On boards, bikes, wheels turn in Va.

Mobile Skatepark Series puts pros on display

Extreme Sports

July 04, 2004|By Daniel Lyght | Daniel Lyght,SUN STAFF

DULLES, Va. -- It was a skateboarder's dream. Representatives of mall security were standing just feet away, staring at the performers, but weren't obliged to do a thing as the skaters rode around, flipping their boards with their feet, grinding on curbs and jumping over skateboards set up as mini-obstacles.

The youths rode freely with smiles and without worry of official trouble, freedom granted them by the appearance of the Mobile Skatepark Series (MSS), which took over a small square of land for the weekend at the Dulles Town Center.

The series, in its second year at the town center, brought more than 30 extreme sports professionals to the area to give fans a taste of BMX bike riding, skateboarding and aggressive in-line skating. In addition to the sports, the MSS brought rock and hip-hop music.

The morning and early afternoon were quiet, with only practice sessions and amateur in-line skaters on the ramp, but as the afternoon wore on, the excitement grew as the pros took to the 60-foot ramp for practice and competition.

Kim Yarboro of Stafford, Va., drove more than 40 miles for the second year to see the competition. With her last year were her husband and son. This year, she brought her son, two nephews and neighbor's son.

"They're having a great time," Yarboro said during the afternoon. "They're really enjoying the [video] game area," which featured 11 Nintendo consoles.

The major reason for them coming, though, was the Yasutoko brothers from Kobe, Japan. Eito, 20, and Takeshi, 18, are two of the biggest draws in the series because of their ability to pull off some of the most difficult tricks in aggressive in-line skating, including the double flatspin and 1080 California roll -- three full revolutions -- which they performed yesterday.

"They're so so good," Yarboro said. "They're awesome."

Awesome may be an understatement as one of the two brothers has won every in-line vertical contest they've entered since American Marc Englehart won the 2002 Gravity Games.

The brothers' streak stayed alive yesterday, with Takeshi taking first place (94.0 points) over Eito (93.75).

"They mean quite a bit to this sport," Australian skater and third-place winner Shane Yost said. "They've pushed `vert' skating ... [and] in-line skating to the next level."

In the BMX competition, Jamie Bestwick, 32, took the crown away from last year's champ, John Parker, with a score of 95.75, ending the day of competition. Koji Kraft came in second, with Parker behind him.

In between the pro in-line skating and BMX contests, there was a "B-Boy" competition at The Yard, a small stage to the right of the vert ramp. "Breaking," a style of hip-hop dance, drew dancers from as far as Laurel.

Giovanni Galleno, a member of the Geo Cab Cru, has been breaking for six years and teaches it at the Fairland Sports and Aquatic Center in Laurel.

"Hip-hop is my life," Galleno, 21, said.

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