Cowtown's PHXAM returns this weekend.
Cowtown's PHXAM returns this weekend.
Melissa Fossum

Everything You Need to Know About PHXAM 2018

Local skateboard shop Cowtown's is bringing back PHXAM — its annual skateboarding contest — this weekend. Which means 200 industry-sponsored skaters from all around the world (including Japan, Mexico, Australia, and Brazil) will go head to head with dozens of locals at the contest presented with Vans.

Skaters will vie for a cash prize of up to $7,500, while the rest of us snap up cheap spectator seats and live out our badass skating dreams vicariously.

Here's everything you need to know about the event.

When and Where: On Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, spectators can check out PHXAM 2018 at Desert West Skateboard Plaza, 6602 West Encanto Boulevard. Gates open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. The first 500 people through the gates each morning will be rewarded with a limited-edition PHXAM shirt and swag bag.

The Contest: The skateboard competition is split into three events: qualifiers, semifinalists, and finalists. Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, waves of four qualifiers will skate against each other "jam style" for three minutes at a time. Each skater will then be ranked.

The top 39 will go on to skate in Sunday morning's semi-finals, which are set up the same way as the qualifiers and scheduled to being around 11:15 a.m.

Eleven people move on to the finals, where each skater will navigate the skate park solo and complete three one-minute runs. The person with the best run wins $7,500. And the top-four placers each win a four-digit sum.

Immediately after the main competition, skaters will compete for $2,500. That chunk of change goes to whomever executes the best trick.

(As of this writing, judges for the competitions have yet to be announced.)

The skaters: The top two placers of last year won't return in 2018. So don't expect to see Tokyo's Yuto Horigome or Mesa's Jagger Eaton, who won last year's competition, is the youngest X Game competitor ever, and starred in a Nickelodeon documentary series about his life.

However, Jagger's 19-year-old brother Jett Eaton will face off against Ivan Monteiro, Jack Olson, and Tanner VanVark, who all finished in the top half of last year's finals.

The tickets: Presale tickets are available for $5 per day on Cowtown's website.

The After-Party: On Saturday night, hip-hop duo Ho99o9 will headline the Volcom-sponsored after-party at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Joining Ho99o9 are special guests PETYR, Drunk Dom & Roaches, DJ ThotGoth, and Las Chollas Peligrosas. The party is 16-and-up, and the bar will be open for patrons 21 and older with ID. Tickets are available at any Cowtown location and on its website for $17.

Worth Noting: If you're a skater who frequents Desert West Skateboard Plaza, keep in mind that it will be closed from now until March 28 for setup and tear-down.

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