a few words from Jimmy
Iíve been involved with Sooke Skatepark contests for as long as I can remember.
Iíve been a spectator, a critic, a skater, a participant, a winner, an organizer, a sponsor, an MC, and lastly; a native-Islander absorbing all the great vibes. Aside from feeling (my now obvious) strong attachment to the local scene and the unique style of the park, I truly always have a fun time. With the support of the Rotary Club and the Sooke municipality (SEAPARC) this yearís gathering was no exception to my positive past experiences.
The day started with a hitch-less setup of registration and park cleaning Ėrare as far a contests go. Continuing with this consistency was the anxiously stoked feeling of all of the BMXers waiting for their time to ride the park. The crew wasnít large (a common theme of this years event) but every single one of them were keen, jovial and excited. While the BMXers proceeded to find any launch possible in the park we were accepting registration for all other categories and searching for anyone to enter the inline category. By the BMX divisions end all riders had gotten their chance to one-up (and also kindly tease) each other proper.
The vibe on comradery felt within the BMX community was unmatched for the rest of the day.
When it came time to announce the entrants for the inline category officially to the crowd, there was only one to mention; young Kody McGuiness. Without wanting to put too much pressure on him I offered him the choice to display his talents in-trade for his first place finish that he obviously held. Kody graciously accepted and stoked the crowd out with a solid run, launching in and out of the embankments, taking him around the full perimeter of the park. Congratulations Kody!
Skateboard-time was nearly upon us. Since the event was running on time, attitudes were calm, collected and excited about the commencement of the dayís main attraction. The heats all went in sequence, with practice in between, from Greenhorn to Novice to Intermediate to Advanced/Sponsored. Each rider was given two runs, for which the best was chosen. Each rider had 45 Ė 60 seconds a piece for each run (pretty standard).
With skateboarders weaving in and out of each others paths and the heat pounding down during all of the categories tensions were running high! Some skaters travelled in from Victoria and further surrounding municipalities making the Sooke Skate Jam one of South Vancouver Island's most major contest-hubs of the year!
I don't care to get into all of the specifics of major-rippage and gnarlitute but I can say this: Everybody laid waste to the 45 degree bank/drop; Alex Eddy switch pop-shove, Sammy Long -our only girl entrant, kickflip, Matt Metzner backside 180... all the entrants regardless of category were ripping and keeping the spectators happy and excited!
Big thanks to SEAPARC (Dan Ovington and Larry Hutchings specifically), The Sooke Rotary Club, The Judges (HTO Dan, Old School Ricky & B.K.), and all of our gracious sponsors (peep the poster to see who).
Photos by Dan Ovington