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Skateboarding: The Birdman’s ride

Tony Hawk kicks off his Left Coast Tour in Santa Clarita

Posted: July 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Legendary professional skateboarder Tony Hawk demonstrates his skills for the crowd at the Santa Clarita Skate Park in Santa Clarita on Saturday.

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Mason Oh stood on a set of stairs overlooking a square bowl in the middle of the Santa Clarita Skatepark just to catch a glimpse of Tony Hawk as he rode by on his skateboard.


“I’ve never seen him in person before,” said Oh, an 11-year-old Santa Clarita resident, at Saturday’s kickoff demo for the Birdhouse Left Coast Tour. Oh came to the demo dressed to impress, wearing a signature Tony Hawk helmet, T-shirt and shoes.


“(Hawk) is one of the world’s best skaters and he’s my idol,” Oh said.


About 500 people came to the demo to watch Hawk and his team. Many people crowded around the edge of the park’s two bowls that several of the professional skateboarders were riding.


“I thought it was amazing when I found out (Hawk) was coming,” Oh said. “But now he’s here and it’s the best thing ever.”


The crowd cheered when Hawk performed an aerial maneuver near the top of the park’s fullpipe — two vertical ramps juxtaposed next to each other with a roof on top.


The crowd collectively gasped when Birdhouse team rider Aaron Homoki attempted a lein disaster in the round bowl and fell. The maneuver involves a skateboarder grabbing his board near his heel and then hitting the board against the lip of the ramp before riding back down to the bottom.


Homoki nailed the trick two runs later and the crowd cheered. Several skateboarders smacked their skateboards against the metal pipe that runs along the perimeter of the bowl — a skateboarder’s way of showing approval.


Hawk ended his part in the demo by performing a 540  in the park’s square bowl. Hawk performed the maneuver by hoisting himself several feet above the top of the ramp and spinning one-and-a-half revolutions before landing back on the ramp.


It took Hawk four tries to land the trick, and many in the crowd threw up their arms and cheered when he landed it.


Austin Fox, an 11-year-old Santa Clarita resident, said watching the skateboarders ride the park’s two bowls was his favorite part of the demo.


“It’s pretty cool to see Tony Hawk here,” Fox said. “I skate here every Sunday.”

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