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Skating event to be fun for all

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, June 20, 2013, at 4:04 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, June 21, 2013, at 8:44 p.m.

If you go

Bangers Under the Bridge

What: An event by the Wichita Skateboarding Society

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Wichita Skatepark, 645 S. St. Francis (underneath Kellogg)

Admisson: Skaters can register for either the beginner or advanced trick competition for $15 from 10 a.m. Friday until the event starts at 12:30 p.m. Spectators can watch all day for free. The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas, will sponsor an after party starting at 9 p.m. with a cover charge of $3.

Before going to or participating in any event with the Wichita Skateboarding Society, it’s necessary to learn the skating lexicon.

For example, a “banger” is not entirely what you might think.

“Skateboards make a lot of banging noise,” said Cory Whitlock, co-founder of the group. “It’s a hard trick done with really good style.”

Whitlock and his co-founder Jake Williams said they expect to see a lot of bangers at the organization’s first event, appropriately named “Bangers Under the Bridge,” from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Wichita Skatepark, 645 S. St. Francis.

To get hip with these dudes, all you need is a skateboard and a computer. The organization, really a local skating blog, was founded in February as “a way to keep people interested in skating,” Whitlock said.

Its first outing was during the Riverfest’s Sundown Parade this year, and it sponsored a few skating demos during the festival as well.

“Skate shops have come and gone and the scene has gone up and down as a result,” he said. “It’s a way to keep the scene alive and to promote community.”

But for those less skating-inclined Wichitans, the event still offers an afternoon of entertainment, Whitlock said.

The main attraction is a skating competition, where skaters are encouraged to bring out the bangers, Williams said.

There are two divisions – beginner and advanced. The top finisher in each will receive a skateboard, trucks and wheels, and $100. The top three finishers in each category get a pair of Arnette Sunglasses, which are “pretty big in California,” Williams said. The entrance fee of $15 includes a “swag bag,” complete with an event T-shirt, stickers, a hat, and a T-shirt from The Street, a local skate shop.

Whiskey Dick’s Bar and Grill will serve hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as other menu items throughout the day.

Local radio stations Channel 963 and Power 93.9 FM are expected to broadcast live from the event, Williams said.

Even if you’ve never touched a skateboard before, he said the free event is worth a visit.

“We want this to be a fun event for everyone,” Williams said. “If you don’t skate, you’ll still have a good time.”

The organization is sponsoring an official after party starting at 9 p.m. at The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas. The party is open to all ages before midnight, after which it is open only to ages 21 and up. Cover charge is $3.

The whole event will coincide with National Go Skateboarding Day, organizers said – a cause the society hopes to further in Wichita.

“We eventually want to put on the biggest skateboarding event in the Midwest,” Whitlock said. “Those are high goals, but that’s what we intend to do. We want to bring in more skate companies and pro teams.”

For more information on the event or the organization, go to its website, www.wichitaskateboarding.com.

Reach Matt Riedl at 316-269-6791 or mriedl@wichitaeagle.com

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