I started skateboarding as a means of transportation home from elementry
school. The person who watched over me, lived somewhere between a bike
ride and a long walk away. Skating proved to be the easiest way home.
After skating was really cool, I built a ramp. We skated every weekend
for hours. Meanwhile the outside local skateworld existed, without our
knowledge. We were happy going back and forth on a little ramp in a barn.
When I was 15, I started skating at a one ramp park. A few months later,
the owner hosted a contest. I entered mini-ramp. And with about 13 people
skating their hardest, I won. Since then I've liked skating in contests.
It is a long day of sweating, being nervous and having fun. This past
week I have done quite well in a few local contests, so I thought I would
share some tips for contests.
I would recommend getting a good nights rest. Most contests around here
cost about 20-30 dollars to enter. So at least be awake while spending
that kind of dough. I hear all these stories like, 'I stayed up and partied.'
Having enough sleep will give an edge!
Check out the obstacles. Pick one trick you can do on each obstacle. You
would be surprised how much it counts when you do one trick on each street
obstacle. Most skaters favor the easiest obstacles. Pick the others, that
will make you stand out! I've seen tons of kids only use the funbox type
item at a park, while the people who qualify use other obstacles.
Smile a little. If the judges see you have a good time, and the crowd
likes it, you'll get a good score. I've seen a few people have little
technical trick base, but bust out the fun, cool looking tricks. Remember
foot plants? How about no-complys? I'm sure you'll smile after landing
a "Stupid" trick, because the judges will writing bigger points.
Judges' Perspective. One important item is watch the judges score other
riders. How often do they look down? What tricks do they look down on?
(which means they are writing in a number). Do they react easily to a
crowd response? Some tricks like a ollie are difficult...but to a less
skate experienced judge, a foot plant will clearly impress them more.
Hopefully you'll have judges all around the area. That will give you a
better chance. If they are centralized, perhaps on a deck, make sure to
bust out that trick in front of them.
Last trick attempt. Some riders take a gamble and try a difficult trick
at the end of the run. This sometimes is a good calculated risk. If you
land it...the crowd likes it, the judges increase points. If you don't
land it...they might be impressed by the sincere effort to try a cool
trick. Or perhaps they already wrote the score, and won't change the mark.
Sometimes, last trick attempt can be the calmness of complete tricks right
as the timer says time. Often riders will hear the 15 second mark, and
do one trick and be done. I often like to ride one more trick out, after
the clock is near finished. This may impress some judges, because you
seem to be enjoying the run, and not worrying about time. If you hang
out too long the judges and crowd will just laugh.
So hopefully if you choose the contest route in skating, you might have
some great tips up your sleeve for the next contest. Contest are good
things to talk about, and write about when looking for a sponsor, or impressing
a shop owner. Keep skating, and have a fun time. See you at the next contest.