By Omar E. Zapata
The Coastal Current
The days of skating in empty pools and parking lots are no more, as Technology Created Arts Media Studio Group hosts Beach Bash Skate Jam from 2 to 5 p.m. on June 21 at the SPI Skate Park at Tompkins Park on South Padre Island.
It will be the Island’s first skating competition with cash prizes, organizers said.
“It’s a community event,” said Michael De La Fuente, team lead for the event. “ With National Go Skateboarding happening every year, this is the first time with that new skatepark in place. It is kind of like an historical event. Not only is it a community-driven skate jam but on top of that it’s gonna be South Padre Island’s first actual concrete skatepark competition.”
The event is for all ages, all levels of skaters and has no admission charge.
Registration for the skate competition will be from noon to 2 p.m. and the categories are advanced, intermediate and beginner. For advanced, first place wins $400, second place takes $250 and third place gets $125. For intermediate, first place wins $100, second place takes $75 and third place gets $50.
For the beginner category, place holders will win a gift ranging from skateboards and skateboard accessories.
Starting with an idea that around 100 people would show up, De La Fuente said the expectation is now between 200-300.
“We’ve been out there talking with the shops and everything like that,” he said. “ Everybody’s stoked about it, everybody’s ready to go.”
The event is sponsored by local businesses from 77 Surf & Skate, Island Style, The Painted Marlin and others.
77 Surf & Skater co-owner, SPI native skater and surfer and mother of four, Erica Lerma- Macaulay said, “We’re excited to have something like this on the island and we’re happy to be a part of it.”
Learning to surf and skate around the island in empty pools or parking lots, Lerma- Macaulay said she was a part of an organization in which they tried to get a skate park.
“We tried to raise money,” she said. “We tried to convince the city to help us but it took I don’t know, like 20 years probably before we ended up finally getting a skatepark, so we were really excited about it and it finally provided a safe spot for us to come together and skateboard.”
Lerma-Macaulay said what she enjoys the most about skating is the feeling of being able to glide around.
Asked what benefits there are to skate, she replied, “It provides something that you can focus on and get better at. Spend time outside and spend time exercising.”
What she is most excited about the skate jam is to see skaters from all over the Rio Grande Valley show what they can do at the competition.
“We go pretty much every day and it’s exciting when we see like really good skaters come from other places and see how they skate,” Lerma-Macaulay said.
For updates, more information or questions about the Beach Bash Skate Jam, follow the events Instagram @beachbash_skatejamspi.