Tag Archives: Skateboard

National skateboard competition is open to local skaters

Valley skaters still have a few more days to register for one of the nation’s largest and most respected amateur skateboarding competitions.

The sixth and final qualifying event for the 10th annual King of the Groms, a 12 and under skateboard contest series, and King of the Ams for ages 13 to 16, will be held at Kids That Rip! Skateboard School (KTR) in east Mesa Feb. 16-19.

An intermediate class at Kids That Rip! Skateboard School. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

The series consists of six qualifying events held throughout the country, followed by one championship event. This year’s champions will be crowned June 14-17 at the 3rd Lair SkatePark in Golden Valley, Minn. While KTR has sent several students to the national competition in past years, this is the first time the Valley skateboarding school has played host to a qualifying event.

“We want to get every young skateboarder in Arizona to participate in King of the Groms, whether they’re new to the sport or they’ve been in the industry forever,” says Geoff Eaton, KTR owner. “The organizers do an awesome job of making sure each kid feels really good about themselves. It’s a great experience and a great family-friendly event.”

As many as 100 skaters are anticipated to participate in the February contest – among them will be all three of Eaton’s sons. Jagger, 10, will participate in his second King of the Groms qualifying event this season, while Koston, 3, will make his skateboarding debut. Thirteen-year-old Jett will participate in King of the Ams, a new contest division open to 13- to16-year-old “expert” skaters.

The King of the Groms competition includes three divisions – beginner, intermediate and expert – in three separate events: street, mini-ramp and bowl. Finalists from the KTR qualifying event will advance to the national championship in June.

Participants can also compete for chances to win prizes, such as “Best Skate Face,” “Best Cheering Section,” and “Queen of the Groms.” Register online ($75 for one event, plus $10 for each additional event) at kingofthegroms.net.

Spectators are encouraged to cheer on participants throughout the weekend. The event will also include vendors, food and KTR’s weekly open skate sessions (regular fees apply). For complete hours and an event schedule, visit kidsthatrip.com.

KTR is located in the Desert Devils Gymnastics studio on the corner of Gilbert and McKellips Roads. Here are a couple more shots our photographer, Daniel Friedman, took during a recent visit.

Schmitt gives instruction to his intermediate class at Kids That Rip!

Jeff Jewitt catches Cam Sedlick, 11, of Mesa, who is in the advanced class and is trying to perfect a trick called a Blunt.

Jump, bounce and skate in Chandler

By Robert T. Balint

With its June 4th grand opening behind it, the Xtreme Air Jump ‘N Skate Park is now open for business. The 30,000-square-foot complex, located just off the 202 at McQueen and Pecos Roads in south Chandler, is home to wall-to-wall trampolines and a skate park—not, fortunately, mixed together.

The main trampoline area is 100 feet long, with slanted trampolines on the walls. At the back is the park’s unique Velcro wall, a huge sheet of the material that jumpers, after donning one of the stylish Velcro suits, can stick to by jumping into it.

Separate from the main area, there is a smaller trampoline basketball court and a separate dodgeball court, where games are scheduled. Park staff, known as the “flight crew,” and a host of closed-circuit cameras that feed to screens around the park keep watch, so that parents can look after their kids without having to hop on the trampoline themselves. For the younger children, there is a separate 7-and-under area with a couple of inflatable structures for tamer jumping.

For kids who prefer resisting gravity with a set of wheels beneath their feet, there is Xtreme’s large indoor skate park, ideal for beginning and novice skaters. Designed and built by California Rampworks, the company that builds tracks for the X Games, the park features boxes, quarter-pipes, a half-pipe and several moveable rails and plenty of edges for grinding.

The most exciting feature is the foam pit that skaters can fly into via a ramp, handy for practicing and polishing tricks. Helmets must be worn by all riders, and every skater younger than 18 has to wear pads. It’s often a mix of skateboards and Razor scooters, but BMX bike riders have a chance at the park as well, from 7 to 9pm on Wednesdays and 7pm to midnight on Saturdays.

Tyler Cameron, 12, of Phoenix hops a quarter-pipe at Xtreme Air.

Besides the two parks, Xtreme has several other attractions on sweet, blessed solid ground, including a small arcade, a store stocked with skateboards, T-shirts, and protective gear, and a snack bar with both traditional kids’ fare and coffee drinks for the weary watchers of bouncing children. What Xtreme does well, and promotes, is catering to parents with coffee, sitting areas, monitor screens and free wi-fi.

Kids refuel themselves for another round at the snack bar, which also features wi-fi and coffee drinks.

A boutique next door, Xtreme Escape, which the park’s website says will offer clothes, designer jeans and accessories, is coming soon.

The most crowded times are in the early afternoon and evenings, around 1pm and 5 to 7pm. Younger children make up most of the jumpers and skaters earlier in the day, and older kids come later in the evening. Check out xtremeairjumpandskate.com for hours, pricing, and beginner/novice skateboard class times.

PHOTOS: Daniel Friedman