Talent, prizes and fund raising at Battle of the Wheels

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

Skateboarders, BMX riders and in-line skaters will compete for a variety of prizes at Brookings’ annual Battle of the Wheels Sept. 5 as a fundraiser for the Brookings Skate Park.

“Last year we had about 100 competitors come and compete,” said Royce McDaniel, the founder of the Brookings Skate Park and organizer of the event. “We really hope to get more people to come out and watch this year, though.”

Anyone who wishes to enter the competition is welcome. Registration begins at noon and the competition begins at 1 p.m. All competitors must pay a $10 entrance fee and are required to wear a helmet.

“We have had people anywhere from 6 years old to 41,” said McDaniel, a senior mechanical engineering major. “We really welcome everyone from beginners to advanced skaters.”

Nick Curry, who will be a judge at the event, said, “My favorite element of the Battle of the Wheels is probably the camaraderie. Even though it is a competition, people are still excited about it even if they don’t win.”

First, second and third-place winners in each competition will receive a variety of donated prizes.

“The BMXers, skateboarders and in-line skaters will get separate prizes that relate to their event,” said McDaniel. “We have a really nice variety of donated prizes.”

Raffle tickets will also be sold at the Battle of the Wheels for $1 each or 12 for $10. Some of the raffle prizes include free food and offers from various local restaurants and stores.

“Another fun event going on that day is the best trick competition,” said Curry. “Anyone can enter and has three tries at doing their best trick; the winner is chosen by the audience’s applause level. Last year we had some really great tricks.”

Skateboard parts will also be sold at the Battle of the Wheels at a discount rate because they were all donated.

“Some of the local businesses include the Brookings Register, KSDJ and Mills Construction,” McDaniel said. “Also, UPS donated all of our printing, Brookings Engraving donates our trophies and Papa John’s comes and sells pizza and all of their profits are donated back to the skate park.”

All money raised at the event will go directly back to the Brookings Skate Park to make improvements and renovations. The Brookings Skate Park is a completely non-profit organization.

“We are going to try to get some new rails and smaller items but what we really want to do is be able to pour some more concrete for skating space,” McDaniel said.

Among some of the corporate sponsors are Element, American Skate Shoes and Globe Shoes.

“We are really grateful to everyone who helps with the event,” said McDaniel. “It is really for a good cause. The Skate Park gives kids a place to come and skate legally.”

Last year the Battle of the Wheels raised approximately $2,500 for the skate park.

“We have some really talented skaters coming this year,” said Curry.

McDaniel said skaters from all over the area will be attending this year’s event.

“I just think it’s an awesome atmosphere,” said Charity McDaniel, co-founder of the Brookings Skate Park and a first-semester nursing student. “It’s fun to see all of the local talent as well as people who come from all over to compete.”

#1.881596:4254359793.jpg:IMG_6842.1.jpg:Les Cotton, Graphic Design Major, goes up for an ollie earlier this summer at the skate park.:Robby Gallagher