He started doing it because it looked cool. Now, almost a decade later, skateboarding is one of the few things that hasn't changed for Tim Ray.
"It's hard sometimes, balancing it between everything else you have to do," Ray said. "I've got a kid and a full-time job, so finding time is a challenge."
The 21-year-old was among the 50 people competing at the skateboarding competition Saturday at Mills Park. The event was put on by the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department and 702 Skate and Snowboard Shop.
"We do these twice a year," said 702 owner Jimmy Koyama. "It gives the skaters something to do and encouragement to keep doing it. Plus, it's fun for all of us."
Koyama said that skateparks have been growing in popularity for about the last 10 years.
"It's common for communities to have skateparks nowadays. This was the first skatepark in Northern Nevada," Koyama said.
While Ray has spent every moment he could competing, Saturday's competition was a first for Joey Wheat, 12, of Dayton.
"I've been skating for two years," Wheat said. "I just wanted to come do it for fun and to be able to skate."
Wheat has kept practicing, even though he suffered a concussion just over a month ago.
"I was going pretty fast and hit a rock. I'm just thankful I had my helmet on," Wheat said.
Sammy Amador, 13, of Gardnerville, said he had been preparing for the competition every chance he got.
"I've been skating for about a year and a half," Amador said. "I try to come out here and skate every day because I like doing it."
The event was broken down by age groups: 7 and under, 8-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16 and up.
Each skater was given two 30-second runs to attempt as many tricks as possible. Competitors were scored in three areas: style, consistency and difficulty.
"(The judges) are looking at whether or not they land the tricks and how difficult they are," Koyama said.
But Ray wasn't worried about the judges, after all he was the only one attempting a hardflip-backside-grab-lat-180.
"I was working on variations of some of the tricks, and I just decided to do it," Ray said. "It took me like 10 tries before I landed it."
But it's not the tricks that keep Ray hitting the skatepark.
"You can always go skateboarding, it's always there. If you want to, you can skate even if its raining," Ray said.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.
Results from the Carson City Parks and Recreation, 702 Skate and Snowboard shop Skateboarding Competition:
Ages 7 & under
1st: Harry Meyer
2nd: River Flatley
3rd: Bebop Martinez Jr.
1st: Joshua Douglas
2nd: Daniel Lease
3rd: Joran Raley
1st: Chris Maddox
2nd: R.J. DeCender
3rd: Chris Slingerland
1st: Christopher DeAnda
2nd: Andy Ferguson-McIntyre
3rd: Karl Nevarez
Ages 16 & older
1st: Colton Dudley
2nd: Anthony Riviera
3rd: Brandon Wendt