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The King of Kingston names ‘air’ to throne

KINGSTON — Lindvog Avenue was packed last weekend with big-eyed amateurs, confident professionals and even curious outsiders as the best of the best, locally and nationally, shredded cement at the community skatepark.

The second annual King of Kingston took place on April 25-26 with pros showing their stuff at the park on Friday afternoon and signing autographs. Saturday, the locally owned and operated Evans Board Shop held its much-anticipated annual skate contest.

“Yeah, baby! I don’t know what that was, but yeah!” yelled out professional women’s skater Jaime Reyes, who was calling the tricks through a bullhorn as an impressed crowd cheered on.

The weather favored the King of Kingston competition, as the thick morning fog turned into a pristine clear day. With a bass line thumping from a limo on the street, professionals from the Globe Shoes Tour showed off moves that up-and-coming skaters could strive for in the future.

“Yeah, shorty,” Reyes called out a skater obviously younger than everyone else who was taking the challenge to skate with the pros in the park.

“Pro-tastic,” said Tyler Hannon of Bainbridge Island about the event while sitting just above the bowl with some friends as they watched the pros Friday afternoon.

“It’s good for the first one — I don’t think there’s been a demo here before,” said Zach Mallove of Bainbridge Island.

The guys from the tour, as well as some regional top skaters, liked the small town atmosphere and noted that it was very different from where they have been recently skating — such as Denver, Colo. and New York, N.Y.

“It’s good — just different town, different kind of people” said Portland skater Mikey Burton, who tours with other groups.

“It was cool riding the ferry over,” said Globe skater Aaron Artis. “It’s a fun skate park. Good kids, good town, overall good time.”

On Saturday, the energetic atmosphere at the park was cranked up a notch as local kids got to show their stuff.

The crowd was impressed with Lyle Welsh of Kingston, a “local hero,” proclaimed Evans Matan, owner of EBS and MC for the contest. While Welsh took second place last year in the beginners category, he bumped up to the intermediate level this year.

Mandy Matan, co-owner of EBS, has always been impressed with Welsh.

“I like his attitude — he’s one of those ‘yes’ kids,” she said, noting she wouldn’t mind having him as a rider for a shop team in the future. “He’s one of those kids I’d be happy to have him promoting us.”

“Alright on the first run,” Welsh commented on his performance, but he wasn’t discouraged.

“I like it a lot. There needs to be more of these,” he added about the day’s event.

Hayden Nunes, one of the smaller and faster skaters who thrilled the crowd, took third place in the beginners category.

“I think it’s great,” he said about the event. “You can improve and there are others that are better and you can learn from them.”

Evans said he was pleased with the outcome of the second year and the fact that EBS staff was able to do it all themselves, rather than working with local community groups like they did last year.

“I think it generally went pretty good,” he said.

The annual contest is just part of an upcoming series of contests, Evans

said, noting that he hopes to start hosting several competitions a year with more sponsors.

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