Show Your Stuff! Amateur Skateboarding Competitions

Skateboarding competitions have always been the best way to provide skatepark skaters an opportunity to get sponsored by their local skate shop and one day make it to the X Games and The Olympics.

In fact, skateboarders like Tony Hawk were first discovered on the vert ramps of Encinitas, California by skating amateur skateboarding contests. Rodney Mullen, Tony Alva and other pioneering contest skaters were discovered the same way.

Today, while some skaters will go to skate camps like Woodward and contests have spread beyond Los Angeles and Florida, it’s really been skateboarding competitions that have always propelled the amateur skateboarder to become a professional skateboarder.

Now it’s your chance to show your stuff! With our amateur skateboarding competitions guide.

What will we be going over in this article?

  1. What are skateboard competitions?
  2. What are the most legendary contests in skateboarding history?
  3. How can competitive skateboarding  help prepare your child to be the next skateboarding phenom?
  4. A list of competitions locally in the USA and Canada.

What are skateboard competitions?

Skateboarding competitions are great for any skateboarding community, as they bring together local talent and expose skaters to potential sponsors. While there exists several different formats of skateboard competitions, here are the main formats: 

  1. Street Skater Course: courses made to mimic street skateboarding obstacles like stair sets, handrails, ledges and obstacles found in urban environments. 
  2. Vert Ramp: Remember Tony Hawk and his 900? A large bowl shaped ramp with vertical walls where riders wear helmets, elbow pads and knee pads. 
  3. Park Series: Park series is sometimes referred to transition skateboarding, with a mix of vert walls, launch ramps and fun box obstacles with more variety. Not completely vert with a touch of street.
  4. Flat Ground S.K.A.T.E.: If you’ve ever played H.O.R.S.E. then you understand the concept of S.K.A.T.E. Skater A does a kickflip and Skater B has to land said kickflip or they get a letter, S. New tricks are done until SKATE is reached. The Berrics have their infamous Battle At The Berrics annually.

Freestyle competitions are no longer in skateboard contests

Within these content formats, they exist on several different levels to which the aspiring pro skater can take to achieve his or her dream: 

  1. Local: Local skateboard contests are generally free to enter and are hosted by your local skate shop. A great way for young skaters to get discovered and become sponsored. Zumiez Best Foot Forward combined the best of both worlds, putting on a local contest series across the US. This is how Red Bull rider Jamie Foy was discovered in Florida. 
  2. Amateur: Amateur skateboard contests generally are still local, at the state level or run by actual brands with cash prizes. Sponsored skaters are invited but those who are not pro. Tampa Am is an example of this where there are qualifier runs and the best trick contest at the skatepark of Tampa.
  3. Pro: Pro skateboard contests are the premier contests in skateboarding. With a cash prize for the podium spots of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, these pro contests can sometimes come in circuits like Dew Tour or Street League. Then there are annual contests like the X-Games on ESPN and Tampa Pro.
  4. Olympics: The most prestigious contest in all of the action sports, qualifying for The Olympics as a skateboarder is a heck of a journey. Each pro skater has a chance to essentially win the world championship of skateboarding, as the entire skateboarding community and skateboarding world will be watching and commenting via social media. Click here to learn more about the Skate Olympic Games.
dew-tour-skateboarding-contest

What are the most legendary contests in skateboarding history?

Competitions have always maintained a certain allure since the early freestyle competitions of the 1960s. However, decades later, skate contests have evolved from what began in empty warehouses to now Olympic Stadiums

On the road to the largest competitive stage in sports, the stops along the way were not only historic, but legendary. Here are some of the most historical and legendary contests in skateboarding.

X Games: Simply put, without the X-Games there would be no Tony Hawk and countless other household names. The X-Games, now a cornerstone of ESPN, shortened from extreme games, made its debut in June of 1995. 

While Tony Hawk’s 900 made skateboarding mainstream, it was really the X-Games that taught everyone what a vert halfpipe was or exposed them to competition skateboarding for the first time. 

