Over 100 competitors – most of them from out of town – will descend on Bay Skate this weekend to buttercup, back flip and throw down in the 2024 FRS NZ Scooter Nationals.
The biggest scooter event the country has seen is on 19 and 20 January at Bay Skate on Marine Parade in Napier. The official practice day for competitors is this Thursday 18 January with riders from all over the country already arriving to squeeze in as much time on the course as possible.
Kyle Hamilton, Bay Skate Manager, explains the competition is the largest event on the Bay Skate calendar.
“This is massive for us, and for Napier, because it shows us off to the scooter world, riders, supporters and fans and it holds our reputation in action sports circles,” says Kyle. “Bay Skate is a Mecca for scootering, all riders want to come here.”
Those competing in the youth classes (11 and under, 13 and 15) often brings parents and siblings with them who make full use of their time in Napier.
“They stay in local accommodation, eat in local cafes and restaurants, use local businesses, go to visitor attractions like the MTG and Ocean Spa, or over to Splash Planet, so it’s a boon for our economy,” Kyle says.
Riders competing at Nationals include Jett Williams, one of the top riders in the world, Alex Madsen who came second the worlds in the pro women’s division last year and Cooper Steen who placed third at the 2023 Worlds. The top riders from this week’s competition will qualify for the World Skate Championships in Rome in August 2024.
There are seven divisions in this week’s competition. Alongside the youth classes are junior, open and pro. From 87 competitors in 2023, the champs has grown to include 140 riders, including 20 locals. It’s estimated there will be close to a thousand spectators on each of the two days. Tickets are $25 for a two-day pass or $15 for a day pass available through the Bay Skate website (bayskate.nz). Door sales are $20 per day.
Once the Scooter Nationals have wrapped up, the Bay Skate team will begin preparing to welcome riders from across Australasia for the Oceania Scooter Continental Champs held at the park in March 2024.