COLLEGE STATION, Texas Dozens of skate boarders will descend on the G. Hysmith Skate Park for the annual Come and Skate It competition Saturday.
The contest kicks off at 11 a.m. at the Southwood Athletic Park in the 1500 block of Rock Prairie Road.
Jonathan Bastian, 20, will be one of those skaters. He's been skating since he was seven, when his father bought him his first board.
"From that day forward, I never turned back," said Bastian.
Bastian loves the sport, and can't wait to hit wheels to pavement Saturday. He's competed in dozens of competitions, and said one key to winning is preparation.
"I try to block out all distractions, anything that's been holding me down over the past week," said Bastian.
Gerry Logan with the College Station Parks and Recreation department said competitions like this one are a great way to reach out to the sometime ignored skating community. A group that seems to be growing. He said since the park was built, skaters have come from all over to practice their skills and have a little fun.
"Come out here anay night of the week, and there's a good group of guys out here. They keep it packed," said Logan.
Bastian said for him, skating has been much more than a sport. When he's not at the park, he's working on a computer engineering degree at Texas A&M University. He said skating has taught him the skills he needs to succeed.
"Since I was a little kid, skate boarding has taught me everything," Bastian said. "Hard work, dedication, focus. You can't put in a little effort and expect to get a great outcome."
Logan said there will be cash prizes for the winners and giveaways during the contest.
City officials said the competition will feature four divisions with three different competitions in a five-minute jam session format.