More than 50 local skateboarders observing the third annual Wrightsville Beach Skate Day converged on the Roberts Grocery parking lot Friday, May 30 to celebrate.
The Wrightsville Beach Foundation, a private nonprofit organization, coordinated the event to promote skateboarding in the community with the hope of one day generating enough interest and support to open a town skate park.
Wrightsville skaters who congregate in unorganized venues to participate in their sport agreed that a skate park would benefit the community.
“Skating, a lot like surfing, is just part of the culture of a beach town,” local skater Dana Mazer said. “If there is a place in Wrightsville that can keep us off the streets, it would definitely be a good thing.”
Many of the skaters involved with skate day were middle-school-aged kids who were thrilled at the opportunity to skate in an organized event in their hometown.
“My favorite part is just skating around with my friends and being able to challenge myself on all these obstacles out here,” said seventh-grader Hayden White.
The event featured a makeshift skate park using equipment donated by either local skate shops or skateboarders. Overall, skate day included 12 ramps, four rails and three ledges for the skaters to use.
Aside from raising awareness about the sport, a huge focus of this event was to practice and demonstrate good safety tips for the younger skateboarders.
Dr. Noah Pierson, local family medical practitioner and skater, attended the event to participate and also give a short speech to the kids and parents about the importance of wearing a helmet, which was the only rule enforced during the event.
“Head injuries are the most common of the serious injuries skate boarders sustain,” Pierson said. “By wearing a helmet, you reduce the risk of head injuries by 85 percent. It’s important to get these kids in the habit of popping on a helmet before they head out to skate.”
The event concluded with an assortment of raffle prizes including two new skateboards.
“It really is just a strong community event,” said Layne Smith, member of the Wrightsville Beach Foundation. “Every year it gets bigger and I think we’re really showing just how passionate this community is about skating.”