The second annual Donate and Skate charitable competition went down in Conroe, Texas, on December 8th. The entry “fee” for the competition was a donated pair of skates, wheels, frames or pads. The Donate and Skate crew immediately got to work assembling rollerblades to get skates onto kids’ feet as quickly as possible. Rollerblades were donated to kids that wanted to start rollerblading, but that may not have the funds necessary to buy new skates. Some skaters, rather than simply donating a single pair of skates or a few spare parts, donated over-flowing boxes of parts and used skates! We were able to get about fifty to sixty kids onto rollerblades that day! It was amazing to see kids put down their boards, scooters and bikes to pick up a pair of skates for the first time. Seeing their smiles while rolling around on their new skates is a feeling that is hard to describe. And not just kids took advantage of the free skates; we had whole families skating that day! Little brothers, big sisters, and parents alike, were all enjoying rollerblading. It was incredible!
The Conroe skatepark is unique in that it is nestled nicely in a beautiful forested area. The scenery of the park is unlike any park I have ever been to, and definitely provided good vibes for the day. The level of skating in the competition was incredibly high as well. The tricks landed were some that I have never seen in any contest before. Noteworthy skaters included William Isaac, with his super fast, effortless steeze; Matt Rankin, with unbelievable technical tricks; and home-town hero Travis Reynolds, who finessed the whole park with ease. In addition, OG skaters like Chris Fleener and David Grayson showed the young bucks how it is done with proper, classic style. David said he had not competed in a contest in thirteen years, but no one could tell. There was no “ring rust” showing at all!
The judges really had their work cut out for them for the final heat. So many incredible tricks were landed, it was hard at first to decipher a clear-cut winner. Scott Wells showed his consistency throughout the entire competition. He laced incredibly difficult tricks, both natural and switch, which earned him third place. It is worth mentioning that Scott has also placed in the top five of every contest he has entered this year.
Houston heavy hitter Eric Balle decided to step down from his role as a judge to skate in the comp. It was a great decision; Eric took second place with impressive switchups, done in perfect form, and he never even seemed to break a sweat doing it.
Lastly, while everyone else was partying and enjoying the nightlife before the contest, Austin Goode was at the park perfecting his game and getting his strategy ready for the next day. It is no surprise that he earned first place. Austin is an incredibly dedicated guy that has elevated his skating to become one of the “up and comers” to look out for in the Texas blading scene. During the contest, Austin came through with some mind-boggling tricks that left me speechless. Full cab alley-oop negative acid and true spin negative pornstar on the down ledges, plus 270 backslides to alley-oop topsoul and alley-oop topacid on the perfect stair rails, just to name a few.
Austin deserved the win, hands down.