For about 45 minutes before the contest began, roughly 25 skateboarders warmed up at The Pipeline Skate Park in Mendenhall Valley on Saturday. They practiced tricks along the quarter pipe, rails and other obstacles on the course, hoping to win the Sequence Skateboarding Competition.
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A crowd of about 100 stood off to the side of the roofed park, watching the skaters go at rapid-fire speeds, back and forth, up and down, flipping, turning and grabbing their boards in midair, missing sometimes, falling, and watching their runaway boards fly out into the audience.
With a backdrop of modern hip-hop beats laid down by local DJ Jake Good - featuring such artists as Micranauts, Mr. Dibbs, the Artifacts and local DJs AstronMAR and DJ Smack - skateboarders competed individually in two one-minute segments for the age-group titles.
"I've watched the progression of skateboarding in the last 15 years," Sequence Skate Shop owner and competition organizer Patrick Van Pool said. "The kids are definitely getting better. And I think we're lucky to have a skate park to throw events, and it's awesome to see the kids."
The event featured two age group championships - one for skaters 15-and-under and one for those 16-and-older - along with a best trick competition.
Dylan McEwen captured the first division by landing two big tricks in the final stages of his first run. McEwen nailed it with a kickflip up the step-up and a frontboard down the handrail in the last 10 seconds of his first run. In his second run, McEwen dropped in on the ramp to the strains of James Brown's "I Feel Good" and had a perfect ollie - or jump - over the tabletop.
"Yeah! On fire! Fire!" the announcer screamed, while the audience cheered.
The judges said they look for consistency, style, difficulty of tricks and use of the park.
McKenzie Hunt placed second in the 15-and-under division. Hunt rode the course smoothly and evenly, performing a successful kickflip to fakie on the quarter pipe right in front of the judges on his first run, and an indy grab over the pyramid on his second. The announcer and all the crowd congratulated him with a loud series of cheers.
"I just went out there and skated to have fun and did my best and tried to do whatever I could," Hunt said.
Kyle Holladay took third overall. His pace was even and consistent. He also had some encouragement from the announcer prior to his second run.
"Breathe in, breathe out," the announcer said. "Let it go. Let it flow. Release the inner child. All right, man, show us what you got!"
Logan Terry captured the 16-and-older division with flair.
"He skated the course with a street style," said Van Pool.
Terry skated consistently throughout the entire park. He grinded the rail, jumped over the 16-foot table and added a huge melon grab 180 - grabbing the board between his legs while turning 180-degrees in the air.
"Logan Terry had some serious pop flowin' through the whole skate park," judge Wayne Smallwood said. "You can tell that this kid has been practicing, sharpening his sword so when the time came he cut right through the meat."
SEQUENCE SKATEBOARDING COMPETITION
Saturday at The Pipeline Skate Park
1st Division (under 15-years-old)
Dylan McEwen 7 pts.
McKenzie Hunt 6 pts.
Kyle Holladay 5 pts.
2nd Division (16-and-older)
Logan Terry 8/8.5 pts.
Timmy Flood 8/8 pts.
Jared Thomas 8/7.5 pts.
Logan Terry, for a pop shove-it over the 16-foot pyramid.
Timmy Flood, for a kickflip indy.
"You know who the winner is by the way they drop in," Smallwood said. "(Third -place finisher) Jared Thomas had a sick run. I don't know where that kid came from, but, man, he was pulling some stuff off tonight. I thought he could have easily taken it, but Timmy came down, threw some big airs up into the rafters. You can't beat that. Then you got Logan Terry, who was just the samurai. It was definitely awesome."
Flood finished a close second and impressed the judges and fans with his ability to get huge air.
Flood, who has won many past competitions, skated consistently throughout his runs, completing huge frontside airs on the 10-foot quarter pipe and frontside air reverts and ally-oop 180s.
"Timmy's a master at transition," said Van Pool. "He does huge airs and skates trannies (transitions) like a master." A transition is the landing after flying off the quarter pipe.
The best trick competition had everyone skating the park, Van Pool said. But the winners were clearly Flood and Terry who performed the most difficult, and the most successful, tricks.
Flood expertly executed a kickflip indy over the park's 16-foot table, but Terry won with it with a pair of tricks.
"Terry won it with two tricks, a kickflip and a pop shove-it over the 16-foot table," Van Pool said. "That's what won it for him."