On a roll | TheUnion.com

On a roll

Jeff Miller

What began as sidewalk surfing in the late 1950’s has culminated over the weekend in the Second Annual Skateboard Competition at Condon Park in Grass Valley Saturday.

Hundreds were in attendance, seated on hay bales, beach chairs, benches, and under shaded tents, where even the mass of pine trees the park offers was not enough to fend off the late-May sun.

There were close to 100 competitors in the day’s event, ranging in experience from beginner to advanced, but most were out for the pure fun of it.

“There’s no real competition here,” Tyson Tucker, a 16-year-old Nevada Union sophomore said. “There’s just a group of friends skating.”

Tucker, one of the younger participants in the advanced division of the tournament, has only four years of skating experience under his belt – minuscule compared to skaters in their mid-twenties with the lion’s share of that age spent skating. Nevertheless, Tucker feels at home with his elders.

“I’m surrounded by these people every day,” he said, “So I’m fine.”

When he says he’s surrounded by these people every day, it’s nearly the truth. Since the skate park came into being five years ago, it has been the second home for nearly every loyal skateboarder in Nevada County.

“The premise behind (the park) was to have a place where young people are welcome,” said president of the CCA and an organizer of the park Chris Drainville. “Most of these people are here every day.”

“It’s somewhere to skate every day,” Tucker explained. “You never get kicked out, you can always get better.”

For so many, skateboarding molds the way of life, and although it is not always taken as seriously when it comes to competition as other sports, it is regarded with no less reverence.

“It’s the funnest thing in the world,” said Nevada Union senior Ian Fuenzalida, panting for air after his run in the advanced competition’s second heat ended. “Skateboarding is my own special nirvana.”

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