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Skate contest at Condon: Friends, family and fun under the guise of fierce competition (PHOTO GALLERY)

By Eric Gorman for The Union
Lara Botto does a frontside grind in the deep end of the clover bowl during last weekend’s Grass Valley Skate Contest held at the Condon Park skate park. Botto was honored as the first place contestant of the Ladies Division.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union

Goodtimes Board Store hosted the Grass Valley Skate Contest on Saturday, where 57 participants challenged themselves and their peers in a variety of categories: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Masters and Ladies, at Grass Valley’s Condon Park skatepark.

The various categories bridged the gap between generations of skateboarders, promoted the comfort of women in a typically male dominated space and demonstrated the value that skateboarding brings to the community. Winners received cash prizes, skate goods, Vans shoes and passes to Woodward Tahoe.

“I just love the idea of this space being available to all young people, and old people, to come out and skate, practice tricks and be a part of their community,” said Cassie Robertson who volunteered at the registration table.



“We need to foster that skating is not just for boys, but that it’s for everybody.”

Advanced Division first place winner Miles Blackman approaches the announcers table to receive his prize while others celebrate his victory.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union

Andrea Bibelheimer, a skate mom who hosts women’s sessions and champions inclusivity in the skateboarding community said, “It was so rad to have girls come out. I think it’s important for girls to represent so that they’ll keep doing girls divisions. I love that girls of all skill levels and ages skated, and that we come together as a family and show our stuff.”



“It was so nice of them to offer cash prizes for the girls. Like, for other girls that are just watching, maybe that gives them the opportunity to see that it’s accessible.”

Not only was there a modest contingent of female skateboarders, but the beginner and intermediate divisions have both grown since last year.

Ladies Division from left to right: Brighton Hamilton (second place), Lara Botto (first) and Hannah Ellis (third).
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union

“It was absolutely amazing, you know. There’s a lot of kids out here who haven’t even been alive as long as the park and the shop have been open. So, it’s a new generation of skaters out here, plus the old generation,” said Emile Janicot, who was one of the contest announcers and helped build the park 25 years ago.

“It really is great for us to pass all of that knowledge and skating on,” Janicot said.

Being that the skatepark is older than a great deal of its users, the skateboarding community feels it’s time for the city to contribute to some overdue maintenance for the preservation of the facility, the safety of its users and accessibility for the general public.

Tyler Hansen, first prize winner of the Masters Division, does a frontside tailslide on the "J" during Saturday’s Grass Valley Skate Contest at Condon Park.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union

“I wish the city would throw down a little money for the park, because it’s getting a little dilapidated,” said Sam Anderson, the owner of Goodtimes Board Shop said.

“I suppose we need to get more organized, and start communicating better with the city, and start working more with them I guess. I think they see it. They surely see it. I mean (Grass Valley Police Officer) Herrera was here today. I spoke with him for a minute, and he was blown away by how many people were here and how there was not one incident of any sort. He was really happy with the crowd and said he wants to support the skateboarding community. So, it would be great if the city backed him up and did the same.”

Anderson suggested that the skatepark could use resurfacing and that it would also greatly benefit from, “lights, a possible expansion, a bleacher type of situation over here,” gesturing at the slope on the uphill side of the skatepark, “as a spectator spot. There’s a lot of options that could happen here, and I think it’s utilized way more than most of the facilities that are more funded than this is. So, it seems only fair, to keep it in perspective, that it gets more funding.”

Eric Gorman is a contributor to The Union, he can be reached at EricGorman88@gmail.com

Grass Valley Skate Contest 2022 group photo.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union
Tyler Hansen (from right) Erik Bibelheimer and Matt Eversole took the first through third place awards for the Masters Division.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union
Miles Blackman, first prize winner of the Advanced Division, does a 360 Indy from the quarterpipe into the pyramid during the Grass Valley Skate Contest last weekend.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union
Advanced Division winners congratulate one another Miles Blackman (left) who took first place, Goodtimes Team Rider Elliot Bouchier (right) who took second place, and Goodtimes Team Rider Jake Charbz (rear right) who took third place and best trick winner.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union
Goodtimes Team Rider Jake Charbz, winner of the best trick contest and third place in the advanced division, does a kickflip to fakie on the bank.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union
Goodtimes Team Rider Elliot Bouchier, second place winner in the Advanced Division, frontside air.
Photo: Courtesy Eric Gorman for The Union

 

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