August 23 marked the third annual "Boardin' for Bones" skate competition at Charlottesville's McIntire Skate Park, hosted by Freestyle.
It was a beautiful day for some thrashing. The temperature rose to about 90 as each entry in the Intermediate Class began the allotted two 90-second runs.
Some of the kids handled it well, stayed focused, and hit some pretty impressive tricks off the mini-ramps.
With others, being watched by 100 or so skaters and families took its toll. Boards were kicked, and helmets were tossed. Your heart went out to them, but no one added to the embarrassment by offering sympathy.
The Advanced Class took center stage after a brief intermission. This time, six skaters moved together in two 10-minute freestyle jams.
Proceeds were donated to the children of Eric Barber (a.k.a. Big E), last year's MC who died recently in a tragic car accident. A moment of silence in his memory was observed before the competition began. The generally loud park fell completely silent in tribute.
Watching these guys try to top each other was awesome, and the crowd agreed– big "oohs" and "ahhs" were frequent. One notable standout was Israel West: Not only was he smooth, but insanely bold and physical as well. He pulled off too many tricks to name, but a couple of his most impressive moments were a 360-degree spin off an eight-foot drop, and a huge ollie off a five-foot railing onto a mini-ramp.