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Skating ‘superbowl’ a hit


27625149 10212848500500578 3185442819489944795 o-496Flexibility of the boards and the dexterity of the riders all adds to the entertainment factor and leads one to wonder with some anticipation just what we will see when skateboarding makes its debut at the next Olympics.

Can the crowd get any bigger at the annual Mangawhai Bowl Jam? Vantage points were full and the Mangawhai skate bowl complex was simply chocka despite the heat on February 3.

Just like surfing, the oldies simply can’t give it up, and every year comes a new and younger wave of riders with a new range of moves and tricks that wow the vast array of spectators.

 Even for those who don’t know a nollie from a stalefish, watching boarders do their thing is certainly entertaining and, given the variety of ages, rarely repetitive with some incredible high level moves plus some incredible wipe-outs. Unprotected heads, knees and elbows often don’t fare well in contact with concrete but with such gritty riders there is little option but to ‘get back on the horse’. Plus, many are great performers.

Among the masters 40-plus section are ex-pros Dave Crabb and Andrew Morrison who, with 30 years of skating behind them, actually paved the way for skateboarding in New Zealand and can still take it to the younger brigade. Skating in New Zealand is establishing its own history.

“Theadrenaline running through all these guys and girls is incredible and after seven years I love to see the progression. There’s never the fastest man in the world, there is, in time, someone faster or better or bolder or more daring and it’s the same in skateboarding from year to year,” says MC Jesse Peters who, apart from being the lynch-pin from the first event also gives up the mic to run the bowl himself.

Other than intermittent rain spells, the event went off without a hitch and continued to provide an impressive lineup of skaters.

Main awards went to: U16 Rico Henare, Women Rhya Henare, Masters Andrew Morrison, Open Bowman Hansen, Best Trick Shaun Boucher.

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- PHOTOS/Melody Tito

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