‘Boarding event draws big numbers | PostIndependent.com

‘Boarding event draws big numbers

Matt CreerSpecial to the Post Independent
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

The buzz at the fourth annual Mountain Madness “Skate, Rate & Relate” skateboard competition on Saturday was mainly about the recent improvements made to the skating facilities.”The kids have been really excited about the new ramps,” said Eric Brendlinger, youth program coordinator for Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation. “We just got them here on Tuesday.”The event was postponed for more than a month as they waited for new equipment, including a “fun box” and “spine” – street elements that upgraded the existing facilities.The tournament cost $10 per competitor, with the proceeds going toward free hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks for everyone in attendance. Any excess went into a fund for future purchases for the park.”We’d like to start replacing park elements on a yearly basis,” said Brendlinger. “This event is getting bigger, and the park is being used a lot.”Approximately 40 participants took part with winners receiving new skateboard decks, shirts and various other prizes donated by area business. One of the event’s sponsors was Diversion, a skate and bike shop in downtown Glenwood Springs. Warren Gentry, owner of Diversion, agreed that it is necessary to keep maintaining and upgrading the skate park.”It’s important to keep the park new and up to date,” said Gentry. “It gives the kids a place to go and helps keep them off the streets.”Competitors were awarded points based on style, consistency, trick difficulty, attitude, and an overall impression of the run.Petar Kovacic, emcee of the event, appreciated the effort from the judges.”Judging is really difficult,” said Kovacic. “You try to get a diverse group of judges that can appreciate variety.” Kovacic has been active in the skating community for 20 years – the last 10 in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 1997 he worked with Brendlinger and the Aspen Youth Center to found the area’s first skateboard camp. He wants the community to appreciate the sport for its inherent difficulty and the commitment of its practitioners.”Athletically, skating is totally demanding,” said Kovacic. “You’ve got to be internally motivated, because you’ve got to fall a lot to get better at it.”Indeed there were a lot of scraped knees, but on a sunny September afternoon the atmosphere was pleasantly competitive. Skaters constantly helped each other up and yelled encouragement during the runs. Brendlinger and Kovacic agreed that this was the norm in the skating community.”You see another skater or skaters, and they’re instantly your friends,” said Kovacic. “You see another skater or skaters, and they’re instantly your friends,” said Kovacic.

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