On Saturday, May 14, skateboarders had a rare chance to skate at the historic Hemming Plaza, which isn’t usually open to skaters. The downtown park hosted the first Krux Kick-flip Challenge.

The event is a revival of an old kick-flip challenge, which hadn’t taken place in a few years. A total of 25 skaters took part in the competition, including one Tyson Zane. Zane, a 12-year-old from Jacksonville who rides for Aqua East, took home the $500 cash prize.

“Tyson’s a great young skater around here,” said local skater Dane Quintal from Neptune Beach. “There’s a bunch of really good young talent around his age coming up. It’s really fun to see, and I can’t wait for what’s next to come from them.”

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There were around 50 skaters total at Hemming Plaza to skate outside of the competition, and around 200 or so spectators were there to watch the contest go down. Events like these not only provide skaters with a chance to skate in a historic place (and one that doesn’t normally allow skating), but it also provides exposure for the skate community here in town.

“It’s huge. It brings all the skaters together and to have a chance to get out and bring some spectators out as well,” Pete McMann said. “The reaction and support for these events is big. We get a whole lot of positive feedback from it.”

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During the third week in June, Go Skate Jax will be taking place over a three-day period. The event will feature contests and other events over three different spots downtown. They are working with Hemming Plaza to set up more events this summer and down the road as well.

“Even just getting an opportunity to legally skate in these cool places downtown is something that we don’t usually have. Add that to the fact that the community comes out and supports these contests and it’s that much better,” Quintal said. “I wouldn’t say we’ve been overlooked, but there’s definitely room for more things of this nature. It’s going to be awesome if we can keep building things like this.”