Spectators and skateboarders of all ages showed up at Mantis Skate Park in Warsaw today for the annual Big Trick contest. The contest began at 1 p.m. and featured three different divisions for skateboarders to compete in: beginner/novice, intermediate and pro.
The event was organized by Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department’s Stephanie Schaefer and Ladeen Zielasko. Schaefer’s husband Eric served as the announcer during the event. Sponsors for the event included Mudlove, Penguin Point, McDonalds in Rochester and Karma Records in Warsaw. Gift bags were given to all participants and included “Skate.” bracelets provided by Mudlove and coupons for free food from Penguin Point and McDonalds. Winner prizes included skateboarding stickers, water bottles, bearings, tape, a new skate deck and much more. The event also featured a drawing for members of the audience watching the competition.
For many of the skateboarders who attended, this isn’t their first time on the ramps at Mantis. According to Brendan Crisman, pro division winner, he and his cousin Ryan Thompson, pro division runner-up, have been visiting the park for years. Crisman, who is 22 years old and a resident of Warsaw, stated that he has been skateboarding for the past nine years with with Thompson.
“Me and Ryan both started about nine years ago. When he started with me he was probably 6 and I was 12 or 13. We’ve been skating ever since,” said Crisman with a smile.
The two participated against Nico Rodriguez, 16, of Warsaw, for the pro title and were ultimately forced to compete head on in a skate off after tying in the competition. The skate off featured a round of the game “Sk8” where skateboarders must copy the trick of the other or be penalized with one of the letters. Once a skateboarder has received all three letters, the challenging opponent must “prove it” to the audience that they can do the winning trick again. After a close round, Crisman took the win. Though the two were forced to compete against each other, both state that they are not competitive with the other outside the competition.
“I’d say we push each other,” said Crisman when asked if the two were competitive. “There is equal progression constantly. Its always fun to have someone to skate with on a day to day basis.”
Thompson agreed stating, “he gets me to try different tricks and stuff. (Its fun to skate with someone) who is at the same level as you.”
Indianapolis skateboarder Sam Beer was named the winner in the beginner division with Nick Larios, of Warsaw, and Nick Yoquelet, of Avilla, taking second and third place. The intermediate division was won by Chad Sluder, of Rochester, with Aeyrk Brant, of South Bend, and Brandon Ballard, of Warsaw taking the second and third positions. Winner of the rollerblading division was Danny Lopez.
The Annual Competition at Mantis Skate Park will be held at approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27. The competition features 1 minute 30 seconds circuits for each contestant to showcase their skills to judges. All skaters must have an annual waiver on file to participate. The waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian if the skater is under the age of 18. Helmets are required, but some are available to borrow.
For more information, call 574-372-9554 ext. 224, email [email protected], or visit the skate park during operating hours.