It is easily argued that the best way to spend a holiday is by doing something you love.
That is exactly what more than 30 skateboarders did Canada Day as they competed in the ninth annual Canada Skateboard Competition held at the Second Heaven skate park in Riverdale.
“It’s usually a pretty big event. It’s a definitely a highlight of the year for most skateboarders,” said Steve Richards, organizer of the event. “People are here from Lower Post and Haines and are here to hang out and have fun on Canada Day.”
The competition, which went from late morning until late afternoon, featured five categories that skaters from beginner to advanced could compete in.
There was also a girls’ division and a new competition called Best Trick in which skaters attempted to outdo each other on three of the apparatuses that the park provides.
“I believe that this year was a big success,” said Richards. “We did get rained out (for a bit) but we had some new stuff that we tried this year, like the Best Trick, and I think it went really well.”
“(I’ve competed in this) a couple of times but never did as well as this,” said Luke Woodward, 24, who won two of the three Best Trick events.
“I love it! So many friends so many people — it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” added Woodward, who has been skateboarding about seven years.
Dispersed among the different competitions were musical performances by 3JDJ, Plaid and the Juno-nominated hip-hop band Sweatshop Union, which came up from British Columbia
“We’ve got Sweatshop Union here,” said Woodward. “It’s cool that a band can come up here and have a good time and mingle with everyone.”
Organizers of the event felt compelled to expend a little extra effort for this year’s event because the DC Nationals 2008, sponsored by DC Skate Shoes, failed to schedule a competition in the Yukon this year.
Prior to this year, the DC competition provided local skaters with an opportunity to advance all the way to the finals and compete against the best Canada has to offer. This year’s finals are being held in Montreal on August 23.
“There is a DC skateboard competition usually,” said Richards. “But this year it wasn’t going to happen so this year we had to make this one twice as good because there’s only going to be one competition.”
In the past the competition was orchestrated by the community organization Bring Youth Towards Equality. However, this year BYTE took a backseat in the organization and the Boys and Girls Club of Whitehorse took over the reins.
“We’re an organization that gives at-risk youth a place to hang out in a drug-free, alcohol-free environment,” said Richards, a youth worker and program co-ordinator at the Boys and Girls Club.
“It’s a place for kids to come hangout and stay safe. We do a bunch of hepatitis workshops and stuff like that — just keep them informed and give them a place to be.”
Beginner: 1st Dusty Knorr
2nd Jordan Brooks
3rd Eric Dennis
Intermediate: 1st Curtis Carlick
2nd David Bumbury
3rd Cameron Sas
Advanced: 1st Max Melvin
2nd Richard Hager
3rd Cody Ball
Girls: 1st Kirsty Wells
2nd Trinda Robinson
3rd Reanne Lemoine
Best trick: Bank: Geoff Lachapelle (double kickflip)
Fun box: Luke Woodward (switch kickflip backside 50-50)
Six-step rail: Luke Woodward (switch frontside board and crooked grind)