Arnold Sports Fest: Cow Town Showdown

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Carson Silva lived in four states by the time he was in junior high. But wherever he went, skateboarding seemed to follow.

There were days when he'd sit on a rickety department-store board, rolling down the driveway. There were days when he'd dream of going big, watching older skaters rip a nearby neighborhood park.

Then there was the day at age 11 when he received his first pro board.

Not long after, Silva started to shred.

"It's hard to put into words, but it's just fun and kind of gets your mind off things," said Silva, 17, a junior at Bishop Watterson High School. "You don't worry about anything but skating when you're out there."

Riding multiple times per week for the past six years, Silva honed the skills that recently landed him a team spot with Resident Skateboards, a board and clothing company based in Westerville.

"I've known him since he was 12 or 13," said Tedd Cookerly, Resident's co-owner. "When he's skating, kids step back and watch him. I don't feel like we've ever wasted a board on him."

This weekend, Silva will bring that show-stopping skill to the Cow Town Showdown, a street-course skateboarding event now in its second year as part of the Arnold Sports Festival. Two days of competitions, contests, demos and parties will take place Saturday and Sunday at Skate Naked Indoor Skatepark in Grandview.

Though a contest is different from an afternoon with friends, Silva's attitude won't change: Go skate, have fun.

"I don't do anything different," he said. "I used to plan a line when I would skate my first contests. I'd miss a trick, then I'd get stressed and start missing everything."

And about where he finishes?

"If I win, cool," he said. "If I don't, I'm not losing anything. I came here with my board, and I'm going to leave with my board."

This outlook is key to Silva's success, Cookerly said. A raw talent for backside tail-slides and 360 flips combines with a humble attitude, friendly demeanor and solid work ethic.

Case in point: Most kids bitch about not getting noticed by sponsors, then flake out when invited to submit footage or hang with a team. When Silva got his chance with Resident, he showed up early, ripped the session and stayed late.

"With skateboarding, you just get better by having fun," Silva said. "Going out, having fun, skating - that is your training."

Cow Town Showdown

Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6

Skate Naked Indoor Skatepark

1281 Edgehill Rd., Grandview