Local BMXers Compete at Houghton Park Proving Grounds

BMX LongBeach-9

Photos by Nicholas Noell

Houghton Park’s skate park was more crowded than usual this weekend. Ordinarily, summer means there are a few dozen neighborhood kids riding the bowl on their skateboards or grinding out Razor scooter tricks on the street half of the course, but on Sunday, tents from major action sports brands took over the concrete skate park, passing out free swag to the hundred or so attendees, blasting music and putting on Proving Grounds, a unique BMX competition that lets both young and old hopefuls show their stuff to out-of-town judges. 

“Entering competitions can be very scary for first-timers, said Stephanie Finkel, Marketing and Events Manager for Transworld, whose RideBMX magazine produced the event along with No Fear. “Proving Grounds gets them used to what the contest circuit is like. It helps foster the next generation of BMX pros and keeps the sport growing.”

Now in its second summer of casual competitions, Proving Grounds is different from other major events of its kind in that it allows riders to compete against people not only in their age group, but of their same skill level. This means that for each group–which spanned from “11 and under” to “35-plus”–there were both novice and advanced categories, giving new local riders an opportunity to compete without the pressure from professional-level talent. 

Houghton Skatepark, known within the BMX community as the “graffitii park” for its painted bowls and walls, was Proving Grounds’ second stop of three and the only one outside of San Diego County, drawing talent from Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Finkel said that Houghton’s skate park has been a breeding ground for BMX talent since its construction in 2004 and that the Action Sports Kids (ASK) Foundation has been a longtime facilitator in bringing Southern California’s greater BMX community to oft-forgotten Long Beach.

“We love going to communities that really support their BMX scene,” said Finkel. “ASK is a key partner in events like this and we couldn’t do stuff here without them.”

Despite more than 40 riders from around the region competing across all categories, a few Long Beach riders came out on top. Markell Jones took first place in the 15-17 novice category and Dabir Fischer won first in the 18+ novice category. Full results are below.

Video courtesy of Transworld RideBMX.


1st Brian McIntosh

1st Max Vu
2nd Tyler Bush
3rd Braeden Davis

lst Tucker Smith
2nd Demetri Syrengelas
3rd Alex Taylor

15-17: NOVICE
lst Markell Jones
2nd Lyle Watson  

lst Emmet Thomas
2nd Michael Harkous
3rd Anthony Nunez
4th Austyn McIntosh
5th Chris Friedrichs
6th Victor Robles
7th Jarod Carabajal  

lst Dabir Fischer  

lst Brad Thomas
2nd Cory Clark
3rd Zach Takacs
4th Nic Hilton
5th Justin Shorty
6th Jacob Carabajal  

lst Freddy Chulo
2nd Bryant Dubon
3rd Ron McCoy
4th Paul Davis
5th Todd Spriet

ODI best trick Brad Thomas – barspin flair

Photos by Nicholas Noell


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