Skateboarding in its roots

Photo by Adam Lapierre

World champion Jason Mitchell shows his Radikal slalom board on the downtown Hood River course Sunday afternoon.


News staff writer

July 13, 2005

"This is skateboarding in its roots… it's sidewalk surfing,” said reigning World Slalom Skateboarding Champion Jason Mitchell. “We're doing this for the love of skating and camaraderie, not for the money.”

Mitchell and about 45 other skaters from around the U.S. and Canada were in Hood River over the weekend for the 2005 West Coast Skateboarding Championships. The two-day event brought skaters to the scenic Twin Tunnels Historic Highway and to Columbia Street, in front of Full Sail Brewery. Skaters braved road-rash, charged the streets, and hurled themselves downhill for thrills, bragging rights, series points, and, don't forget, big money.

First place finishers walked away with a cool $100.

On Saturday, the Giant Slalom (GS) was held on the Mosier side of the Twin tunnels Historic Highway. The half-mile course consisted of about 95 cones, which the racers negotiated through at high speeds. Last year's winner, Kenny Mollica, posted a winning time of 76.223 seconds. This year Mitchell won the GS race.

On Sunday, the competition moved downtown, for slalom action. Racers started two at a time from an elevated ramp at the intersection of Columbia and Seventh Streets, ripping through a dual tight slalom format course with 50 to 60 cones, set from about five-and-a-half to eight feet apart. The course had several different sections, consisting of straight cones, offsets and step-overs. Scoring was fastest time wins, with half-second increments added to each cone knocked over.

“This is a challenging course,” Mitchell said. “It's really fun and it's just beautiful. We're all just here to do the best we can and enjoy the sport together. Skateboarding is a great sport that really opens doors. This kind of racing is making a comeback. This is the fourth year of solid racing in a row. Some big races have decent prize money but we're doing it for the love of skate, not for the cash.”

“Hood River's race has become one of the favorites for many of the world-class competitors,” local racer and organizer Brian Carlstrom commented. “I've heard of racers coming out of retirement when they heard Hood River was on the circuit.”

As of press time results were not available but more on the West Coast Skateboarding Championships can be found at:

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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