Boarders show off skating skills

Dan Walton stroked the concrete with his toe, building up momentum as his rode his skateboard directly toward a foot-tall wooden platform.

Just before impact, Walton did a quick duck and then straightened, rising up over the platform. His skateboard rose, too, like it was pasted to his feet and Walton glided off the far side of the platform to applause and appreciative calls.

Walton was among some 70 skate boarders who competed for prizes and bragging rights at a completion Saturday at the Mills Park skateboard park.

The Carson City Recreation Department and 702 board shop sponsored the contest, which could be the first of many for boarders and in-line skaters,recreation department special events coordinator Joyce Lancaster said.

Jimmy Koyama, owner of 702, said the contest was a chance for the skaters to show off by picking their own tricks for a 75-second shot at the prizes.

"The skate park here is great, but they really need to expand it, especially since they outlawed skating downtown," Koyama said.

The ban in the community's commercial core was recently enacted after business operators complained skateboarders were damaging concrete and presenting a hazard to pedestrians.

Skateboarding skills often involve sliding along the edges of concrete obstacles on the underside of the board's deck. The city's skate park was constructed of a stronger concrete to better survive such wear than most curbs or cement stairways.

Jeff Tilton demonstrated one such move, sliding along a two-foot-tall ledge on just the tip of his board. He then sped through the bowl of the park, pulled a 180-degree spin as he shot out and followed up with another half turn as he flew over the park's stairs.

Billy Frederick spent over the edge of the bowl, catching air until he landed in the middle and, as his momentum pushed him out the far side, switched the placement of his feet before he landed.

The teenager competitors all attempted more tricks then they completed successfully and didn't hesitate to take another run at a dramatic move.

Timmy Ray made two runs over the stairs before, on the third, he finessed his routine - landing on the steps' side rail with the board sideways, slide to the ground, land with the board pointed the right way and deck up, skate gracefully away to the general acclamation of the crowd. It was worth the third try.

The prize packages that Koyama cajoled out of suppliers included goodies like CDs, stickers, gloves, clothing, hats and skate trucks. The first-place package, worth over $200, included a gift certificate for shoes and a new skateboard deck, yet unscathed by a slide across concrete.

A list of winners was not available at press time.


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