Running a Skate Comp is a great way to get into new schools and a great way to get new kids through the doors of your youth ministry.
Dave Edgar’s (the ythmin.com creator) youth ministry runs one every year and always sees a lot of teens make decisions to follow Jesus.
If you would like to run one in your area it will take a lot of work, but has a massive return.
The basic idea is this: On the Friday night turn your church auditorium or carpark into a skate park & host a skate comp. Run the heats in schools each day of the week leading up to the finals and then invite students to represent their school in the finals at your Youth Group.
One Youth Vic turned their auditorium into an indoor skatepark (see pictures below) by placing yellow tongue timber (which is a tongue & groove style sheet flooring material), on top of the carpet. It does no damage to the original floor coverings (if carpet), is fairly cost effective, it’s quick to setup/pack-up, and is awesome to skate on!
To source out skate ramps for your comp you’ll need to keep a few things in mind:
1. How portable are they
If you are running a school tour in the lead up to your finals you might want some of the ramps you get to be easy to transport. One Youth Vic used some large ramps for their finals but some small “fresh park” portable ramps for the tour. The fresh park ramps fold up and fit easily into the back of a van.
2. Can I get public liability insurance with these ramps
Some insurance companies will only insure your ramps if they are under 1m high. For One Youth Vic’s skate comp they kept the school’s tour ramps under 1m but in the finals, they paid extra to get the insurance cover for bigger ramps.
3. Are they in my price range
This event can easily blow out on the cost so be smart about how you spend your money. Buy secondhand ramps as they don’t hold their value and if you by a ramp second hand you’ll save big dollars!
If you don’t have a massive budget why not hold the event at a local skate park instead…
Or if you really want to host it at your church but don’t have a big budget consider running a street style skate comp instead of vert. Then you’ll be able to get away with rails, barrels, stairs, cones etc. these items are a lot cheaper than vert ramps.
4. How long will they last
If you buy large ramps, do you have somewhere under cover where you can store them? If they are made of wood and you leave them outside in the rain they will swell and be destroyed very quickly.
5. Are the ramps skate-able
Engage with some skaters in your youth group when planning this event. The skaters will know what ramps are worth getting. There’s no point buying a ramp if none of the skaters want to skate it.
Once you’ve worked out your ramps you can start hitting up schools for the tour during the week.
Run a lunchtime demo or mini comp each day at a different school during the week. Some schools only want a demo for safety reasons so just be prepared to cater for whatever the school wants. Below is a few example letters and permission forms that “One Youth Vic” use to help get into schools (Feel free to take and adapt to your needs).