Published on 18 October 2022
Get ready to Rumble
Local skateboarders of all ages will jam with professionals from around Australia on 25-27 November during the APEX Southern Rumble event, and registrations are still open for competitors.
Top skateboarders from South Australia and interstate will come together at the Niipu-niipu Wama/Morton Park skate facility, also known as the Christie Downs skate park, in November to compete at the inaugural APEX Southern Rumble event.
The event is the newest addition to the Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative (ASCI) Pro-Am skateboard tour and the first national-level competition to be held in South Australia.
The family-friendly event kicks off with a launch party on 25 November at Cheffy Chelby’s in Port Noarlunga. Bowl riding and street skating competitions will be held on 26 and 27 November, respectively, with divisions for male and female under-nine, under-12, under-15, men, women, masters, and social events. An awards night and after party at Cheffy Chelby’s on the evening of 27 November will wrap up the festival.
Rumble event manager and ASCI director Donny Fraser says “Onkaparinga has a strong grassroots skateboarding culture and heaps of homegrown talent”.
“The APEX Southern Rumble will provide a range of opportunities to people of all ages, with heaps of fringe activities happening around the main action.
“We’re throwing ego out the window. Young people will have the chance to mingle with professionals, rather than seeing them stuck behind a gate. It’s a great opportunity for young people to watch the pros skating live, see how competitions are run, and get some coaching and practise their skills,” Donny says.
Flagstaff Hill skater Sydney Heide, 11, will compete at APEX Southern Rumble.
“The event is going to show off Adelaide’s skate community and how good it is. I’d usually have to travel interstate to see and compete in big skate comps like Rumble, so I’m hyped it’s coming to one of my locals,” Sydney says.
Being around more experienced skaters will be a highlight for Sydney.
“The older skaters take us groms under their wings and encourage us little dudes to keep going and land our tricks.
“The skate community is amazing. Everyone supports each other. I’m looking forward to meeting some new guys and hopefully some of the pros that I look up to. That would be rad!” Sydney says.
There has been a huge increase in skateboarding among people of all ages in the local area since Niipu-niipu Wama/Morton Park was fully upgraded at a cost of $3.5m and opened to the community in October 2021.
The Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation (RRSF) was fundamental in the site’s development and funding. RRSF continues to provide free sport programs including skateboarding to increase physical activity levels of young people, positive activation of the site, and further community development opportunities.
The skate park was designed with large events in mind. Its enclosed bowl with different heights and large open street area suits a range of skating styles. There’s also purpose-built seating under trees to make viewing comfortable for spectators.
“The strong skateboarding culture continues to grow in the community. The APEX Southern Rumble event is a great opportunity for semi-professional skaters in our area to compete in a national-level competition on their home turf,” says council’s Community Development Officer for Youth Recreation Jeffery Purves.
Jeffery notes the diverse demographic of people using the facilities at the skate park.
“It’s generational; we see little shredders, school kids, older teenagers, adults and families,” Jeffery says.
“The other facilities make it easy for families to enjoy the park. For example, while a member of their group is skating, another child can run around on the play spaces while an adult cooks on the barbecue. The high-quality lighting makes the space great to use after dark too. Lots of adult skaters and BMX riders come in when there’s less traffic,” he says.
The skate park is close to the Christie Downs train station, making it accessible to people from other areas of Adelaide. Jeffery reports that people are travelling from Sellicks Beach and Aldinga, and as far away as Flinders Park and Woodville in the western suburbs.
“People can spend a whole day at Niipu-niipu Wama/Morton Park, enjoying the facilities. There are great takeaway food options from local businesses across the road, and council’s Wardli Youth Centre is nearby,” Jeffery says.
Other events on the ASCI Pro-Am skateboard tour include the Skate Sculpture Rockingham Rumble in Rockingham, Western Australia, and the championship battle at the Rumble on the Reef Festival in Mackay, Queensland. ASCI plans to have created six permanent stops in the Rumble series by 2025.
The City of Onkaparinga has committed to hosting the event again in 2023.
Visit therumble.com.au for more information about the event, including competitor registration.
Young-gun Sydney airs the spine as he moves from bowl to bowl