Skateboarders compete at Elwood Crossan State Park
● By J. Chambless
Aaron Gordy's hippy jump. Photos by Ken and Robin Fitch.
By John Chambless
The afternoon of Sept. 10 was hot and steamy, but that didn't stop skateboarders from as far away as Virginia, New Hampshire and Colorado from competing in the fourth annual Rip the Elwood Longboard Competition at Elwood L. Crossan State Park in Landenberg.
The path that weaves through the park is a big draw for competitors, and event organizer Rob Wheeler reported that the top three with the fastest times in the Juniors (17 and younger) and Open division took home prizes from event sponsors.
“A new event at Rip the Elwood was a grueling uphill push race from the bottom parking lot to the entrance of the park,” Wheeler said. “Then we had our BoarderCross Time Trial race, where riders had to navigate through tight turns, air over ramps and ride through the grass to make it to the finish.
“Our last event was the Slide Jam, which is the premier event at Rip the Elwood,” Wheeler continued. “Riders in Junior and Open division competed in 30-minute heats to lay down their best freestyle tricks to impress the crowds and judges. We narrowed the heats down to five riders in the finals, where they each got two solo runs to decide who would stand on the podium. The Slide Jam portion of this event is part of a new longboard tournament series called the Faceplant Freestyle Cup, where riders will compete in our next two events to gain points by placing in the top 10. At the last event, the top three riders with the most points will win cash.”
Wheeler said the event was another success “that bought out the local community as well as the far-flung longboard community. We had a Blendlife food truck there serving healthy food options to fuel our bodies so we could last the entire hot day. Families and young kids enjoyed the high-speed action and positive attitudes from all the skaters. The event always seems to leave people with a contagious buzz that brings them back to our events for more, which is why we will definitely be hosting a fifth annual Rip the Elwood longboard competition in September 2017.”
Franklin Township Board of Supervisors chairman John Auerbach attended the event again this year, and said, “All the participants were well-behaved, respectful, and put on a great performance. Although it was a competition, participants displayed great camaraderie. Rob’s group treats our park with respect and always leaves the place clean -- not a scrap of litter or debris to be seen. They have demonstrated this behavior over the past four years and will always be welcomed back with their event.”
For more information, visit www.FaceplantBoardriders.com.