 2007
The PHXAM contest has been a launching point for a lot of skaters out there, who are some of the skaters from PHXAM that you’ve seen blow up since being in or winning the contest?
Billy Marks, Jereme Rogers…i think he blew up too much, Adam Dyet, Grant Taylor, Lizard King, lot’s of them for sure.
Are there any contest runs that always stick out in your mind as some of the best ever?
Andrew Cannon and David Gravette did a doubles run it was so good, everyone enjoyed it.
Any Cinderella stories from PHXAM, the kid no one has ever heard of that came out and won it?
Nope not yet, they have all been pretty well known. Actually Adam Dyet was a complete unknown, just a shy kid from Utah, look at him now.
Arizona has grown to be one of the best and most well respected skate scenes in the country in the last couple years, what do you think has attributed to that?
Good Skateboarders hopefully skating for the right reason…fun and also good spots.
Has anyone ever been banned from the PHXAM contest, if so what happened?
Nah, Sammy Bacca, last year got thrown into the back of the police car and kicked out but we just let him and Erik sleep it off in the judges booth. Mirko has called enough people out that they won’t make it out again.
Outside the skate event, are there any yearly traditions that go on at PHXAM every year? Tampa has the moat race, insane partying, etc?
Lizard king, every year since the first , also there are always some crazy kids who show up at like 3am and just hang out to be first in line to get in. We always hook the first one in line up with a deck and some skate goods or whatever.
Any predictions on this years winners? Anyone we should keep an eye on?
Man, that is a tough one, Chris Pfanner, Vincent Alvarez, Tom Remillard, Andrew Langi was killing it last year until he got hurt, and of course Robbie Brockel. I think he might take all these guys.
Robbie Brockel gets Inverted
Obviously putting on a contest like PHXAM takes a lot of organizing and arranging from yourself and everyone at Cowtown, has there ever been any major disasters or debacles that you’ve run into that you thought would stop the contest from going on? What happened?
Laura holds down the organizational part of it all for sure, Ed and I are last minute. It was probably like the second or third year of the contest, it rained all day during practice and up into the first morning of the contest, it all dried up, we screwed the bubbles in the masonite down, and the contest went on with dark clouds looming all day, not a drop. It rained all night again, dried up in the morning and started getting dark and looking pretty bad so we called off the second runs of finals and quickly moved into the best trick on this sketchy rail we had. It was pretty amazing watching everyone charge it as it started sprinkling. People just kept skating, it was scary Pat Duffy in the rain stuff. I remember Ronnie Creager was judging and didn’t even want to watch it.
The three responsible for it all, year after year they put on the amazing PHXAM event, Trent & Laura Martin, and Ed Cox.
Tell us a little bit about the new JUNK JAM format you guys are doing this year for the contest? What’s it all about, why did you decide to switch it up?
We decided to switch it up to make it more fun to skate, less intimidating, and more fun to watch too…it’s basically just some skateable junk like you used to build behind the grocery store, or local spot (before there were amazing public skate parks) you know, make do with some filing cabinet ledges, sketchy light poles tilted sideways, plywood leaned up against the wall, whatever you could create and have fun with. So take that and have 4 guys skate at once, like a regular session with your friends instead of the usual 1 minute run by yourself.
When you first started PHXAM, did you ever imagine it would get to the level it’s at today? Was that an original goal of yours when you started?
Our original goal was to promote skateboarding, showcase up and coming skateboarders, and show that you don’t have to live in california to get recognized. There are plenty of people ripping everywhere..keep it up!
Was Jim Thiebaud honored that you modeled the first Cowtown ramp off his infamous Oakland ramp (RIP) or was he pissed that you stole his layout?
I think probably pissed, that’s why he never came and skated it, he just sent in you and Oliver to scope things out.
Favorite ex-DLX team manager whose name rhymes with Chasing Scares Us. Hint: Back Smith…..
Man, Jasin Phares had a mean back smith and i loved the way he krooked his front foot on f/s five-o grinds just before he popped them out…perfect, i miss him and his machete.
Favorite AZ legend: Colby, Colvin or Kevin?,
Regular, mongo, pads, i like them all, they all are legends.
After the contest craziness settle down are there plans for a new version of the Cowtown warehouse mini ramp extravganza?
I wish we had a warehouse to put one in again thats all for now.
To Trent, Laura, Ed and the whole Cowtown crew, thank you for all you do for skateboarding.