The 1st contest took place in a moderately secret location not far from Kona Skatepark on Saturday. The contest started off with the Groms division, then progressed through the ranks to finish off with the pro division at the end.
Though not officially built for competition, the 3-section bowl more than held up to the task. On one end of the structure lies a moderately sized circular bowl with rounded brick pool coping. Transitioning into the center miniramp section lie two roll-ins, opposite of each other. On the other side of the center miniramp lies the vert bowl, which is pretty substantial in size. Altogether, this thing is a beast, and I was amazed when I first saw it. That's one hell of a secret, this thing.
When I arrived at the contest, the girls division was just getting started. The girls division is always a breath of fresh air to me. This is probably because I rarely if ever get to see girls skating in person. This division featured a pretty wide range of talent, and included a 10 year old girl named Hannah, who happened to be the youngest competitor of the contest. All in all, the girls ripped and I was glad to watch.
Up next was the Open Am division, which was the biggest surprise to me. Many of these kids Had skills that could easily place them in with the pros, with tricks like 540s, kickflip melon grabs, and McTwists along with difficult lip tricks that boggled the mind. In the finals, Dalton Dern took the win with some technical gnar wizardry and even threw down a 360 ollie from the deck to the flatbottom of the vert bowl, demonstrating his all-terrain prowess. Also notable was the skating of Clay Kreiner, with a young Tony Hawk-style steez that made him a tough competitor. (and some yellow shorts to set him apart.)
After the Open Am division was the Masters, which is aptly named. Dudes like Duane Peters, Buck Smith, Lester Kasai, and Legend Chris Cook gave everyone in attendance a good show, each skater with a signature style you couldn't replicate no matter how hard you tried. These guys might be old, but they sure as hell still rip.
Duane Peters, Frontside Rock 'n' Roll
The Pro Division was expectedly insane. I never know what to expect, and this year was no exception. Notable rippers included Sky Siljeg (one of my faves to watch), Steve Reeves, Kona local Tim Johnson, and Mike Barnes. The one to watch, however, was Pedro Barros from Brazil. Not only did Barros do two nearly flawless runs, he consistently pulled big tricks during the jam format and stayed on his board longer than anyone. His bag of tricks included one foot ollies over the coping on vert, 540s, and being able to smile the whole time. For his effort, he won the first place medal. Bom Trabalho, Pedro!
At the end of the the day, the food stand opened up to everyone, and free food was available to everyone who wanted it. It was an awesome end to the first part of the contest series. Thanks for the food and the awesome memories!
Check back for part two covering Day 2 at Kona Skatepark, coming as soon as I can get a free minute to recap.