The X Games have since become synonymous with skateboarding, BMX, inline skates and snow sports. 

Tampa Am/Tampa Pro: While the X-Games might be the most popular skate contest outside of skating, Tampa Am and Tampa Pro are the most notorious inside of skating. 

Taking place at the skatepark of Tampa, every major pro made their debut in Tampa Am while the best of the best have gone on to win Tampa Pro. Qualifying skate free-for-all jams take place to get skaters on the scoreboard, then individual runs compete for first, second and third place. 

Some of the most legendary skaters have participated in these skateboarding contests, including Chad Muska, Nyjah Huston, and Eric Koston.

 

Dew Tour: While Dew Tour is one of the newer skateboarding events, it quickly made a name for itself. With hosting its contests with a mobile format, pulling up semi trucks fitted with skate obstacles onto a downtown’s main street, the spectacle of Dew Tour has produced some of the best competition skating to date. 

Runs, free for alls, best tricks, and even courses skateable by local attendees, Dew Tour has always been one of GOSKATE’s favorite contest series. 

Based in Long Beach, California, but Dew Tour has hit every corner of the US. Check our listing below for a Dew Tour near you.

Zumiez Best Foot Forward: Zumiez Best Foot Forward is a traveling contest series that aims to highlight the best of any local talent in remote local skate parks and connect them to big brands and companies. 

This skate shop contest series has helped some of the biggest skaters today get their first major sponsors. Skaters like Jamie Foy, Paul Hart, and Zion Wright were all discovered by Zumiez Best Foot Forward; two of which are now in skateboarding at The Olympics. 

The contests are usually a best trick contest format, where skaters compete to land the gnarliest trick on the same obstacle. 

The Boardr Am Series: What makes the Boardr Am Series truly unique, is the rating system Boardr has since become known for. 

Considered the most accurate skateboarder ranking system in the world, the contest aims to do the same. 

There may be no better judge of a skater’s current standing with skateboarding as a whole than The Boardr Am Series. 

Street League Skateboarding (SLS): Although the X Games and Tampa Pro and Am series have captured the hearts of skateboarders, Street League Skateboarding or SLS, has captured the purest competition in skating. 

With the largest prize packages ever seen in skateboard contests (some reaching 6-figures), SLS has always drawn the best of the very best. 

With 3 different sections, Technical, Best Trick, and BIG sections – SLS has brought out the most complete competition skating ever seen. It is also largely agreed, SLS helped make The Olympics possible by almost acting as a preliminary qualifier of skating’s most competitive skaters. 

Battle At The Berrics: We had to include Battle At The Berrics on this list, as it is the only prevailing skateboard competition that specifically showcases flat ground games of S.K.A.T.E. 

If you’ve played H.O.R.S.E. It’s essentially the same thing but with SKATE. Skater A does a kick flip and if skater B fails to do the same trick, they get a letter. The first one to acquire S.K.A.T.E. is out. 

BATB has been one of skateboarding’s most invigorating contests since it first began in 2012. Flat Ground is something all skateboarders do, so it’s a super accessible and enjoyable contest every skater understands and feels a part of.

The Olympics: The Olympic Games puts the world’s greatest athletes on the biggest stage – skateboarding is no different.

vert-contest-skater-skate-contest

How can competitive skateboarding help prepare your child to be the next skate phenom?

Skateboarding competitions have come a long way. Young skaters can now propel their Olympic careers by doing well in the local contest circuits and can go on to land their first sponsors.

Getting sponsored at a young age is paramount to developing as a skater – especially if you want to go pro. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on skateboarding lessons for all ages and skill levels for you to check out after this article if you would like to see how to break it all down.

Skateboards are expensive with the average complete costing well over $100, and the more you skate, the more boards and gear your loved one will go through. If you’re sponsored, the burden of financing a new board every two weeks is lifted and you get to skate fresh decks and equipment each time you skate.

