The rise of skateboarding competitions has grown in recent years, and new people from the existing crop of skateboarders to new children learning are coming on board.
Competitions are very complex in their rules and can be overwhelming to people coming in for the first time.
When you’re learning a trick, you are competing against yourself, and much of this natural element of skateboarding remains in competition.
In this article we are going to break down competition into what we call ‘competitor maturity levels’ to help clarify and educate people on skateboarding competitions in Australia.
1. Beginners and newcomers.
When starting to compete, most competitions will have 2 x 1 minute or 45 second runs.
From this normally the top 5-8 will go through to a second round (the final) and have more runs for overall on the day podium winners.
Newcomers and beginners shouldn’t be focused on podium, others results or making finals.
For these, the focus should be on either making all your tricks, or trying to get a higher score in your second run to beat the first run.
This is similar to swimming of beating your own personal best, and when you skate that same course next time try to better it again.
When you have a liveheats login, you can go in and see all of your previous scores.
Ideally focusing on consistency and improving is the key. So if you are a newcomer or beginner there is a place for you to come along and develop your skills without focus on podium.
Remember, if you get all your tricks and come 11th, thats where you should be and thats ok.
2. Levelling up
When you are getting consistent and improving on each run, the next step is not necessarily at competitions but in your overall skateboarding. Ideally learning more tricks and starting to bring them into your runs, as well as increasing speed to have more tricks per run will be the next focus of the competitor.
Remember it takes time to be great. Doing this is still internal motivation and progression up the results and into finals will start to happen organically.
3. Peak Maturity
Once a skateboarder is consistently making finals and hovering around the podium they have a strong understanding of rules, judging, format and scoring.
At this point they are looking at others scores, what to do next, checking current scores of their own and they generally have enough tricks to be able to make changes at the competition.
This is when they have peak maturity for competing and can hold their own.
There is no timeframe in which someone would be able to achieve peak maturity, and no rush, the best contest skateboarders have experience and can plan and execute well on the day.
Peak maturity is generally only seen in the Opens divisions. It is still recommended in the juniors to focus on yourself as much as possible so when you go to Opens you are fully equipped with the step up.
We have even set up a committee to approve younger skateboarders moving to opens, this is to allow potential talent to nurture and fine tune their skills for longer.
Don’t compare your scores on various courses. As they all have different strengths. So if you get a 70 at one park it does not mean that will happen at every course.
Everyone shanks it. Thats right, people with tons of experience can butcher a run and have a shocker of a day. Don’t let it deter you, come back stronger!
So get out and enjoy the ride, remember we are always happy to take a phone call or email on what you can do to improve, and a lot of people dont know this, but you can approach the judges for feedback at any competition.