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Morro Bay Skateboard Museum kicks up plenty of memories

Morro Bay Skateboard Museum kicks up plenty of memories
The Morro Bay Skateboard Museum offers a wealth of historical items representing skateboarding from its earliest days, as well as souvenir tees such as this one. The museum receives about 40,000 to 50,000 visitors per year, according to owner Jack Smith, a lifelong skateboarder and Morro Bay resident. (Barbara Odanaka)

If there's one thing older skateboarders have in common, it's nostalgia for the good ol' days.

Get senior skaters together and invariably the talk will turn to skateboard equipment: vintage boards, wheels, safety gear and beyond. Some get almost teary-eyed talking about their first skateboard. I'm one of them.

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This is what makes the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum so much fun. With more than 300 skateboards on display, from the earliest steel wheelers to more modern setups, plus an assortment of skateboard memorabilia, I could easily spend several hours here oohing and aahing. So I did.

Although there are other skate museums — including Skatelab in Simi Valley and NHS Skateboard Museum in Santa Cruz — the Morro Bay museum has become something of a meeting spot for skateboarders traveling up and down the coast. Old-school legends are often sighted, including Stacy Peralta, creator of skate documentaries "Dogtown and Z-Boys" and "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography."

Founder and curator Jack Smith says the museum, which opened in 2012 in the heart of Morro Bay's Embarcadero, receives 40,000 to 50,000 visitors annually, half of which are skateboarders.

Although many visitors spend their initial moments taking a photo atop the "world's second-largest skateboard," a 12-foot metal monster in the museum's foyer, I was more attracted to the historical displays in the back.

That's where I spotted a Hobie Super Surfer skateboard, just like the first one I received, back in the day, on Dec. 25, 1972.

Chills.

Morro Bay Skateboard Museum, 699 Embarcadero, Morro Bay; (805) 610-3565, www.mbskate.com. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free; donations encouraged.

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