The upper parking lot of Semiahmoo Shopping Centre doubled as a stage for some of the world’s top skateboarders Wednesday, as part of an event aimed at bridging the gap between youth and seniors.
Scooters & Skaters was organized by South Surrey RCMP to mark Police Week.
In addition to demonstrations by skateboarders from Brazil, China and more – and one that saw White Rock skateboarder Andy Anderson ollie over a police car – the five-hour event featured road safety tips for people who use skateboards or motorized scooters, and a strawberry tea.
Vancouver’s Kevin Harris – Canada’s first pro skateboarder – MCed the skateboarding demonstration, taking attendees through the evolution of the popular sport, before showing off a couple of his own moves.
At 51, Harris hasn’t lost his edge, and is still rated one of the world’s top freestylers.
Anderson told Peace Arch News that his parents bought him his first board when he was just four years old, expecting his interest to fade in short order. Fourteen years later, he’s still riding, sponsored by Protest Skateboards and Authentic Board Supply (owned by Tour de Surrey series creator, Hippie Mike). On the Victoria Day long weekend, Anderson is to compete in his third World Freestyle Skateboarding Roundup, taking place during the Cloverdale Rodeo.
South Surrey RCMP Const. Troy Derrick credits skateboarding for leading him down the road to a career in policing. Harris, he said, introduced him “to the idea it was OK to skate.”
“It didn’t matter what I wanted to be when I grew up, so much as I knew what I didn’t want to be,” he said.
Special Const. Susan Caley said the idea to bring youth, seniors and police together in the name of road safety was well-received.
Youth watched seniors on their scooters, and seniors stayed to watch youth on their skateboards.
“It was a fun event and everyone walked away feeling good and with some good ideas,” Caley said by email.