As the contest was being set up, with 45 people registering, I was able to speak with Mark Judd. Judd is the owner of After Dark Skateboards, which has been in business since 2010. Judd handmade the trophy boards being given away as prizes in the contest. He doesn’t just screen-print his graphics on blank decks––he actually presses and shapes the boards himself to his standard, which is AA grade wood from top to bottom sheet. His boards can be found via local companies such as Sk801, BC Surf and Sport, Blindside and Milo, among others. Needless to say, After Dark was a Summer of Death sponsor, and Judd had a tent with some product for sale at the competition.

The contest began set to the beats of DJ Bo York, whose booth was solar-powered by Goal Zero, pumping out green energy in three-digit temps. The 15 and under division started things off with 20-minute heats, giving some of the younger kids a chance to compete without the fear of being smashed by a full grown man.

Eric “Spock” Uquillas, the founder of Spock’s Skate Camp, brought out some of the younger kids to compete—you could tell who they were because they were wearing helmets and elbow pads, and were about three feet tall, as some of them looked no older than 5 years old. Longtime SOD vet Dino Porobic landed an ollie and an early grab back 180, securing him a Third Place position. Jordan Mohr was skating like a man with his clean backside flip off the kicker, which landed him into the Second Place position. Another past contestant, Jorge Martinez, was skating the course well before the contest started.

Martinez landed a front bigspin off the kicker, back 50-50 on the box and a foot plant to tail on the quarter pipe—these tricks guaranteed him First Place in the 15 and under division.