So, What’s Your Story? Student crowned King of Campus for the second year in a row

Dargan Thompson

By: Dargan Thompson, Assistant Features Editor

 

(Photo by Brett Oakes)

Around 15 UNF students showed off their skating skills Saturday in Red Bull’s King of Campus competition at the UNF Skate Park.

 

The competition was tough, with several of the skaters’ daring tricks earning cheers from the crowd, but the reigning champion, Brooks Jones, was crowned the king for the second year in a row.

 

Jones, a UNF public relations senior, started skating when he was about 11. He said he played baseball until about the sixth grade, but his friends got him into skating, and he enjoyed the new freedom it brought.

 

“There are no coaches to tell you what to do,” he said. “You can do whatever you want.”

 

Jones quickly developed a passion for skating. He and his friends would skate the five miles to school every day, even though they could take a bus.

 

In the years since then, Jones has kept up his passion for skating and also honed his skills. He said he won the King of Campus this year by staying consistent in landing his tricks. His competitors’ skills impressed him, though, and he said many of his fellow skaters landed impressive tricks.

 

He said he was excited to win King of the Campus again. Only UNF students are eligible to win the contest, so it was his last year to enter.

 

However, Jones said he prefers skateboarding for fun to skating in competitions, as competitions can be overwhelming.

 

“It’s better to skate with friends and not worry about it,” he said.

 

After graduation, Jones wants to work as a public relations representative for a skating company. He said he thought about being a professional skater but realized there is not much money in it.

 

“That’s why I go to school,” he said.

 

However, there is a background knowledge in skating that can’t be learned in school, Jones said. He hopes his knowledge of skating and the skills he learns from classes can help him work his way up in a skate company.

 

In the past few years, Jones has experienced back problems, which have affected his skating. Doctors have not been able to figure out exactly what is wrong, and Jones said he is scared of the repercussions of the problems as he gets older.

 

But Jones said he will continue skating.

 

He especially enjoys the opportunities skating brings for traveling and meeting new people. He went to Costa Rica a few years ago to skate and is currently planning a trip with some friends to Barcelona, Spain, which he says is one of the best cities in Europe for skateboarding.

 

For Jones, skateboarding is much more than just a hobby.

 

“It’s a lifestyle,” he said.

 

Email Dargan Thompson at [email protected]

 

Watch this animated short based on the story you’ve just read. It was created by a student in the Applied Journalism class at UNF.