Summer’s spin and glide moves — skateboards, Gravity Games …

gravitygames.


Sometimes, walking around the block, I hear the whirr of small wheels on asphalt, and then 2 or 3 or 4 skateboarders come slaloming down the hill. There’s the possibility of a continuous half-mile ride there if they run the stop sign. Which can be done, with caution. That’s another thing about summer that I like — skateboards.

They were invented in the ’50s in California, became popular in the ’60s, but were limited by the steel wheels and lack of good places to ride. That changed in the ’90s in California, and then we got the Gravity Games, which were held in Cleveland in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

Fantastic event! The pipes are much steeper, much scarier, than they appear on TV. The skaters who step off into that gravity-compressing vortex have nerve, nerve, and more than nerve — exquisite balance and leg strength. If there is a big-time skateboarding competition near you, GO!

They are bit hard to photograph though, because the best shots are up against the sky, where the sun and kleig lights wash out your exposure. And the action is so fast you need a wide open lens.

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