Family, friends, and fans of Tim Brauch came together on Saturday October 13, 2001 at the Milpitas Vans Skatepark near Tim's hometown of San Jose to skate and pay tribute to him in the way they believe he'd appreciate most--they skated their guts out for a day.
The loose contest format included unsponsored, and sponsored-am events in street, and an open pool jam that featured both pros and ams. About 100 skaters showed up to ride--some just to session, and others to watch, meet old friends, and just be a part of the festivities. Tim dedicated his life to his family, his friends, and to skateboarding, and this event has brought all of those elements together now for three years running.
The Tim Brauch Memorial Skateboard Contest is the brainchild of his closest friends, and primarily the result of the hard work of former sponsor Sessions Apparel. Under the Sessions umbrella, Tim and friend Salman Agah promoted the Este clothing line (S for Salman, and T for Tim).
Among those present were Tim's family, who gave a special award to the unsponsored am who best exemplified Tim's no-holds-barred approach to skateboarding. The Brauch’s were close to many of Tims friends during his life, and remain an integral part of the NorCal skateboarding family.
The number of skaters who signed up for the contest far exceeded expectations, and the event concluded much later than anticipated. The highlights were the sponsored-am finals, in which every skater enjoyed the unbound support of the entire crowd, and the pool contest a one-hour jam during which two or more skaters were often chasing each other around the bowl.
It’s clear that NorCal has no shortage of am street talent, though this was the only contest in the region for a long while. And the veterans of pool skating have not let up in their advanced thirty-something years (twenty-something Chris Senn was one youthful exception out there).
With stenciled banners surrounding the event with nicknames (Beans) and reminders (Never Forget), the theme has been expanded over the years to encompass all those skaters who've passed away. Memorial walls included photos of Phil Shao and Billy Strubing (brother of Foundation pro Justin Strubing), but remembrances weren't limited to them alone. More than anything, the event was a time to celebrate each of those skaters? lives, and to appreciate the opportunity to skate together and just go for it.