A BMX rider performs a trick during Fun Fest's XTREME Showdown 8 held Saturday at the Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park in Kingsport. (Photo by David Grace)
KINGSPORT — Skateboarders and BMX riders from across the region descended on the Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park in downtown Kingsport Saturday afternoon to show off their skills, and possibly take home some prizes, in the 8th annual Fun Fest XTREME Showdown.
Around 40 participants took part in the showdown, which was organized for Fun Fest 2013 by the Kingsport Department of Parks and Recreation and the Angry Penguin Skate and BMX Shop, located at 685 W. Center St.
Jake Hunter, manager of the Angry Penguin, said the contest serves as a token of appreciation for local skaters and BMXers who support the shop.
“This is the third year that we’ve taken over the contest,” Hunter said. “We call all of the companies we deal with and ask them to donate some stuff and we just have a contest for all the kids.
“It’s a way to give back to them because they are all so supportive of the shop. They could always do mail order or go to another shop, but they choose to support us. So, this lets us give back to them.”
More than 15 skateboarders took part Saturday, while more than 20 BMX riders were also involved.
Hunter said those numbers show the region has a vibrant scene for not only skaters, but freestyle BMX riders as well.
The competition, Hunter said, is designed to allow all skill levels — and ages — to compete in a way that's inclusive.
“It think it’s just cool to have an event where everyone can get together,” Hunter said. “It’s a competition, but it’s also a unifying thing and everyone is feeding off of each other.”
Participants in both the skateboard and bike competitions were divided into groups of advanced riders and beginner-intermediate riders before heats that were scored by a panel of judges.
Based on those scores, the top three riders in each of those categories were given prizes ranging from stickers and clothing to new skateboard decks and bicycle parts.
A best trick contest was also held in both the skateboard and BMX categories. Those winners were each given a $55 Angry Penguin gift certificate.
Tylor Mallard, 21, of Roan Mountain, took home the prize for top trick in skateboarding by executing a front 360, while 15-year-old Nathan Hodge, of Kingsport, landed the top BMX trick.
Mallard, who competed in last year’s event at the intermediate level, said it was worth the drive to come to Kingsport and skate in the event.
“It was rad, it was fun,” Mallard said. “Last year it was fun and this year it was fun. It’s just a really good group of dudes and it makes you want to land stuff. It’s just a good time, there aren’t any ‘Debbie Downers’ or anything. Everybody rips and it’s really fun to come to. I hope they keep doing it.”
Mallard said he also appreciated the Angry Penguin’s involvement in the showdown.
“I’ve gone to Angry Penguin ever since the beginning,” Mallard said. “It just makes it that much better that they are involved.”
Fun Fest XTREME Showdown 8 results
Best Trick: Skateboarding — Tylor Mallard; BMX — Nathan Hodges.
Skateboarding: Advanced — Jalen Burgess, 1st place; Mallard, 2nd; Matt Neff, 3rd. Intermediate — Kenny Kennet, 1st; Sam Heitman, 2nd; Eric Woods, 3rd.
BMX: Advanced — Matt Goergen, 1st; Mike Bradford, 2nd; Randy Mobely, 3rd. Intermediate — Cade McCurry, 1st; Blake Rhodes, 2nd; Chris Maxwell, 3rd.