As if they hadn’t delivered enough good community vibes this summer, Devonport Rotary and the indefatigable Maire Vieth delivered another excellent event over the weekend; The Scotty Brewer Skate Day at the Ngataringa Skate Park.
Scotty Brewer was a keen young skateboarder who died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition back in 1999. His dream was to build a decent skate park in Devonport for a sport that was at the time just beginning to make a big comeback. Scotty’s parents Craig and Jackie Brewer were both present at the event, which added a nice touch and a note of poignancy.
About 100 lads (and they were all lads) aged from 12 to 16 competed for a cup and prizes by showing their skills in a minute long solo run around the course and pulling as many moves as possible in the time allowed.
The moves themselves had superb names, including The Back Side Disaster, Sex Change and Stale Fish Grab, most of which appeared ludicrously difficult to execute and all of which ended with a sickening crunch if execution was absent.
Each run was expertly commentated by fast-talking uber skate dude, although The Speculator must confess to an ill-timed snigger when the commentator, preparing the crowd for a particularly difficult trick, made it that much more difficult by reminding both the crowd and the competitor that “..so many things can go wrong with this particular trick” just before he was about to begin his attempt. Needless to say, the poor guy ended up on his back side, with his board gliding away across the park toward the commentator, perhaps to express its disappointment at his choice of words.
One particular lad, determined to pull off a move called something like a front side 180 with double reverse overhead twin cam fox tails, left a particularly strong impression on The Speculator.
Given this particular trick involved flying off a six foot jump onto concrete while twisting 360 degrees, his persistence while admirable, was matched only by its fruitlessness. Five valiant attempts each ended with a disturbing splat from the boarder and a sigh of sympathy from the crowd.
Twice the lad hesitated momentarily before detaching himself from the concrete, suggesting something somewhere had hurt, but The Speculator was incredulous at the amount of punishment both this guy and many others sustained, with no apparent (immediate) after effects. Anyone who believes “the young people of today” are soft should spend an afternoon at the skate park.
A chocolate fish each to Devonport Rotary and The Devonport Peninsula Trust for designing and implementing such a great event.