Acrobatics on wheels kick off

BIG AIR: Lee Nuttall, 20, of Motueka during the Tasman Skatepark Tour at the Mapua Domain.
BIG AIR: Lee Nuttall, 20, of Motueka during the Tasman Skatepark Tour at the Mapua Domain.

The time for tricks, flips and hopefully not too many bails has come again as top of the south riders show their stuff at the annual Tasman Skatepark Tour.

The tour kicked off another action-packed year with the first leg of the competition in Mapua on Wednesday.

The tour showcases the best of the region's aerial acrobatics on wheels.

The competition, now in its seventh year, will tour around five more skate parks in the Tasman District including Tapawera, Motueka and Brightwater.

Riders compete in the BMX, scooter and skateboard categories, with anyone over the age of five welcome to enter.

Judges are looking for trick difficulty, park utilisation, routine flow and even "slam staunchness" if you don't quite nail the landing.

MC Shaun Connolly said another judges also looked for sportsmanship among the riders, which they had already seen a lot of in the first day of competitions.

"In the Jam, two BMXs crashed into each other, but straight away they got up and shook hands," said Mr Connolly.

He said as well as tricks, events where kids were drawn together and got to enjoy the skatepark was what the tour was all about.

Mr Connolly said Ryan Dando on BMX, Liam McCallister on the skateboard and Maittah Timpson on scooter were already proving ones to watch.

Tour sponsors Cheapskates and Village Cycles have given $7000 worth in prizes this year, including a new BMX and a customised skateboard.

The family-friendly competition which caters to riders of all ages holds the second leg of the tour tomorrow afternoon in Takaka.

It runs until January 25, and will wrap up at the Richmond Skatepark where the overall winners will be announced.

The Nelson Mail