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Pro skaters coast into town
It was a dream weekend for local skateboard fans.
Some of the top athletes in the sport made their way to the Oak Harbor Skate Park on Saturday as part of the High Fives up the I-5 Tour, put on by the Girl Skateboard team.
Its always been a dream that I could get a pro team out here at some point, organizer Terrill Simecki said. Im just super happy about it.
Although the name suggests the participants may be female, Girl is strictly the name of one of the more popular companies in the world of skateboarding. Some of the top names participating on their team include, Brian Anderson, Paul Rodriguez, Mike Carroll , Jereme Rogers and Rick McCrank.
You would never even think that these guys would come here and theyre here, fan Justin Connolly said.
Getting them to perform here wasnt really that difficult. A simple email from Simecki to the team manager a few months ago and thats all it took for Oak Harbor to become one of the locations added to the list that included large venues such as Sacramento, Portland and Seattle.
Were so lucky to have them out here, Simecki said. If you look at their tour poster were one of the smallest towns on there.
With a good 200 plus fans of all ages on hand, the skaters performed a demo, showing off their various skills.
These are some of the elite skateboarders, Simecki said. It would be like the San Antonio Spurs playing basketball at Oak Harbor High School.
The skateboarders didnt disappoint, as they performed a variety of kick flips, ollies and rail grinds that obviously pleased those in attendance.
This is the best thing thats ever happened to Oak Harbor, fan Mike Darcy said.
Not only did the fans have fun, but the pro boarders also enjoyed the experience on what was their final leg of the tour.
I didnt really have any demos in my town when I was growing up, its really cool to do this for the kids, Brian Anderson said.
Along with the theme of giving back to the kids, the group spent over an hour at Gizmos Board Shop signing autographs before they made their way down to the park to perform.
Anderson, who was voted Thrasher magazines skateboarder of the year in 1999, was impressed with the set up at the Oak Harbor Skate Park.
Its one of the best ones Ive been to (on the tour), Anderson said. I like stuff thats smaller with ledges and stuff and not just have bowls. You can get more creative here, theres just so many ways to hit everything.
With the success of Saturdays demo, Simecki plans on bringing a similar event to Oak Harbor next year.
Were going to try and get something going like this every year, he said.