PHOTOS: Ballina's skate scene is pumping
AUSTRALIA'S longest running skate competition, Fair Go Skate Festival was held in Ballina for the 19th year and brought together over 100 participants, families and an entire skateboarding community.
Last Saturday, Ballina welcomed skaters from all over Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, the Sunshine Coast and Northern Rivers to compete in the all-ages festival.
Ballina local Jakob Robinson, 21, who was last year's winner, said he has been skating in the area since he was six years old and has competed in the comp for 12 years.
"I'm just going to focus on different lines, airs and big grids around the park and a few technical tricks I have,” said Mr Robinson, who competed in the Opens.
"In Ballina the scene has started to pump up again which is great and it's all about the community and all coming together to skate.
"I like that people who have nothing in common can skate together and it doesn't matter what we think outside of skateboarding.”
Lennox Head Local Josh Godward, 13, who competed in the Under 16s, has been skating since he was two and is an active member of the skateboarding community.
"It's hard to find another community where you can dress however you want, whatever age you want, whatever gender and you can do what you love,” Josh said.
Event director and skater Tony Chavez said Ballina's festival contributed to the broader skateboarding culture that had becomea rich lifestyle for skaters.
"It breathes life into the skate community,” Mr Chavez said.
"It gives a place for a six-year-old who skates in his garage or with his friends in a local park to showcase his talents in front of hundreds of local people, its integral,” she said.
"It's really important and it gives us all something to look forward to each year.”
Fair Go Skate Skate Fest offers a division for under 8s.
"We added the Under 8s because they want it and there is no place for the Under 8s to really showcase their talents,” Mr Chavez said.
"We want everyone to compete, not to win but to get in an have some fun.”
The competition offers division for 8 and Under, 12 and Under, 16 and Under, Opens and Masters for 40 and over.
Fair Go's prize packs were supported by community sponsors who donated a total of $7,000 in cash and $8000 in prizes.
"There is no other skateboarding competition in Australia that has more prizes than us, except for potentially the X Games,” Mr Chavez said.
"The response from the sponsors in the community was humbling to say the least.”