Gainesville Skatepark Contest Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Gainesville Skatepark Contest

Posted on Monday, February 2, 2009 by MikeD

Our team didn't do too great, but you can't really be bummed because the potential to get hurt was high, and the fact that everybody walked out of there alive was a feat in itself. Additionally, Dylan walked out of there with a crooked grind to fakie on the Miami ledge. Overheard quote: "What? I don't go to fakie before noon."
One of the obstacles in the Contest was this big eight and Mike Espinosa had nollie kickflipped it before the whole deal had even started
I couldn't figure the lighting out in the Park, so I opted to just Photoshop Jimmy Lannon's shirt on this backside nosegrind. It's a grizzly bear. Clyde said, "Jimmy has the best head of hair in here."
Yonnie Cruz is probably in some sort of a line to hit that pyramid Ryan Nix is switch dog flipping in the background
Espinosa switch 360 flips the pyramid in times of a little less craze
Now this is a hot move. It's Ryan "Pike" Nix, it's switch, and it's a bs big spin flip...I think that makes it a switch backside bigger flip
T-Red from FTK on the left and Billy Rohan on the right. Billy MC'ed the day partially through a megaphone and partially through a PA. Billy could have used a little more help from the Park when it came to crowd control and ultimately grabbing little kids that didn't listen. I heard tales of skaters getting "disqualified" for not standing in line properly
Yes, that is Clyde Singleton. Yes, he did have a mic
This is probably Knibbs and DP paper, rock, scissoring (or whatever the ghetto term is for it) on who's skating the next obstacle
Everyone waiting their turn to skate one of the obstacles. J. Lannon spies me
I think this is Gainesville Skatepark
By Mike Derewenko

The new Gainesville Skatepark in, well, Gainesville, hosted a Contest last weekend with FTK and invited shop teams from all over Florida to compete for some loot. Let me see if I can get this format right. Each shop involved entered any five skaters from their team (unless you're Westside and have like three teams of five) and the skaters are given $10 - $50 depending on the difficulty of tricks landed in each timed jam. The money given out was kept track of on a clipboard by the guy next to Billy Rohan on the megaphone. They decide what trick is worth money by...I don't know, I couldn't figure this part out. Regardless, whatever team had the most money after skating the six different obstacles won the Contest. At about 5pm and they were only on the third obstacle, so we decided to head back home-side.

The skaters were really hyped on the fact that they got cash right away and it was cool to see FTK and the Park do it like that. However, due to a bit of confusion I realized why certain rules apply when running contests in general. Here are a few that might have helped out:
  • You should probably not have have pros and pro-caliber skaters in the same jam with 10-year-olds wearing helmets. It endangers the kids who are still learning how to "dodge" and the pros who have worked long and hard to acquire the skills they possess
  • Six obstacles is a lot of skating, especially considering one of the obstacles was a big set of stairs. If there are only five skaters on a team and six obstacles to skate, it makes it really hard to have your skaters put their "all" in for every obstacle
  • The scope of the Contest was a little overwhelming with 30 teams of five. That's 150 skaters, which is just too many kids trying to skate at the same time
These were issues that the skaters and I had in common. However, overall the Contest had a good vibe and it was nice to see so many corners of Florida produce such talent, so I'm sure FTK and the Gainesville Skatepark were excited about the whole thing, and rightfully so. On a side note, it was kind of hard to shoot photos with 150 skaters skating or attempting to skate at once, so the quality of the photos reflects this. Here are the results straight from Tony at FTK:

Young Westside Team: First
Graffiti Skate Zone: Second
Orlando Mesh: Third

Mike D.


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