SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL SKATING
Justin Doss was born in La Grande but has made his home the Pioneer Sk8 Park.
"I'm here just about every day," Doss said. "And when school starts I'll come here every day after school."
Doss, 15, has been polishing his skating for the Sept. 10 Northeast Oregon Sk8 & BMX competition in La Grande.
"La Grande hasn't had a competition since 2002, and that was just a skate competition," said La Grande recreation coordinator Sammie Mosley. "Currently there are seven skateboarders signed up and no bikers, but they are expecting 20-25 competitors."
Mosley said the skaters have been very helpful with making the competition just what they want.
"We met with skaters and asked them what they wanted in their competition," Mosley said. "It's really all about the skaters. They have put in all the time."
"Every time someone registers we give them the 10th degree to see what they are interested in and what they want out of the competition," said Minnie Tucker, confidential Secretary for the city of La Grande recreation.
Doss said that he will be competing in the advanced section of the competition beginners and intermediate levels are also available.
Doss has been skating for the past four years and went to the X-Games Competition in Los Angeles last year.
"It was awesome," Doss said.
Although skating can scare people with the awful spills, Doss said it isn't too bad.
"I have never been injured too hard," Doss said. "No broken bones, just twisted ankles and stuff."
Doss maneuvers the park with ease and grace as he listens to The Stixs, Antiflag, Against Me and other bands on his IPod. His worn out skating shoes have holes on the sides and the bottom.
"I'm probably going to need to get new shoes sometime around the competition," Doss said. "I break my skateboard about every two weeks, this one is about done now."
Skaters will be given one minute, 30 seconds for their run and a wide variety of prizes for entering and competing in the competition, everything from shirts and stickers to gear and cash.
"In my experience the competitors get more than their money back from the prizes and giveaways," Tucker said.
According to Mosley, the goal is to make the competition an annual event, but there are still many things that need to be ironed out.
There were rumors surrounding the competition that a pro skater would be invited. After many failed attempts and the high cost of attracting known skaters, it seems that this years competition will be without a professional, but Mosley aims to get one for next year's event.
"We contacted many major management agencies," Mosley said. "They wanted $4,000 for an up-and-coming professional and $15,000 for a known pro."