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Board Out of Their Minds 

Wednesday, Apr 6 2011
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The Bay Area is home to some world-class skateboard culture; you can go to any area skatepark and reasonably expect to run into at least one current pro, an OG shredder from the 1980s, and a lot of insanely talented, undiscovered 12-year-olds. One roll past San Francisco’s Potrero del Sol and you’ll see the sport attracts not only its practitioners but also a throng of spectators, agog from their mountain bikes and baby carriages at the raw impossibility of what the athletes in the park are pulling. At its core, skateboarding is one of the most ridiculous, challenging, and spiritual sports you can get into, very inexpensively. It is unparalleled in its mix of race, class, and age, and it is part of California’s cultural legacy, along with hip-hop and fish tacos. For adults who want to know more, there’s Thursday’s After Dark: Skateboard Science session, which explores the physics of the sport with the help of videos, some history, and demos. Pros from several skate teams rip it up while a couple of dudes announce the science behind their moves. Locals Elissa Steamer — if you haven’t seen her at our local parks, maybe you caught her in any of the first nine Tony Hawk skateboard videogames — as well as Brian Anderson, Tony Trujillo, and Jessie Van Roechoudt are among those blowing your hair back and motivating you to buy a helmet and your own board. How do these clowns do it? Find the answers with your kids at Family Skateboard Science Weekend, where professional skateboarders demonstrate in a temporary skatepark. Families are invited to bring their progeny to skate the ramps in beginner and open sessions. (Minors must have a helmet and a guardian to participate.) The pro team from Mission Skate is on hand to demo and dazzle.

The After Dark session is April 7.
April 9-10, 2011

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Tara Jepsen

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