Truck Off

East side, west side skate parks host dual duels

Sat 5/1
In a battle for Valley skateboard supremacy, who's shredding who this Saturday, May 1, when two of the state's newer skate parks -- in Chandler and Glendale -- host their first contests? If you're looking for humility, don't ask CJ Cowie of Industrial Skate & Boards, co-sponsor of Chandler's Skate Contest and Bowl Jam ($5 registration) at 4 p.m. at Snedigar Sportsplex, 4500 South Basha. "I'm from Glendale -- that's my 'hood," says Cowie. "But everyone knows we've got the better skate park over here." To back up his smack, Cowie's pulled in a horde of old pros, including Alex Chalmers and ex-pro Scott Thomas, to rip it up in Chandler's bowl. For details call 480-782-2640.

On the west side, the Foothills Park Skate Court -- 57th Avenue and Union Hills -- hosts its Union Hills Classic ($15 registration). Starting at 9:30 a.m., nearly 120 amateur riders will compete, including sponsored amateur Natalie Das (pictured), the state's top female skater. Call 623-930-2042 for information.

And let the shredding begin. -- Joe Watson

Spin cycle: Chandler and Glendale skateparks host their first contests.
Nicole Pothen
Spin cycle: Chandler and Glendale skateparks host their first contests.
High velocity: The IHBA season opens full throttle during Lakefest at Firebird Raceway.
courtesy of Firebird Raceway
High velocity: The IHBA season opens full throttle during Lakefest at Firebird Raceway.

Lords Of The Ring
The WWF brings the smackdown to the Valley

Mon 5/3
Always wanted to be on TV, but couldn't bring yourself to streak the field at a D-Backs game? Now that World Wrestling Entertainment's "RAW" is coming to America West Arena at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 3, you'd better whip out the Day-Glo posterboard and make a sign that'll get you on camera. But leave the "STONE COLD RULZ" placards at home -- "The Bionic Redneck" just quit the WWE over a contract smackdown. While the Superstars won't be wrestling that particular baldheaded champion, you can witness "The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit take on Shawn Michaels for the world heavyweight championship. Call 480-784-4444 for tickets, $20 to $40. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Water Hazard
Hydros fly at Firebird Raceway

4/30-5/2
Arizona is not synonymous with water. Try telling that to the International Hot Boat Association.

Firebird Raceway kicks off the IHBA season by hosting the 21st running of Lakefest, Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2. Sixteen classes of hot boats -- including the top fuel hydros, top alcohol hydros and top alcohol fuel classes -- will try to shatter Firebird's record of 241 mph, set back in 1999. The weekend begins Friday with testing and tune-ups; qualifying follows on Saturday, and the big races start at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Mark Workentine, last year's IHBA points winner, will try for an early-season jump on the competition, including longtime favorites Ron Braaksma and John Hipwell. And they'll all be back at Firebird in November for the World Finals.

Weekend combo tickets, including a pit pass, are $60; general admission on race day is $22. Firebird is located at 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler. For tickets or information, see www.firebirdraceway.com. -- Joe Watson

 
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