Events are frequently proposed as exciting activation exercises for the new skatepark. In practice, however, special events at the skatepark are less common as one might think. Contests are often informal and fraternal rather than formal and competitive.
The range of competition in skateboarding starts with casual games of S.K.A.T.E. among friends to internationally televised action sports championships. Somewhere between the two are the kinds of competitive and demonstrative events that you might consider hosting at your skatepark.
Grand event management can be a demanding task that is best left for those with experience, but casual contests can be arranged easily and can be a great way to promote the new skatepark.
The best contests are simple and easy to run. For your first contest, it may be tempting to include live music and an MC and huge prizes. Remember that for everything you add to your event, you’ll need to manage those details carefully.
The City will require permits and proof of insurance. Participants or their guardians will sign waivers, particularly if they’re under 18. The more ambitious your event, the more requirements and details you’ll face.
Informal, semi-organized skateboarding events are often called “jams.” A skate jam is not formally judged, but prizes might be handed out for informal achievements…from “gnarliest trick” to “ugliest shoes.” Jams are a great way to build experience organizing contests.
Prizes, when they’re offered, generally come from local skate shops and their distributors. It’s reasonable to solicit prizes from non-skateboarding businesses, such as movie theaters or restaurants.