In recent years there hasn’t been much surprise who would take the title of Yukon’s skateboarding champion following the competition.
This year competition was tight at the Canada Day Skate Comp. Boarders had no idea who would take the crown as they waited for the results, at the Second Haven Skate Park in Riverdale.
Lower Post, B.C.‘s Cody Ball was the man. Ball, who was immediately crowded by competitors wishing congratulations and taking selfies with him, received a limited edition gold-coloured deck from Primitive Skateboarding.
“This is my first time winning and I’ve enjoyed this event since I started skateboarding,” said the 24-year-old. “(I’m) happy. I just got a Primitive board and there’s only 500 of these ones made. I’m pretty stoked. That’s why I wanted to win.”
Ball placed second last year and in 2011 at the championship. Whitehorse’s Max Melvin-McNutt, who won the title the last three years, was absent from the competition.
“It’s the first time I’ve won a board like this and it feels really good to come first after all these years,” said Ball.
Ball raised the bar in his first of two runs in the open male competition. He did a pop shove-it boardslide, a pop shove-it 50-50 on the box, a 50/50 boardslide on the handrail and a back 180 down the six-step.
“This is the first time I’ve ever landed every trick in my first run,” said Ball. “I did really good in my first run and had fun in my second run, tried my harder tricks ... I landed some of them, but it was just pretty fun.”
Jerry “Jeffy” Miller placed second while Curtis Carlick and Henri Simpson tied for third.
“Me and Curtis are from the same town, so I didn’t care who won,” said Ball. “He came up to me and told me he was nervous and it made me nervous.”
Simpson, who is from Cortez Island in B.C., landed a switch backside kickflip to win the best trick competition on the six-step.
Carlick nailed a backside tail slide to regular to top best trick on the pyramid.
Patty Robinson wowed spectators with a misty flip to take best trick on the quarterpipe. He sealed the deal with a frontside ollie big spin with his hands in his pockets.
Talen Dolan claimed first place in the under-12 category, Lewis Bunce second and Evan Dinn third.
Carli Gablo was the lone entry in the female division.
Twenty-three boarders, roughly twice as many as last year, took part in the annual championship that was accompanied by music by 86 Young Guns, Vision Quest and DJ MK Ultra.
The skate comp was hosted by the youth group B.Y.T.E (Bringing Youth Towards Equality) and the Skate For Life Alliance, a non-profit group formed last August trying to raise $500,000 to give Second Haven a facelift.
“It’s a huge goal, a huge product,” said Alison Furniss, outreach co-ordinator for B.Y.T.E. “But this skate park is really important to this community. It’s used so much and the young people that come here are athletes - skateboarders are athletes, just like any other sport.
“It’s a really safe space for our community and really needs an upgrade. A lot of these ramps and stuff have holes, everything is really worn down. When it was built over 20 years ago it was meant to be temporary.”
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