COVERAGE BY ORGANIZER | JOSHUA GOLDBERG (joshuag0ldberg)
PHOTOGRAPHERS | ETHAN PUGH (@ethan_pugh) | CAMERON MARTIN @___cameronmartin___)
The Gold Comp began in California in 2018 as a way to give back to the blading community. I began thinking about what I could do to help our sport after a bad knee injury from a ski accident left me unable to blade for 7 months. What came of it was “Gold Comp”. In my mind, I wanted to create an environment where bladers could showcase their talents and be rewarded. The first one was held in San Jose, California on April 27, 2019 and was a park comp. What happened that day set the standard of what to expect from Gold Comp: Insane blading and good vibes all around! In July, Ray Kronenberg approached me about throwing a street comp with him in Chattanooga, TN under the Gold Comp name.
We held the first ever “Gold Comp Street Edition” on November 23rd. We knew it was daring to throw the comp during a cold and rainy time of year, but we did it anyway. This is Chattanooga after all, anything can happen to the weather. Every day leading up to the comp it looked more and more like there would be 100% chance of rain on the 23rd. We kept the hope alive though, and saw a slight change in the weather forecast for the day of. The rain was supposed to stop around 12 pm, possibly leaving enough time for our spots to dry. Luckily the weather forecast was correct and the rain did stop. We had to improvise and create a first spot different from our original, but it couldn’t have been better. It was the start of a perfect Saturday.
The first spot began with a group of bladers from around the South and Midwest and they brought the good vibes and the heat: Grant Hazelton, Michael Harper, Montre Livingston, Richard Williams, Yandriel Silverio, Julian Mire, Sam Miller, Kofi Christie, Anthony Alari, Luis Corrales, Swigidy, Ray Kronenberg, Zach Leavell, Yasmany, David Dodge, and Cameron Martin. This spot had the most perfect and challenging ledge.
The second spot was made up of two drop down rails to flat to two more drop down rails, with a sick backdrop of a local high school and a grey sky behind it. Mike Harper got wild and threw a 270 back unity to land to back royale to fakie out giving him the best trick of the day. Montre also absolutely crushed this spot throwing a top acid to land to 450 royale fakie out. Grant Hazelton was also a standout and kept his footing in the door for top 3.
The third spot had two longer drop rails and the competitors kept tearing it up. You could literally feel the energy of the competitors and the spectators buzzing. The final spot was a steeper drop rail in the center of a 30 step staircase and was the ice cream on the cake. We saw Ray Kronenberg be the wizard that he is and do the impossible with a makio stall on a cement block on the ground near the rail and chuck his body over the rail to a top soul to fakie out. Julian Mire threw the most steezy top acid after fracturing a rib earlier in the day at the first spot. And Grant Hazelton threw a top soul on the rail’s middle section then jumped to a soul grind on the top rail to fakie out. Everyone was cheering loudly as we ended the competition after Grant’s trick.
Montre Livingston received first place. Grant Hazelton got second place. Mike Harper got best trick and third place. The blading was insane and the vibes were incredible. We ended the evening at a local brewery to celebrate with the competitors and supporters. It was the perfect Saturday and we couldn’t thank our competitors and supporters enough!
Be sure to follow Gold Comp on their social media pages for news on upcoming events.