Oakley Sponsors 7th Annual King of the Park


In a world of points, scoring and sponsorship, there is one event that remains a true grassroots skateboard contest and Oakley is proud to be the title sponsor for the fourth consecutive year. On June 27-29th, riders from all over the country will gravitate to the Progressive Skate Park in Canton, Georgia for the seventh annual King of the Park. This year’s list of competitors includes Danilo Rosario, Tyler Hendley, Manny Santiago, Tom Ryen and Fabrizio Santos.

King of the Park is the only skate contest of its kind. A unique man-on-man double elimination format keeps the focus on what matters-progressive riding. Pro rider Pete Kelly, who has judged the event for six years and running, will be co-hosting the event with Southern skate legend Kelly Welsh.

The contest is the brainchild of Welsh, who brought his love for surf contests to the park. “I started the contest in 2001,” says Welsh. “I was trying to create a contest that was like no other. I love the man-on-man heats. I love that one minute of fame.”

A local hero in the southern skate community, skate shop owner Welsh worked diligently to rebuild the 10 year-old South Coast Skate Park in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was the first business in Waveland, Mississippi to reopen after the storm. South Coast hosted King of the Park last year, but was forced to close earlier this year due to the struggling post-hurricane economy.

The contest will most likely find a new location each year, but it’s sure to remain the most authentic skate contest in the Southeast.

“There’s nothing mainstream about it,” says Welsh. “It’s about the camaraderie and letting the southern Ams shine. The contest has been hidden for so long, now the word is getting out and it’s getting the exposure it deserves.”


Tess Weaver


June 16, 2008