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Skateboarding competition Saturday first of its kind at Skatenorth park in Tulsa

by Nour Habib [April 11, 2012]

Skateboarding competition Saturday first of its kind at Skatenorth park in TulsaJono Sinclair never intended to get into skateboarding. His mother surprised him with a board as a Christmas present when he was in elementary school, and it just sat around for a while.

But now, at age 22, Sinclair skateboards regularly. On Saturday, he will participate in the skateboarding contest sponsored by Tulsa Parks and The Board Shop.

The competition is the first of its kind to be held at Skatenorth, 2910 E. 56th St. North, a skating park that opened about a year ago. Sue Price, a sports specialist coordinator for Tulsa Parks, said she hopes it will become an annual event.

Brian McNair is the owner of The Board Shop. He and Sinclair say the new park is the best in town, made entirely of concrete and featuring a good design.

McNair, 40, began skateboarding at age 14. His shop is providing some of the judges for the event, and it has sponsored competitions at other Tulsa locations. He expects up to 150-200 participants at Saturday's event.

"It's something I've always been passionate about," McNair said. "I'm trying to give back to the sport. I love to see kids doing it and having the same feeling I did when I started."

McNair said the sport is often attractive to kids who don't like to be coached.

"Skateboarding is something you can learn on your own pace," he said. "If you want to push it hard, you can, and if you don't and you just want to roll around and have fun, that's cool, too."

Sinclair spent some time Tuesday afternoon practicing for the competition. He intends to enter at least two of the contest's three categories - Street and Bowl - which he thinks he has a chance at winning. As for the third category, Best Trick, he's still thinking.

"There's some really good riders out there, that are way better than I am," he said.

The sport takes endurance, Sinclair said. That's why each person's run only lasts 45 seconds to a minute and a half.

The Bowl category, especially, takes a lot of effort to go up the walls, he said. "You're using a lot of your legs, you're pumping a bunch just to maintain speed."

The Best Trick category will be a 20-30 minute "jazz session" that allows skaters to attempt multiple tricks on an obstacle chosen by the judges, such as the stair hand rail, McNair said.

Participants can register on site on the day of the event. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the contests start at noon. Registration is $10 for one event or $20 for all three. The Street category will be divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The other two categories will be open to all.

Start Date: April 14, 2012
End Date: April 14, 2012

Location: Tulsa