For those who find it a challenge simply to skate in a straight line, this weekend’s National In-Line Skate Series competition in Huntington Beach could be an inspiration--to push on to the next level, or to hang up the wheels for good.
The contest is one of “aggressive” in-line skating: That means plenty of leaps and twists, and no speed competition. “That’s pretty amazing to watch. They get up and flip around and show their stuff. It’s high-flying,” said Lynn Schabarum, one of the event organizers.
“It’s pretty impressive. I myself could never do it,” she added with a laugh.
There are two events. One is the street course, which has quarter-pipes, launch ramps and ramp slides; the other is the “vert,” which consists of a half-pipe 11 feet high and 24 feet long. In both events, competitors choreograph their own moves and are judged on style, creativity and difficulty.
Saturday’s top 16 men’s and women’s competitors will move on to compete Sunday; the top two male and female finishers will qualify for the Aug. 26-27 finals in Venice.
Schabarum said more than 100 skaters are expected to take part Saturday; last weekend, 126 faced off at a series event in Santa Monica. Competitors have ranged from 5 to more than 40 years old. Those who wish to register Saturday should arrive by 7 a.m.; the contest starts at 9 a.m.
If you don’t feel up to competing, you can still stop by during Pierfest to take a look. The skating event is outside the main Pierfest area, just south of the pier. Spectators can watch the event free, as well as view demonstrations, take part in clinics and skate on a special course.
Also on the Pierfest menu for Sunday: Pier Run ’95. The 5K starts at 7:30 a.m.; the 10K begins at 8 a.m. and race-day registration opens at 6 a.m. Both runs begin at Jack’s Snack Shack, on Pacific Coast Highway across from the Waterfront Hilton. A $25 entry fee includes a T-shirt and Pierfest admission (normally $2 to $5 for those 12 and older). Information: (714) 661-6547.
* What: National In-Line Skate Series contest.
* When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (registration at 7 a.m.); Sunday finals, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
* Where: Just south of Huntington Beach Pier, next to Pierfest.
* Whereabouts: From the San Diego (I-405) freeway, exit at Beach Boulevard and drive west to Pacific Coast Highway, then turn right. Parking is available in the beach lots adjacent to Pierfest and in private lots along PCH.
* Wherewithal: $50 entry for street course or vert competition; $75 for both. Spectators free.
* Where to call: (310) 826-5464.