Recap Of The 8th Annual Dave Donalson Invitational Old Man Bowl Jam 2017

Converging on the grounds of Houston’s classic skatepark, Southside Skatepark, the 2017 Dave Donalson Invitational Old Man Bowl Jam was an all day affair written in the annals of Houston skateboarding. The 2017 DDI was a reunion of friends, all of whom share the combined passion for music and skateboarding. The atmosphere of this years event was very much one of fellowship as friends reunited from places as far as Ohio and California for this day of live entertainment, food, and high-flying fun on the ramps.

Click Here To See The Photo Gallery For This Year’s Dave Donalson Invitational Old Man Bowl Jam

When Old Men Fly

The skate contest was divided into two age divisions; the mini masters for skaters aged 30 to 40, and masters for age 40 and up. Though much emphasis was given to the age of the skaters, it was evident from this year’s DDI that in the art of skateboarding, age is only a number. What matters most is the passion that each rider has for the game; so much that it remains a part of their lives. “The love is still there, it’s like a girlfriend that you know did you wrong at one time and you still go back.” Veteran Derrick Hayes tells New Houston Music Outlet when describing the interesting relationship with the sport. Hayes, who has been skating since the eighties says he’s sustained knee injuries and undergone rehab but still loves to ride. Many of the skaters we spoke to gave similar stories; tales of broken bones and torn ligaments, but the passion has kept them going all these years. This is not only a testament to the physical nature of the sport but the grit mentality it requires.

Through it all, the mission of any skater is just as 20-year-old Zach Castillo of Friendswood states , “Just have fun and go fast.” It looks like these guys will be returning for next year’s invitational and future ones to do just that.



Into the Groove

Nine bands were responsible for creating the sonic soundscape of this year’s event. Russ Driver Band, One Less Zero, Cops, and Konkerute ripped the show as the all-day skateboarding raged on. Free Beer, Royal Flush, Contortion Session, 5104, and The Way Down kept all the riders’ spirits’ up all while giving very enjoyable performances. The music at this year’s event was a treat being that most of the showcasing bands were Houston bred acts. Bands like Contortion Session were heavily involved in cultivating Houston’s early punk music scene in the eighties. The group plays in a huge role in the branding of Embassy Skateboards. Professional skater John Gibson, founder of Embassy Skateboards, who also was one of the city’s pioneers in both music and skateboarding, told us how his ideas helped put Texas on the map for the sport. While the Old Man Jam was a reunion with both music and boarding, a lot of Houston’s history is and continues to be intertwined in this event.

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“Skate Tuff Or Go Home” Founder of Embassy Skateboards, pro-skater, and musician, John Gibson and Jaime Bernard.

Robin Barrera Donalson, Jaime Bernard, and Dave Donalson chatting it up as the night continues to unravel with live music.

“Can It Get More Punk Than This?” Band, Cops are known to have some pretty anti-establishment songs. They’re seen here in full police garb with upside down American flags sewn into the shoulders. Can it get more punk than this?

Drummer, Dillon of Russ Driver Band finds a quiet spot to practice before his band’s set. He agrees to take a photo.

“Go Play Outside!” band One Less Zero from SoCal belts out tracks from their new album, “Go Play Outside.”

“Russ Driver Band” From left to right: Kevin Ramlow( bass), Dillion Matherne (Drums), and Russ Driver (guitar).

Contortion Session shreds it, playing their classic songs as well as new ones.

One thought on “Recap Of The 8th Annual Dave Donalson Invitational Old Man Bowl Jam 2017”

  1. Eric Visentin says:

    awesome article, thanks for the support this year!

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