Back in its sixth year, the Black Flys Fly Freeride skate competition is bringing out the same old tricks, while adding some new ones as well.
The contest will be held at the Truckee River Regional Park skate facility on Saturday, will still offer $1,200 in cash prizes and $5,000 in product prizes and swag giveaways and, best of all, will still be free to enter.
According to local Black Flys rep Bob Leonard, who organizes the event, there will be an added component added this year.
For the top 10 competitors in the open class, there will be a “Do or Die Contest.” Leonard equates it to a game of H-O-R-S-E, with a skateboard instead of a basketball.
Sponsored by Porters, all 10 competitors will do a trick per round. If a skater fails to land a trick, they’re out, and the tricks get progressively harder each round.
Eventually, one skater is left rolling to a $200 cash prize.
SnowBomb is still sponsoring the $100 “Best Trick” award.
The event will also maintain the same sponsors ” Black Flys, Red Bull, Smokin’ snowboards, Porters, Santa Cruz skateboards, SnowBomb, Taits Boardshop, Ride Lake Tahoe, Path and Volkom, which will be on site all day with giveaways and swag.
According to Leonard, with a PA system blasting music all day, raffles and gear giveaways and sponsor tents set up around the park, the competition is a carnival atmosphere.
“It’s pretty bitchin’ looking,” Leonard said.
Leonard said one thing that will be stepped up this year is helmet enforcement. Helmets will not only be required during competition, but during practice as well.
“We’re going to have that enforcement,” Leonard said. “Wear a helmet or you can’t skate.”
According to Leonard, the free contest is totally unique. Many events are cheap at around $10 to enter, but virtually none outside of the Fly Freeride are totally free.
While walking into the park empty handed, hardly any skaters will walk out that way. First, second and third in each age category earns a prize bag filled with goodies such as Black Flys glasses, trucks, wheels, decks and outerwear.
With five age categories ” 12 and younger, 13-17, 18-22, 23-30 and 30 and older ” there is something for everyone. Leonard also pointed out that, with enough entries, there will be a female division as well.
Leonard also requested that parents not drop their kids off, as a parental signature is required for skaters younger than 18.
Reigning four-time champion Dane Leonard ” Bob’s 24-year-old-son ” will be gunning for his fifth title this year.
“I’m gonna try my best,” Dane said. “There’s some stiff competition.”
The elder Leonard said that the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District has been very supportive of the event throughout the years, setting up bleachers and loaning out its PA system, which makes it surprising that the Fly Freeride is the only skating event in Tahoe.
Because of that, this might very well be a Tahoe/Truckee skater’s best opportunity to get on a skateboard and earn some cash and gear.
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Jaime Alessio took this video of a bobcat wandering around Kings Beach in broad daylight.