Skateboarding contest grinds into Aspen |

Skateboarding contest grinds into Aspen

Robert Moore does a varial layback air at the Rio Grande Skatepark Thursday afternoon July 4, 2002. "I like coming here to show what the old schoolers can do," said the 40year-old from Glenwood Springs. The park will be the site of the High Country SK8 Challenge this coming Saturday July 6. Paul Conrad photo.

From the tiniest shredder to the most grizzled veteran, skateboarders of all ages and abilities are descending on Rio Grande Skatepark Saturday for the first Highcountry SK8 Challenge from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A sanctioned event in the summerlong Mountain Madness Series, the competition opens with the youth divisions and culminates with the adult pro/sponsored division, when the top skaters in the region will be charging around in (and out) of the park vying for more than a $1,000 in cash.

The event is free for spectators and with food and drink vendors, a DJ and grandstands, it should make for an entertaining day at the park.

“It’s going to be packed,” said event director Othello Clark, owner of Othello’s SK8 Shop in Aspen. “The whole park’s going to be blocked off – it should be great for skaters and fans too.”

Each division – from youth beginner, youth intermediate, youth advanced, women’s open, adult pro, and finally, adult pro/sponsored – will skate for approximately one hour, Clark said. And each competitor will be judged by a panel of three officials on two runs, lasting about one minute and 15 seconds each, with the top score counting toward the competition.

“The general focus will be in the street bowl,” the big, shallow bowl with a quarterpipe on the east end, Clark said. “That being said, when it’s someone’s run, they can go wherever they want, and I’m sure they will.”

“The youth beginners is going to be cute kids skating around, intermediate is going to be kids on their way, and then youth advanced is going to be rippers who are on their way to becoming sponsored,” Clark said. “And from there on out, it’s going to be top-level skating representing a whole spectrum of different styles.”

Competitors may register until 9 a.m. Saturday at Othello’s SK8 Shop located at 465 Mill St., suite No. 5. Registration costs $20 for all divisions except the adult pro/sponsored division, which costs $50 because of the cash purse at stake.

And for out-of-town competitors, Clark said the gym at the Red Brick Arts and Recreation Center in Aspen will be available as a “crash pad” free of charge Saturday night.

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