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Skate park ramps up

Skateboarders fly on opening day

Skateboarders fly on opening day

May 03, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - With knees bent and eyes focused, the skater roared to the top of the wooden ramp, flailing through the air as the skateboard's deck hit metal.

After landing hard on his back, the boy writhed on the floor for a few seconds. Then, he picked up his skateboard and did it again.

About a dozen pad-armored and helmeted youths took to the ramps and rails Wednesday as the City of Hagerstown's Skate Park opened for the season underneath the grandstand at Fairgrounds Park.

"My favorite part is flying through the air when you're doing a trick in the air," said 10-year-old Wesley Sink of Hagerstown, who skated with his brother as the boys' mother worked the front desk.

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John Fraser, 11, of Smithsburg, said he has been skating since he was about 6, and he first started doing tricks on the ramps about a year or two later.

"I like new tricks because you feel great when you learn a new trick, especially when you learn a new trick that a pro skater has won a competition with," John said.

Coasting down ramps and skimming metal beams, skaters scissored the air as their skateboards rolled away from their feet or skidded wrong side up.

Mason Nemes, 6, gingerly practiced his moves after his mother, Laura Nemes, helped insulate him in protective gear.

"I like getting to do crazy stuff," Mason said.

A self-described "daredevil," Nemes, of Clear Spring, said her boys idolize skating's icons.

"Tony Hawk has made all the kids insane," Nemes said.

Nemes said she has been thrown from horses, and she apparently isn't much luckier on skateboards.

"I do it in the driveway sometimes, and yeah, I fall," Nemes said.

Fred Munson, 34, of Hagerstown, recounted how he broke his neck before he became a father.

"Trying to jump - launch - over my mother's car," Munson said.

He cleared the car lengthwise, and said the injury didn't deter him.

"I had a neck brace on and I was still skating," said Munson, who shredded through the skatepark with his two sons.

John said his mother tried just once before ending her skating days with a broken arm.

As skaters whizzed by, John spoke above the surfing roar of wheel against concrete.

"You need balance, and you need to be really flexible," said John, who explained what makes a good skater. "And, you need to be able to take a hit."

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