how to organize a skateboard contest

how to organize a skateboard contest


You need to ask the owner of your local skate park – usually the city – for permission to hold the skate contest. The city will impose some regulations, such as insurance, security, noise and refuse collection. It is important to fulfill all regulations and cooperate with the city! Show them you are a responsible and reliable skateboard contest organizer and they will probably support your skate contest with advertising, organisation, facilities (such as power and loos) and even prizes.


Ask the skate park owner if extra insurance for the skate competition is required. Special insurance companies cover such sports events. Or you let all skaters at the skate competition sign liability waivers saying that all contestants participate at their own risk. For underage skaters the legal guardian would have to sign this liability waiver, which also serves as permission for the underage skater to enter the skateboarding contest.


A skate competition should be advertised well in advance to make sure the local rippers are not on a roadtrip, the DJ is already booked for a wedding and so on… Let a creative friend design a flyer with all necessary information and get some printed at a local copy shop. Put up and hand out some flyers in the skatepark as well as in the local skateshop(s) and from there on you can usually rely on word of mouth. You might also spread the word on the internet (social networks…) and ask local papers and magazines to advertise the skate competition in their events column.


Don’t try and organize a whole skateboarding contest on your own – get some help! The more people supporting you the better: You will need helpers for setting-up and tearing-down, selling food and drinks, handle signing in, collect the insurance waivers et cetera.


Pick the showmaster wisely – a competent and spontaneous Master of Ceremony can save a skateboarding contest whereas a bored and incompetent MC can kill it! Ideally get someone who is funny, well respected in the local scene, knows most trick names, is very excited to do this at all and doesn’t get too drunk until the award ceremony. Maybe get even two or three MCs. Provide the MC with a mic, list of all enrolled riders and a stopwatch to time the runs.


Music is very important for a skate contest. The DJ’s record collection should serve the hip hop heads as well as the punks and rockers. A local DJ who knows most of the skaters could even match his tunes to their runs – the right song will push contestants to peak performances. However make sure you comply with the city’s noise regulations.


You need about 3-5 judges: They need to be impartial, reliable and well versed in skateboard tricks and hence respected by the community. A good choice are some skate veterans, injured locals or rippers from another town. Place your judges in a shady spot overlooking the whole skate park. Apart from free cool drinks provide your judges with a list of all riders, the draw, scorecards and pens. Treat your judges well!


Setting up and taking down

  • van
  • barrow
  • rubbish bags
  • tape


  • starter list to sign in
  • wrist bands or numbers to identify the competitors
  • insurance waivers


  • turntables & mixer
  • headphones
  • amplifier & speakers
  • microphone
  • extension cords
  • bad-ass record collection
  • starter list and draw (so the MC knows who to announce)
  • stop watch to time the runs


  • judges table and camp chairs
  • canopy to give shade or keep the judges dry (at least from above…)
  • scorecards – and ball pens!
  • first aid kit
  • trophies and prizes

Food stall

  • food & drinks
  • paper plates, paper cups, cutlery and napkins
  • bottle opener
  • price list
  • cash box with some change
  • canopy to give shade and keep the food fresh
  • refrigerator (with ice for the injured gladiators)
  • rubbish bags


The skate contest format really depends on different factors like the size and layout of the skate park, the time available, the expected number of contestants and the weather.

You might divide the skaters into different age groups (usually under and over 16) or sponsored and unsponsored skaters. You might even have a separate girls class or oldies class (no flip tricks allowed!) if there are enough contestants.

In case you want to keep it classic allow each skater two one-minute-runs – the better one counts. The best go to the next round and so on.

If the skatepark is big enough a jam session format is highly recommended for amateur skate competitions: A 2-3 minute jam session with 3-5 skaters at a time makes it more interesting for the crowd. Instead of each skater kickflipping the pyramid-hip and k-grinding the curb you get a bigger variety of tricks. The skaters will push each other and will be less nervous when skating in a group. It’s also easier for judges and spectators to compare the gladiators. The one or two best skaters of each session make it to the next round. Make the final jam session a minute or two longer.

You could also combine a short introduction run by a single skater with a jam session. But don’t make the skateboard contest modus too confusing for spectators, skaters and judges…


The best trick contest is usually the icing on the cake: Let all competitors try their hardest stunts within a given timeframe. You can limit the best trick to one obstacle but usually it’s fairer to have it on the whole course…


Ask the local skateshops and skateboard companies for product prizes – they will be happy to donate stuff with their logo on as this is a great opportunity to advertise! Just make sure the MC repeats the brand names and donators when handing out the prizes. If companies don’t trust you and don’t want to send the stuff to your house get it sent to your local skateshop.


Even with precise planning and perfect organisation things will go wrong: Judges not showing up, the hot-dogs sold out just before the final and angry parents, who think their offspring should have won. Whatever happens, be flexible, patient and relax – after all it’s just a simple skateboarding contest, a fun day at the skate park!