The perilous sport of skateboarding has spread with the speed of a virus infection throughout Britain in the past year.
SV PAN Skitch Hitchcock standing on hands, moves from one skateboard to the other, stops and falls off
SV Mike Weed whizzing in circles several times before falling
SV Skitch barefooted and holding skateboard with toes, turns circle in mid-air, finishes off as Mike comes on and balances on his head
SV Skitch both hands on two skateboards, moves onto one, zig-zags on one wheel
SV Skitch jumps over ramp on skateboard
SV Skitch forced to stop because part of camera falls into rink
SV Mike performing clever manoeuvres up and down sheer walls of rink
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Background: The perilous sport of skateboarding has spread with the speed of a virus infection throughout Britain in the past year. Now, four of the world's leading exponents, from the United States, are touring Britain to show enthusiasts how to remain upright and intact on their narrow, four-wheeled-craft.
SYNOPSIS: The acrobatic fellow is Skitch Hitchcock, who is to skateboarding what the Wright Brothers were to pioneer aviation. And this is eighteen-year old Mike Weed, from Dana Point in California, know as the world headquarters of skateboarding.
Skitch showing why he has won a string of titles, including world freestyle champion in San Diego, California. He is performing something called the barefoot aerial gorilla grip at Skate City, in Southwark, south London, while Mike goes sunnyside up.
A world champion can afford two boards to perform a fancy version of the handstand curve, which is not recommended for tyros or even the most supple grandmothers.
Skateboarding, inside a few months this year, mushroomed throughout Britain into of the wildest crazes since the hula hoop. The Sports Council estimate some two million are rolling daily along city pavements, Around the country, shops are selling the boards as fast as they can import them. Skitch has a routine interrupted when part of a spectator's camera falls onto the rink.
Mike in action again. He and Skitch are two of the four-man Hobie professional team. After London, they plan a national tour, Conditions elsewhere will be closer to those that reckless youngsters use -- multi-story car parks and concrete underpasses beneath shopping precincts. That is, where local authorities will give them permission to strut their stuff. Skateboarding began on the west coast of the United States around a decade ago as a dry alternative to surfing. It has been a born for the sale of splints and iodine.