Contests can be seen in a positive and negative light and for the most part the majority of skaters don't like contests. The reasons they don't like them is because it takes away the freedom of riding a skateboard. You have these unusual obstacles that you never find in a street and you only have 2 minutes to bust out your best tricks. Not to mention it's just you out on the course with a 100 or so eyes watching and critiquing your every move. That ain't skateboarding and hardly represents it except for the tricks being thrown down.
The positive aspect of a contest is the social gathering with friends and people you might not normally see. It almost serves as a sort of reunion or giant skate session with friends from past and present. Now with corporate America chiming and cashing in with giant TV deals and "sporting" events, contests have become more of a negative event. Sure you can argue that this brings skateboarding to the masses and brings money to the skaters (theoretically) and the companies that put their time in. With all the corporate sponsorships and rules and regulations popping up with regard to skateboarding, Steve Rodriquez and I thought about holding a series of Underground Best Trick contests with the prize being cash; yes cash.
We wanted to create a lax environment for and by skaters but allow them the opportunity to make a little cash. There are these regulations about giving skaters contest money and frankly Steve and I dont care. Sure itҒs sort of an anarchist approach but to me skateboarding was about doing your own thing with out the hassle of rules and regulations. Despite the emails telling us what we are doing is wrong we went through with the first contest.
We had 40 entrants and we cut it down to 15. There was some serious stuff being thrown down at this contest and some it was from the unknown skaters of the East Coast (unknown to the masses that is). It was hard to judge the contest so we narrowed it down to the top four guys and we then let the crowd decide. Heres who made it in the top 4 and what they did.
Charlie Wilkins: Big ass FS 180 backside grab transfer from the mini ramp to a flat bank that was over 6 feet high. He also pulled a monstrous 5-0 across the tombstone extension from a quarter.
Pat Smith (Emerica Flow) - blasted a huge boneless transfer from the quarter over the tombstone to another quarter. He was going so fast and pulled it so smooth the crowd went nuts
Marcus Knaus- pulled a nollie backside lip across and down the handrail over the pyramid. That is some major balance.
Anthony Shetler (eS flow). Let me first say Anthony is on fire. HeҒs been winning or placing top 3 at every contest hes entered. The kid is blowing up. Anthony pulled a battery of tech tricks that would make your jaw drop. First, he pulled a head high FS 180 flip over the pyramid. Then, he busted a kickflip feeble down the rail. Just for kicks he pulled a kickflip boardslide and then to seal the deal he pulled a 360 flip lipslide down the rail҅it was obnoxious.
With that said the crowd voted for Anthony Shelter as the winner for the $1000. We asked him what he was going to do with the money and he said hes saving for a Ford Taurus҅(A Taurus?). We then made him buy us dinner.