The final event in the Concrete Rodeo at South Jordan Skatepark was a multi-family affair. The parents of Jason Burgos, 13, cheered and screamed when their son was announced as taking second place. Hayden Wright's grandfather found a poster for the contest, his father Michael brought the 13-year-old from Tooele to compete. Mark Winkelaar not only entered his 15-year-old son Logan, nine-year-old daughter Megan and her four-year-old sister Anna, but the 41-year-old dad also entered the skateboarding contest himself.
The overall winner, the kid who creamed the crop, was 12-year-old Tyson Bowerbank. Judges couldn't decide between the agile Tyson and the taller Jason, so it was decided to give a tiebreaking run to both. Tyson got the most air out of the bowl, and did some good work in the park to take the victory. Jason said, "I was a little nervous going against Tyson, he wins everything. Usually I don't make it this far, so second place is fine with me."
But second place overall was fine for Delores Burgos, Jason's mom. "I'm so happy for him, and very proud. We take him to some contest every weekend. We even have a skate ramp in our basement," she said.
Tyson's mom, Kim Bowerbank, said her son has been skateboarding since the age of six. Although this was his first Concrete Rodeo contest, his win gives him an automatic invite to the Nationals in ten days, which Kim and dad Mark will take him to. Blond and adorable, Tyson has the makings of a skate star. He got more air out of the bowl than any other skater, and he has been invited to do a demo at the prestigious DEW Tour which is coming to Salt Lake next month.
Kim does not let her son's burgeoning glory get out of hand. "There are a lot of good 12-year-olds. As long as he's having fun, that's all that counts," she says.
But it's fun and more to Tyson. "It's my life, basically," he says.
Any female who entered would have had clear sailing to victory. The only two girls were Anna and Megan Winkelaar. Megan was able to balance on her board, but little more. Anna's dad Mark held her hands to hold her up during her one minute run, even turning her skateboard around himself to let her roll in another direction. For their first and second placing, they won skateboards and backpacks. One hopeful sign: after the contest, Megan went off to practice in the flat area between bowl and park.
Noah Olsen, 10, took second in his age group and was quick to promote the shop he skates for. "I have to say Happy Rabbit is the best skateshop ever," he grinned, just after congratulating Tyson for beating Christian Sereika, who took third place. Noah says, "Christain is happier as a manger." Logan Winkelaar was fourth.
The Concrete Rodeo uses an elimination format. Two skaters go at the same time for a one minute run, the judges decide who moves on. The results were as professional as an Olympic event; quickly printed out and posted up for competitors to see how they placed. Parents would read off the rankings to their anklebiters standing beside them.
Some skaters came without a helmet, which is required to compete. A 'group helmet' was passed around to those unfortunate few.
Organizer Conrad X Rotermund explains, "What's common in skateboarding is a jam format, which is three to five people, and you give them three to four minutes and they all go at once, and the best guy moves on. We didn't think that's fair to the younger group, because it's very hard to judge and the most aggressive guys usually dominate. So we came up with something like dual moguls, where there's only two guys, head to head."
Competitors came from skateparks all over Utah, from Tooele and Bountiful, Logan and West Valley City. There were 40 athletes in the contest, most of whom follow the whole series circuit. There are nearly a thousand skaters who have entered one or more of the 37 stops on the Concrete Rodeo tour.
Adventure Sports Weekly will have a follow up in two weeks of the Concrete Rodeo National Championships in Battlefield, Wa., August 24-25. Good luck, Tyson and Jason!