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PHOTOS: Skaters Take Over LaSalle At Annual Skateboard Competition

Saturday June 6th, 2015, 7:28pm


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Over 25 skateboarders were shredding through the skateboarding park at the LaSalle Vollmer Centre Saturday afternoon, showing off their skills, learning and teaching each other about their common hobby.

Now in it’s third year the LaSalle Skate Fest, put on by Essex County Skateboarding in collaboration with the town of LaSalle and Essex Power, has become an annual staple in the skateboarding community giving local skaters the opportunity to showcase their skills and network with other skaters in the area.

Rob Bondy, coordinator of the LaSalle Skate Fest and director of Essex County Skateboarding explains the competition has a large range of participants who participate in three age categories – 13-years-old and under, 14-years-old to 18-years-old and 19-years-old and up. Then the skaters choose between two divisions to compete in. Park, where the skaters skate in a line similar to figure skating where they get an allotted amount of time to string together a number of tricks or the best trick competition where they get a ten-minute jam session to do their best tricks.

“I got back into skateboarding when I turned 41,” said Bondy. “I was looking around seeing that things weren’t going on so I started Essex County Skateboarding and started approaching a couple of the towns about trying to get them to utilize their skate parks like they would utilize any of their other recreational facilities. “

Bondy said LaSalle was the first town who saw the potential in their skate park, but Parks and Recreation committees often don’t know anything about skateboarding, which is where Bondy’s expertise come in.

One of the reasons skateboarding is so popular in this area is because it’s a sport virtually anyone can do, any time, at their own pace. Bondy said that’s one of the reasons the activity has a stigma attached to it, but that’s just one tile in a mosaic masterpiece of very talented skaters.

“[Skateboarding] appeals to troubled kids because the nature of skateboarding is, there’s no coach, there’s no timetable, there’s no set curriculum, you skateboard the way you want to, when you want to, you push yourself as hard or as little as you want to,” said Bondy. “It’s definitely becoming more mainstream because all those things that make you say it attracts the kids who might be on the fringe, in other ways it becomes one of the most accessible activities because you can do it any way that you want.”

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