Throwing tricks in Truckee
The swarms of skaters and spectators descending upon Truckee Skate Park Saturday afternoon signaled the return of the Fly Freeride contest.And although the crowd was the largest in the event’s five-year history, the annual skate contest ran free of kinks.”There are more tents and more support than we’ve ever had,” event organizer Bob Leonard said midway through the afternoon. “But it’s been real smooth. It’s pretty easy, being in our fifth year.”
Gabe Saxon, a 13-year-old Reno resident competing in his second skate competition and first Fly Freeride contest, summarized the event in four words.”It’s pretty rad, dude,” said Saxon, who is backed by a sponsorship from Reno Skate Supply.Saxon, who on several occasions flashed huge “Superman one-handers” out of the bowl, stomping each landing onto the cement, entered the open class and best trick against older competitors – to no avail – and placed fourth in the 13- to 17-year-old age group.Truckee local Dane Leonard, 23, the winner of last year’s open class and best trick, defended his title with a first place finish in the open class, worth $500, but had his best trick title stripped by Trevor Kekke.
Kekke was awarded $100 for best trick and another $100 for third place in the open class. The skater who the announcer claimed had “the most raw talent here in the park today” – Trevor Trubitsky, 26 of Carnelian Bay – took home $300 for his second-place finish in the open class, and due to three big airs that resulted in three big falls, did not place in his age group.”I’ve seen better days,” Trubitsky said when asked about his performance. “This is fun, though. I’m just here to have a good time.”Truckee Skate Park regular Robby Salas, 18, took first place in the 18- to 22-year-old division, but chose not to enter the best trick or open division.
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Stelck, also a regular at the park, did not place in the 13- to 17-year-old division. He stuck around all day, though, and squeezed into the crowded park with the rest of the hoard of skaters between competitions. Stelck said he had a good time, other than having to deal with a handful of trouble-makers. “It’s really fun, except for some kids trying to start fights,” Stelck said.Rick “Bone” Haugen, a 24-year-old San Diego resident visiting friends in the area, had a unique best trick idea, which consisted of soaring out of the bowl, up and over the back of a leaning, beer-grasping buddy. But in three tries, he never quite landed it.”Usually it’s a first-time go,” Haugen said of the trick. “I’m really disappointed I didn’t land it.”
Truckee resident Dave Burright, 32, entered and won the 30-and-older division. But with the sun casting intense cloud-free rays the entire day, Burright lost steam by the time the best trick rolled around.”I’ve got zero left in the tank,” he said while sinking into a lawn chair after his run. “I just want to go to sleep.”Though fatigued by the time it was over, Burright enjoyed the Fly Freeride contest. “It’s awesome,” he said. “It brings all the kids and everyone out here.”