Skimboarding magic in Parksville

Organizers hope skimboard competition will be an annual event

American Pro Blake Zimmerman nails a landing on Saturday.

American Pro Blake Zimmerman nails a landing on Saturday.

The first, hopefully annual OSBC Pro-Am Skimboard Competition took centre stage in Parksville Bay on Saturday, as 37 riders of varying skill sets showed plenty of grit when they took to the tidal pools for some fun in the sun.

Hosted by Oceanside Skim Beach Culture, the event was played out in front of the Beach Club and featured pro riders from B.C. and Washington as well as one from Germany.

The amateurs were up first, and the pros, 10 in all, capped it off when they wowed the crowd for over an hour.

Qualicum Beach’s Ryan Stewart was the top local on the day, locking up the Over 18 division and first in flatland and features.

Well-run with plenty of swag, there were also unique keepsake trophies for the winners as well.

DB Skimboards’ founder Richard Doctor from Tacoma was also in the mix leaving it all out on the sand.

“It was a lot of fun,” he confirmed after. “Great weather, great venue — just a really good opportunity to ride and have fun; a great showcase for Vancouver Island and for the sport.”

“I like it here,” a bushed but visibly pleased Friedrick Fitch from Deutschland surmised after.

Fitch, 19, is sponsored by DB Boards and is on the West Coast for a month. Next up for the teenager is a competition in Houston, Texas, and after that the Sacramento Skimfest.

“This is my first time in Canada,” he said, adding “it was a dream for me as a child to travel and see the world.”

Turns out skimboarding is big in Europe he said, pointing to the annual skimfest in Poland that attracts over a hundred entries each year.

Kyda Skimboards’ Kyle Lynch from Vancouver was also out there laying down some sweet tricks and clearly having a blast.

“This is great,” he confirmed. “This is the kind of exposure you want, and it’s good for Parksville, too — it gives the kids around here something to do.”

“It’s going really good,” and upbeat event co-organizer Julia Mountain, aka Momma Skim, confirmed late in the day.

“It was magic really,” John Mountain said from the shoreline after it was over; “all those people watching … and the best thing was all the young kids that turned out to be part of it — that made it all worth while.”