Sport

Skateboarding boss hungry for more after successful staging of 'Shred It'

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, April 19, 2018

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As the Jamaica Skateboard Federation (JSF) continues to increase its popularity, president Steve Douglas recently hosted the federation's first official skateboard contest — 'Shred It' — which he declares is the first of many to come as his organisation begins its charge towards Olympic representation.

The contest, held at the indoor facility at Ishomoto gym, attracted a large turnout as patrons packed the facility to witness the spills, thrills and competitive excitement with the 10 competitors battling for top honours in three categories.

The outstanding Onan Stephenson sent the crowd into a frenzy when he executed a 'Cancel Flip' trick with his skateboard, as he reigned supreme in the Best Trick category, winning ahead of Mario Notice and Sharma Beckford.

Parris Dennis, who showed expertise and consistency, finished best of the rest in the Best Four-line Trick category ahead of Notice and Beckford.

Notice returned to top the Best Rail Trick ahead of Beckford and Rakeem Scarlet.

“We were ready to deliver a competitive contest that would reflect the Production of future contest and we did exactly that as we had a high-level competition with the participants from across the island.

“It really surpassed my expectations in terms of patron support and how seriously focused the participants were to compete in Skateboarding to win the title in the three categories and I think that augurs well for us going forward,” Douglas told the Jamaica Observer.

Douglas, who was one of the judges along with Professional skater and guest judge Matt Mercer and Aaron Reed, pointed out that the contest was just a scratch on the surface of what is to come as hopes remain high of a few skateparks around the island.

“The Shred It contest has received great reviews from the United States and the skateboard community at large; as such we are going to host a 16 and under contest as well as another Shred It contest in the future and we are hopeful that it will be at Jamaica's first skatepark.

“It is important that we acquire a skatepark in Jamaica to sustain the sport of skateboarding,” Douglas noted.

He added: “As we progress with the growth of skateboarding contest and the Jamaica Skateboard Federation at large, we are in serious progress with California Skateparks and as we secure sponsorship and investors.

“We remain hopeful that the first skate park in Jamaica will be completed before the end of 2018 and managed by the Jamaica Skateboard Federation as we are the representative to govern the sport of skateboarding in Jamaica. This will allow the use of the skatepark to qualify the Jamaica Skateboard Federation team for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Japan.”

Finally, Douglas sent out a stern warning that the JSF will not tolerate any unsportsmanlike actions during any contest, as they owe the “best-of-the-best” to their sponsors.

“There was one contestant who was late and almost disqualified. But points were deducted to reflect his tardiness and unsportsmanlike efforts,” Douglas stated, before expressing gratitude to Skateboard Palace Ltd, Satori Wheels, Forward Skateboard, Ishomoto gym, JSF security team, and JSF's Vice-president Camille Pandohie.

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