Contest over, skateboard park here to stay

Top-seeded Andrew "the Boss" Reynolds of Hollywood, Calif., is on his way to victory during the final rounds of the Maloof Money Cup skateboarding competition at RFK Stadium in Washington on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. He won $160,000 for placing first. (Pratik Shah/The Washington Times)Top-seeded Andrew “the Boss” Reynolds of Hollywood, Calif., is on his way to victory during the final rounds of the Maloof Money Cup skateboarding competition at RFK Stadium in Washington on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. He won $160,000 for placing first. (Pratik Shah/The Washington Times)

Skateboarders from around the globe rolled into Washington on Sunday to compete for one of the sport’s biggest cash prizes and properly scuff up the city’s newest skate park.

Wearing a navy knit hat, Hollywood, Calif., resident and longtime skateboard pro Andrew “the Boss” Reynolds took home the $160,000 first prize in the Maloof Money Cup competition thanks to his fancy footwork and aerial maneuvers.

Mr. Reynolds said skate parks like the Maloof Cup Park in which he skated to victory are important because “kids grow up skating on streets and wherever they can find,” but have to worry about being kicked out.

He also said the growing appeal of the “art” is that everyone is so different.

“Sometimes what you do wrong is better to watch,” Mr. Reynolds said.

Bobby Worrest of Washington was a crowd favorite in the Maloof Money Cup competition. He accelerates during a run in the final rounds. The competition drew skateboarders from around the world. (Pratik Shah/The Washington Times)

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Bobby Worrest of Washington was a crowd favorite in the Maloof Money ... more >

Despite the humidity and threat of rain, skaters of all ages - many with parents in tow - braved the heat in skinny jeans and dark T-shirts to watch up-and-coming amateurs and well-known pros skate for more than $300,000 in prize money.

Unlike most special-event venues that are torn down after closing, the 15,000-square-foot park outside RFK Stadium, where the contest was held, will be a permanent fixture and good neighbor for the city, said co-founder Joe Maloof.

“We’re able to connect with cities because we leave something of great value to the kids,” he said. “Next year we’ll refurbish it and add more obstacles. This park gives them a place to go.”

Until now, District skaters had few opportunities beyond the Shaw Skate Park, in Northwest, or private or restricted public property.

“This keeps us from doing bad things,” said 18-year-old Kelvin Taper, as he stood in the shade bleachers with his board.

Lane Campbell, 13, said one of the best places to skate is Freedom Plaza, just blocks from the White House, but getting caught could result in police confiscating one’s board.

That’s where Mr. Maloof and his designers stepped in.

“We listened to the skateboarders,” he said. “They designed [a skate park] and we built it.”

The new park boasts multiple stages and stairs, banks and gaps and a bump to a metal trash can, which is commonly found in D.C. cement plazas.

Throughout the day the sound of skidding wheels and clapping boards could be heard the cement plaza as skaters launched their boards up and over ledges and balanced along the length of stair rails.

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