The reviews are in: Rhodes Skate Park is a hit.
The Downtown Boise park, which hosted some of the world’s top skateboarders and BMX riders this week for the X Games qualifier, received glowing reviews.
Tom Schaar, the men’s skateboard winner, advanced to his sixth X Games after taking first in Saturday’s final. The 17-year-old has been to countless parks across the nation in his career. Rhodes, he said, is among the best.
“This is up there, for sure. It’s a good park,” Schaar said. “I love it.”
Since its reopening in August 2016, Rhodes has been lauded by locals. At the time, Element Skateboards co-owner Kori Schillereff called it “the most amazing skate park that we have ever seen built.” The renovations cost $1.3 million.
It’s one thing to hear from locals how great Rhodes is. It’s another to hear it from some of the world’s best extreme sports athletes.
What makes it so good? Despite being a smaller venue, a combination of equipment and pacing made it great, according to first-place BMX finisher Nick Bruce.
“It’s a really sweet skate park,” Bruce said. “If this was my local public park, I’d probably be here every day.”
Dalton Beeson, the lone Boisean to compete in any of the three events, finished 11th in the men’s skateboard. He said Rhodes has significantly helped spur interest in skateboarding in Boise.
“Boise blew up pretty quick,” said Beeson, 24. “It gets bigger and bigger.”
Brighton Zeuner, the top finisher in women’s skateboarding at the tender age of 12, spent almost a week in Boise preparing for the competition. In addition to the facility itself, Zeuner was pleased with the people in the stands and in the town.
“I had an amazing week here. This is definitely a little bit of everything,” Zeuner said. “I met so many new friends here. Everyone is just super cool.”
The crowd was electric for both days, from the moment practice began to the second the BMXers finished their final runs. The crowd was estimated at more than 7,000 between the two days, according to Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway.
“They were going it at it. They were hyping everybody up and were backing everyone, so that was pretty cool,” Schaar said. “This is a great place for (skateboarding).”
The X Games coming to Boise was a bit surreal for Beeson. Never in his wildest dreams did he think a world-class skate park would be hosting such an event in his backyard.
Beeson received the loudest applause. Though he started off nervously, he appreciated the support and eventually found his groove. And the chance to inspire a future X Games star was special, too.
“I hope that happens, (with) all these kids seeing everybody,” Beeson said. “Pick up a bike or a skateboard.”
As for the X Games making a return to Boise? Bruce is all for it.
“It worked really well today and this weekend,” Bruce said. “So why not bring it back?”
X Games qualifier
The top four finishers in Saturday’s women’s skateboard and the top six finishers in the men’s skateboard and BMX earned invitations to X Games Minneapolis, which will take place July 13-16 and will be broadcast on ESPN networks. Highlights from this week’s qualifier in Boise will air June 18 on ESPN 2 and June 24 on ABC.
Women’s skateboard qualifiers: 1. Brighton Zeuner 80.33, 2. Hanna Zanzi 76.00, 3. Kihana Ogawa 75.33, 4. Poppy Olsen 74.00.
Men’s skateboard qualifiers: 1. Tom Schaar 88.66, 2. Clay Kreiner 85.00, 3. Heimana Reynolds 82.00, 4. Tristan Rennie 81.33, 5. Alex Sorgente 80.33. 6. Brad McClain 74.00.
BMX qualifiers: 1. Nick Bruce 89.60, 2. Daniel Sandoval 89.20, 3. Kevin Peraza 88.00, 4. Mike Varga 87.60, 5. Colton Walker 87.40, 6. Pat Casey 86.80.