A Skate Racing Comeback
In 1975, a skate film ‘Downhill Motion’ was made in Huntington Beach that featured the unveiling of the culture of longboarding down steep grades in the Irvine area. The Beta Theta Pi fraternity at UC Irvine brought back this OC culture with a downhill skate race that took place on Saturday, May 20, benefiting the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation.
At the event, sanctioned by UCI, racers competed for prizes including sponsored downhill skateboards and decks by Sector Nine, Arbor, Gravity and Carve, as well as clothing prizes by Hurley, Active and Oakley, among others. A raffle for the gear occurred the day of the race where sponsors had discounts on gear and provided information on employment opportunities for the summer.
The Prosthetics Outreach Foundation is an international charity providing prosthetics to victims of landmines and disease in third-world countries including Sierra Leone, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Every $300 raised is enough for a new limb for another human being.
The event took place on a closed-off stretch of California Avenue just past the Anteater Recreation Center. Racers were split into small, medium and longboard heats that were filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. A $10 student and $12 non-student donation to POF was requested from participants.
Protective gear was a must, including helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards and gloves. Gear was provided at the event for those who came unprepared.
For those who aren’t the best skaters but were brave enough to try a hill and get a picture taken, a $10 donation to POF earned one-on-one time with a DSR skate instructor who loaned boards, pads and helmets for avid skaters taking the bunny hill.
This event was not exclusive to Greeks, as even local high schools were invited to participate. The event had an entry maximum of 300 skaters with teams of up to 12 competing in a Greek Tournament. The five best race times were averaged to get a final score. If a team could not put five skaters into the event, the slowest skater’s time was doubled or tripled in order to get five skate times.
Team cost was $50 for up to six participants and $100 for up to 12 skaters. The event had a change drive at the booth the week preceding the race. Brothers of Beta Theta Pi walked around on crutches to create awareness for POF, encouraging people to plop some coins in their change cans for extra support. The fraternity received a lot of cool sponsored gear, including clothing, gift cards, boards and sunglasses. Enter the Dragon at http://www.ucibeta.com/DSR.