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Ridge Riot grows bigger and better

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By Ryan Naus

The Dry Ridge Skate Park is known in the tri-state area as a skate park that flows well and is unique, built to the terrain of the hill that it sits on.

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Its distinctiveness was on display as over 500 spectators came to watch Ridge Riot 3, a skateboarding competition sponsored by the Ridge Skate Shop and the Golden Art Project, on May 17.

“I thought it was outstanding,” Roy Lester, owner of the Ridge Skate Shop and host of Ridge Riot, said. “We had such a great turnout and everybody enjoyed the show. Everything turned out great. There were a couple lumps and bruises, but it comes with the territory.”

The event brought skateboarders from Grant County, Lexington, Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati for the beginner, intermediate, advanced and bowl divisions.

Micah Wu, an 11-year-old skateboarder from Lexington, took first place in the advanced division, winning the $500 prize and demonstrating his skills as he rode with older skaters.

“I like Dry Ridge because it’s got good flow and it’s a unique park,” Wu said. “I think Ridge Riot is fun because I like when there is more competition and you get to meet new friends.”

Wu will be featured on Next X on the DisneyXD channel and just had his own skateboard designed by Phenom Skateboards.

Forrest Hagedorn of Grant County took first place in the bowl competition, earning $100 in his re-debut after a car accident that left rods in his leg.

Wu and Hagedorn shared the stage with local skaters, as they enjoyed showing the county the passion that skateboarders have and the physicality of the sport.

“To see the city build something like this, it’s pretty cool,” said Danny Stewart of Dry Ridge. “It helps build up the sport and everyone from this town should know how much of a physical sport it is.”

“Ridge Riot can show how meaningful skateboarding can be for some people,” said Al Hart of Latonia. “It shows that skateboarding is big and it’s something for younger skaters to encourage them to keep skating hard.”

The event also allows people who aren’t involved with skateboarding to experience the competition.

“It’s magical,” Lester said. “It shows that people aren’t turning their noses up to this. They are curious so they come and see. When they come and sit down, I know they like it and they enjoy the show.”

Lester is already looking forward to Ridge Riot 4 and the opportunity for the sport to become even bigger in Grant County.

“I think next year it will be even bigger and even better,” Lester said. “I was nervous going into this year, but once the day got started, I looked around and felt it in my heart. It’s an emotional thing for me because I could never have guessed that this many people were going to care and wanted to see it.”

Complete results:

Beginner division - Terry McDaniel, first place; Cody Zehnder, second place; Cody Taylor, third place

Intermediate division - Jeffrey Penick, first place; Robbie Rich, second place; Jacob Case, third place

Advanced division - Micah Wu, first place; Ben Osborne, second place; Geran Thur, third place

Bowl competition - Forrest Hagedorn, first place; Matt Modual, second place