Young amateurs have chance to get noticed

Young amateurs have chance to get noticed
The upcoming Sun Diego Am Slam competition gives amateur skateboarders an opportunity to compete and get noticed. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — The Sun Diego Am Slam Skateboard Contest series will hold its third of four competitions at Melba Bishop Skate Park Aug. 23.

The annual Am Slam series is held to give local amateur skateboarders an opportunity to compete and get noticed.

In addition to contest bragging rights skateboarders get exposure to over a dozen sponsors who are scouting for new talent. Company sponsorship provides athletes with clothes, equipment, competition fees and travel.

“It’s a huge part of it,” Eric Steddom, Sun Diego Boardshop director of marketing, said.

“Transworld Skateboarding does a full recap with photos and video. It’s a lot of exposure.”

Each June the series kicks off at a custom made temporary skatepark built in front of the Wavehouse Belmont Park roller coaster in Mission Beach.

“It’s the biggest prize purse, $7,500 for pro am,” Steddom said. “Venders come out, it’s a skate fest.”

The following three locations spread the series throughout San Diego County.

At the upcoming Oceanside competition skateboarders who have racked up points at the two earlier contests in Lakeside and Mission Beach will be adding to their scores, and additional competitors will join in.

Two jam sessions will be held for skateboarders to show off their best moves.

“They have 10 minutes to skate and do whatever tricks they can,” Steddom said. “The top ten make it to finals.”

Those landing the most street skating tricks, with the highest level of difficulty, go on to perform two one-minute solo runs.

“They’re pulling every trick,” Steddom said.

About 140 skateboarders are expected at Melba Bishop Skate Park, with an even split of competitors in the age 13 and under, age 14 to 16, and age 17 and older divisions. There will also be an open pro am division for advanced skill level skateboarders.

The fourth competition in the series is planned to be held at Rancho Penasquitos Skate Park Sept. 13.

Prizes are awarded at  each competition.

Cumulative pro am series points allow top skateboarders to compete in the invitation only finals at the Volcom Warehouse in Costa Mesa, which houses a skatepark.

This is the seventh year for the series, and third year Oceanside has been included.

Competition at Melba Bishop Skate Park will be held form 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration to compete is suggested. Contest fees go up $10 the day of the event. A parent’s signature is needed for skateboarders under age 18.

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