AUGUSTA — It might not look like much, but for approximately five dozen people, this space in the heart of Maine’s capital city is plenty.

Blink, and you’ll miss this old storage facility, one that’s certainly overlooked amid the backdrop of the more striking Blaine House and State Capitol buildings. As a storage building, it’s neither noticeable nor much of a business or tourism draw — but on this mid-March afternoon, it’s where some of the area’s most dedicated skateboarders want to be.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 10 years old, and it’s every skateboarder’s dream to get an old warehouse like this and turn it into a place where you can skate around,” said Maine Skateboard Association President Tobias Parkhurst, who owns the facility. “I’m fortunate to be able to have that, and it’s great for days like today.”

Skateboards striking ramps, benches and the cement floor; boarders and spectators oohing and aahing over exciting tricks and well-executed landings; music playing over two loudspeakers as those in attendance share stories and beverages. Those were some just of the sights and sounds Saturday at the MSA’s “S-K-A-T-E” fundraiser in the south Augusta location.

This event was the first S-K-A-T-E tournament fundraiser held by the Maine Skateboard Association, which partnered with Cushnoc Brewing to put on the event in Parkhurst’s space. Although not very large, the space is big enough for two skateboarding lanes, a practice area, ramps, a small half-pipe and a DJ table when empty.

Proceeds from the event went toward future MSA events this season along with an effort to promote skateboarding in the state of Maine. That, event emcee Scott Day said, includes constructing new skate parks and helping the sport get a foothold with prospective competitors in younger age groups.


“There’s a lot of room to get people who have never done it and may not fit into a normal sports area into skateboarding,” Day said. “Skateboarding is an individual thing, but at the same time, it’s not. As you see here, we have a lot of people who gather as a group and have a lot of fun together.”

The game S-K-A-T-E, for those unfamiliar, takes on a formula similar to the basketball game of H-O-R-S-E. Just as players in the latter are given letters when failing to make the previous player’s shot, skateboarders must execute the other’s trick successfully to avoid such a fate. The first player to force five letters out of their opponent wins.

The competitions were largely tight with many coming down to the final letter. Such was the case in an early matchup between Dexter Morse and Ryan Asselin; the former did a trick that the latter nearly matched in impressive fashion but instead lost his balance by the slimmest of margins.

As for the day’s bracket winners, Bryce Grenier sailed through the open tournament division, overcoming Josh Littlefield in the final to take the title. In the 35-and-over division, Dan Flynn defeated Preston Haynes in a competitive final match for the championship.

“Those were some great finals; all of these contests and all of these events, they’re always a great time,” Day said. “It’s like one big family; I think just about everybody here knows each other by name. … I think an event like this is just kind of a natural evolution of what we’re trying to do.”

The event was an early precursor to the MSA’s 2023 Maine Skateboard Series, in which five championship events will be held at venues across the state. Those competitions are scheduled for June 17 in Augusta, July 15 in Portland, Aug. 19 in Lewiston, Sept. 16 in Bangor and the finals Nov. 11 in Bath.

Competitors traveled from all over the state to participate in the games. The event, Parkhurst said, was a chance for skateboarders from different parts of Maine to connect — an opportunity, he said, which boarders in a smaller state with scarcer opportunities to get outdoors much of the year are eager to take advantage.

“When you’re in a state that doesn’t have the population density, skate parks have to pull from such distance,” Parkhurst said. “I just get so much out of skateboarding, and for me to be able to give any opportunities to make the place we live in cooler, I want to do that.”

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