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The first 3 Suns Skate Skateboarding Contest took over the temporary skatepark at Old Airport Park in Kona, Hawaii on Saturday. The purpose of the contest was to raise money and awareness for designing and building Kona’s first concrete skatepark. Raffle tickets were sold with the chance of winning prizes donated by local businesses. ‘Electric’ Bill grilled up hot dogs and sold drinks, UTF sold fundraiser T-shirts designed by Chris Senn and Scandinavian Shave Ice provided a temporary escape from the heat. All proceeds went to the skate park.
More than forty skaters, ranging in ages from six to 20, faced off in the free entry contest. The contest kicked off with a drop-in event sponsored by Hayashi's ‘You Make the Roll.’ Skaters who made the six-foot drop received a gift card from Kona’s beloved sushi place.
The first heat to compete was the eight years old and under division. These groms were excited to finally have the park to themselves. Julian Senn’s tricks, including a combination of fast lines, varials and frontside and backside 180s off the launch ramp, earned him the win in this age group. Noa Shelfow came in third, receiving bonus points for his clothing style — unbuttoned shirt. Second place was awarded to Samson Stebbin for his fast flowing lines through the transitions and big 50-50s on the quarter pipe.
Throwing down trick after trick and making it difficult to see it all, the nine to 13 division showed spectators how competitive the level of skating has gotten on the Big Island. These kids stuck 360 flips, kick flips, heel flips, smith grinds, crooked grinds and backside flips. Niyah Hoskinson, with his machine like consistency, took first place.
Definitely the one-to-watch, the 14-17 division ripped. Anakin Senn had the look of determination and earned first place by stomping too many tricks to count. Landing every trick with his classic style, Erwin Jadraque came in a close second. Third place winner Hayden Baggs brought big moves and his surfing style to the park. Narrowly missing the podium, John Robison threw down huge kick flips and 360 flips.
Playing out more like a demo than a contest, the 18 and over division gave the groms a chance to witness some amazing skating. Aaron stood out with his kick flip to crooked grind and kick flip to backside 5.0 on the ledge. Because Aaron was not officially entered, he did not place. The win was well earned by Keahi 'Bradda' Fleming.
A day full of fun, shredding and goodies, the skate contest went down without a hitch. Special thanks to the judges — Ben Fillekes, Jaymar Jadraque and special guest Kevin 'Spanky' Long — and Chris Senn who kept everyone entertained with his comedic MC skills.
8 and under
1st - Julian Senn
2nd - Samson Stebbins
3rd - Noa Shelfow
9 — 13
1st- Niyah Hoskinson
2nd - Jake Carter
3rd - Isaiah Souza
14 — 17
1st - Anakin Senn
2nd - Erwin Jadraque
3rd - Hayden Baggs
18 and over
1st- Keahi 'Bradda' Fleming
2nd - Timmy Cusatis
3rd - Brandon Moser
1st - Makayla Rogge
2nd - Celyne Pinault
Sponsors: 3 Suns Skate shop, Under the Ficus, Emerica, Hayashi’s ‘You Make the Roll’ Sushi, Lava Skateboards, Kona Brewing Company, Kamanu Charters, Altamont, Blood Wizard, Conscious Riddims, Splashers, Scandinavian Shave Ice, Mountain Thunder Coffee and Lava Java.
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Kona skaters celebrated their freedom by skating through the Kailua-Kona Parade. Here are some photos from that day. [gallery columns="4" orderby="post_name"]
If you're a skater on the Big Island of Hawaii then you know where to be on Tuesday night. If you don’t know, I will let you in on a little secret. Every Tuesday from five to nine, University of the Nations in Kona opens its doors for skaters to shred its sanctuary of rails, fun boxes, launch ramps, quarter pipes and random obstacles. People of all ages and skill levels show up to express themselves, be inspired and push their limits.