This will not only improve your skill level much faster but ensure you’re always skating the best possible equipment at all times. Imagine driving a new car every time you were behind the wheel?

Most of the world’s best skaters today, including Sky Brown, a 13-year old Olympic superstar, landed their first sponsor by the age of 9. Sponsors can range anywhere from local skate shops to energy drinks. Just make sure the company ethics and branding are inline with your skate beliefs. 

We invite you to check out our comprehensive guide on skateboarding lessons for all ages and skill levels to help prepare your child to be the next skate phenom!

Competitions locally in the USA, Canada, UK and more!

Ft Worth, TX
Fort Worth Weekly Skate Jam

Dallas, TX
King of Guapo

Frisco, TX
Frisco Comp Series

Encinitas, CA
Exposure Skate

Santa Barbara, CA 
GoSKATEDay Contest

Salt Lake City, UT
Street League Skateboarding
Tony Hawk Vert Alert Finals

Kennesaw, Georgia
BoardR Am Series

Raleigh, NC
Skate4Life  

Copper Mountain, CO
Dew Tour

Los Angeles, CA
SLS Championship Tour Qualifier 

Tampa, FL 
Tampa Am & Tampa Pro
DAMN AM
Grind4Life
The BoardR HQ Best Trick Contest

Huntington, Calgary, Toronto, CAN
Canada Skateboard National Series

Video Contest, Global
CASL Video Contest

Saint Petersburg, FL
Grind For Life

New Smyrna, FL
Grind For Life

Zephyrhills, FL
Grind For Life

Lakeland, FL
Grind For Life

West Melbourne, FL
Grind For Life

Salem, NC
Nitro Circus Tour

La Harve, France
FISE Xperience Series

Reims, France
FISE Xperience Series

Alton, United Kingdom
Alton Skatepark Jam

Midhurst, United Kingdom
Midhurst Skate Jam

Ripponden, United Kingdom
Summer Skate Jam 

Sidmouth, United Kingdom
Sidmouth Skatepark Jam

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Vert Series

Ramp City, Blockpool, United Kingdom
Vert Series

Prague, Cech Republic
Mystic Sk8 Cup

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen Open

New Zealand & Australia
Bowl-a-Rama

Montreal, Canada
Jackalope Festival

Ericeira, Portugal
Sumol Summer Fest

Munich, Germany
Munich Mash

Shepton Mallet, United Kingdom
NASS Festival 

Zumiez Best Foot Forward
Hamburg, Germany
Helsinki, Finland
Berlin, Germany
Maribor, Slovenia
Utrecht, Netherlands
Innsbruck, Austria
Dusseldorf, Germany
Lens, Switzerland

Red Bull Mind The Gap
Egypt [Online]
Philippines [Online] 
Gdansk, Poland
Katowice, Poland
Warsaw, Poland
Perth, Australia 

Skate Park Leagues Competition 
Kangaroo Bay, TAS
Creswick, VIC
Oaklands, SA
Launceston, TAS
Broughton, SA
Campbell, VIC
Castlemaine, VIC
Kensington, VIC
Gisborne, VIC
Osborne, SA
Colac, VIC
Camperdown, VIC
Para, SA
Apollo Bay, VIC
Murray Bridge, SA
Longford, TAS
Bannockburn, VIC
Riverslide, VIC
Barham, NSW
Hurtsbridge, VIC
Mildura, VIC
Smythesdale, VIC

Pretoria, South Africa
Thrashers Skatepark
Street Lines Skate Tournament

GOSKATE is looking for contests!

At GOSKATE, we pride ourselves on supporting local skateboarding communities. Do you or a loved one know of a local contest not here on our list? 

Do us a favor and email your local contest information to competitions@goskate.com and help put you and your community on the map!

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Zane Foley

Zane Foley has been writing professionally since 2014, since obtaining his BA in Philosophy from the California State University, Fullerton. Zane is an avid skateboarder and Los Angeles native. Follow him on Instagram for links to his other published works. @zaneyorkfly

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