Pitch and Ride: Skateboarders and BMXers throw down in Krugersdorp
Skaters and riders gather at their first post-Covid event, held at Key West skate park in Krugersdorp, on Saturday March 12
Words by Michelle Roodt. Photos by Michelle Roodt and Coert Erasmus.
Riders from all over Johannesburg came to battle it out at the first ‘Pitch and Ride’ BMX and Skate competition since the recent COVID lockdowns, hosted by Rolling Stunts.
The sunny weather and still water of the Monument Dam at the skate park at Key West Mall made a perfect backdrop for the skaters and bikers to get back into action after a long break due to the pandemic.
“During the two year absence of BMX we have had the BMX population in the country cut down as we couldn’t ride or get to skateparks, so a lot of riders quit.” – Vincent Leygonie.
According to event organiser and pro Dragon Energy athlete, Vincent Leygonie, unfortunately Covid had really negatively affected the BMX scene, with demos just restarting at the end of 2021 and big events only set to restart this year.
“During the two year absence of BMX we have had the BMX population in the country cut down as we couldn’t ride or get to skateparks, so a lot of riders quit,” Vincent told blunt.
Fortunately, the riders were ready to come together again to show what they are made of in this small, friendly event that is hopefully the beginning of bigger things to come (results below).
Dragon Energy was the main sponsor for the day, and the event was also associated with Shadey Films, who has a Pitch and Ride series planned for a host of other sports in the coming weeks and months. Vincent explained that the purpose of the Pitch and Ride series is to get kids and parents involved with action sports, from freestyle motocross to skateboarding.
They are aiming to host monthly events for most of these sports, both for amateur and professional athletes who are already in the series, and for new athletes who want to compete in live events.
It is also a great platform to expose the everyday person to these rad sports, added Vincent.
Fortunately, the riders were ready to come together again to show what they are made of in this small, friendly event that is hopefully the beginning of bigger things to come.
“During the day we hosted several small events and gave products from our sponsor to the athletes and during this event we had a best trick on the hip, best trick on the entire quarter-pipe section, best street line/trick and we also decided to incorporate the local skaters and host a full park best trick jam,” he said.
Vincent would love to have more events in the future. While it can be tough for sponsors to support the events monthly, they can run without sponsors as the organisers aren’t in it for the money – but simply for the love of action sports.
When asked what he would like to see happen to BMX, skateboarding and other action sports in the future, Vincent said he was stoked that these sports are already in the Olympics, which is the competitive pinnacle.
“However, from the BMX side we don’t have many events,” said Vincent. “There are two large events that are done every year – these being Ultimate X and Park Lines – but literally no smaller events for the amateur riders. I’d love to get more people involved in the sport so we can have more bike shops, more people hosting smaller events and the assistance of helping young riders live the dream.”
When it came to the Pitch and Ride event, he said that the day was a success because there was a good crowd the entire day, the competitors were battling hard for bragging rights and a great time was had by everyone, which of course is really what it is all really about.
BMX street best trick / line – Nicholas Joubert (line: nose bonk, 180 barspin disaster to tailwhip)
BMX long jump – Nathi ‘Steeze’ Nkosi
BMX hip best trick – Francois Bodenstein (360 tailwhip to tyre tap)
BMX quarter pipe best trick – Matty Duffy (backflip to fakie to revert)
Skateboard best trick – Juan Meyer (long backside boardslide on the quarter pipe)
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