Brooklyn Boulders isn’t just for climbing.
On Saturday, July 20, the rock gym opened up its new space to a skate contest held by 1031 Skateboards, Landshark Wheels and Somerville’s Maximum Hesh shop. The Best Trick contest saw local skaters compete alongside members of the 1031 and Landshark skate teams as Newport, Rhode Island skate punk band The Loud Ones played on the sidelines.
According to John Kenny, a sales representative at 1031 and Landshark, this is the groups’ second contest of the summer, but won’t be their last. “Instead of dragging people all around the country on tour,” Kenny says, “[we wanted to go to] smaller communities and do something for the kids that skate there. They can [watch the pros] anytime online.”
Rob Hall of Allston won the overall competition – to land the most impressive trick on a parking curb – while Caleb Kaiser of Somerville came in second place and won the Loud Ones’ contest by ollie-ing four feet away from the curb and then successfully grinding along it. Third place went to Sam Shultz of Boston. For those less familiar with skateboarding terms, an “ollie” is a move in which the skater and his board both leave the ground (without the use of the skater’s hands), while “grinding” sees the skater riding the board itself along a surface without using its wheels.
The contest drew a healthy audience of spectators and featured both boys and girls competing. Contestants showed off fashion ranging from both hats and cutoff shorts in bright orange to the words “[expletive] off” shaved into one entrant’s hair.
The contest gives a glimpse of what the new BKB space could be used for. Despite attracting plenty of participants and spectators, many of the climbing trails were unaffected and climbers continued to use the space throughout the competition.
The BKB space separates itself from local rock gyms in other ways as well. While still under construction, there appear to be rooms for lounging and for other physical activities. Nearly every open wall space features a painted design, often graffiti-inspired, ranging from an image of Spider-Man to the words, “Exist to inspire.”
In response to the event, BKB Pop-Up Retail Manager Jonathan Curtiss says, “I had nothing but positive feedback from the skate community.” He adds that he would invite Maximum Hesh, 1031, Landshark and the Loud Ones to use the space again. “[We have] a lot of space that the skate community can utilize.”
“The big goal of ours is … to provide a dynamic experience for our customers,” he says. “We want to integrate every facet of the community. [For example, we’d like to see] people coming in to see art galleries and music.”