Neighborhood thrills and spills

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013 -- Neighborhood thrills and spills were the order of business on this grey and blustery spring day.

One Shoreline neighborhood had an unexpected ringside seat to a group of skate boarders on what are called 'long boards' and not to be confused with the standard image of a typical skate board. With special wheels and under carriages, these teens put on an exhibition of nerve, balance and skill supported by long hours of practice.

Several parents traveled with the group to lend their support and supervision while 'locals boarders' volunteered this neighborhood "chill" hill (meaning challenging and great). I was told that all came from northwest locations to test their skills in competition with one another and were drawn to this Shoreline street because of its superior surface and slope.

My initial concern was for the safety of the participants as well as the private and public rights of the neighborhood residents. But after watching for more than an hour, it became clear that all were well mannered and several supervisors watched for neighborhood vehicles as well and a few commercial vehicles like the mail delivery. They were quick to stop the competition for such traffic.

I did see several bumps, bruises and scrapes on the contestants and one observer (boarder) get hit with a runaway board. But all wore helmets, gloves and knee protection at the very least. However it seems no one has yet developed protection for sliding on ones rear. One mother told me that the rear pockets of pants are the first things to go!

--- Text and photography, Marc Weinberg


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