VISAYAN SKATER JOHNPAUL HORTEZA of Lapu Lapu City in the Visayas topped the recently held Red Bull DIY Solo Competition. (Red Bull)

VISAYAN skater Johnpaul Horteza topped the recently held Red Bull DIY Solo Competition, beating four others from different parts of the country for the top prize.

Horteza, 18, from Lapu Lapu City, became the first winner of the Red Bull Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solo Competition, where participants were asked to create their own skate spots to showcase their skills and creativity.

In winning the top prize, Hortaleza, who has been skating as an amateur for seven years now, beat out Trunks Manalo (second place), also of Lapu Lapu City, Marvin Pescador (third) of Cebu City, Cesar Mancera (fourth) and Kim Bonifacio (fifth) Kidapawan, Mindanao.

“I always love skateboarding. It’s a tough sport, but when you get the hang of it, everything is worth it. Rain or shine, I always skate. Of all the sports, this is what I enjoy the most,” said Horteza in Filipino.

Adding, “I did not expect Red Bull would be holding a competition like this. But when I heard of it, I grabbed on the opportunity and I’m happy I won.”

Red Bull DIY Solo Competition was an extension of the Team Competition held in September.

The competitions were something the local skateboarding community welcomed, seeing them as a good platform to further the development of the sport in the country.

“Red Bull DIY goes hand-in-hand with skating, from building something to skate on to doing tricks. For Red Bull DIY, to shell out support not just to build one spot, but to spread the love for skateboarding around the nation is mind-blowing,” said pro skateboarder Demit Cuevas, who was part of the panel that selected the finalists.

“There’s something for everyone who’s down to do it and it has brought so much exposure to different areas while bringing people together. Everyone is hyped for the much-needed support. It brought the sport closer to home,” he added.

Announcing the winner was national athlete and veteran skateboarder Margielyn Didal.

As an added incentive, all five finalists in the Solo Competition were awarded with additional resources to fully develop their DIY skate setups. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo