I can’t claim to know all that much about skateboarding, but that up there is looks pretty amazing. According to the video, it’s Aaron “Jaws” Hamoki at Waterfront Park in April performing a rather giant ollie for Thrasher magazine. Why’s that relevant? It’s a testament to the success of Louisville’s skatepark in bringing national interest in extreme sports to the city.
It’s a major draw for people all over, and you’re as likely to see a tourist at the skatepark as you might see walking along West Main Street. It was such a success, I suppose, that the world couldn’t stand for just one. So they built a copy in Louisville’s sister city of Perm, Russia.
It turns out that Louisville gifted a set of blueprints to Perm’s Mayor Shubin a few years ago when he visited the River City and now the city on Kama River now has an exact copy of our own little skatepark.
The Sister Cities of Louisville blog reported that a group of seven extreme skaters and BMX bikers dropped by Metro Hall for a—shall we say skatepark casual—meet and greet with Mayor Fischer before the delegation set off for the grand opening of Russia’s first ever extreme sports park in Perm (a bigger city than Louisville at just over 990 thousand people according to Wikipedia, although it has been shrinking over the years).
According to the Sister Cities blog:
Mayor Fischer showed a genuine interest, asking about the local Skate Park, what it needed and what could improve it. The group offered serious suggestions and recommendations and CITED several local Skate shops as the unofficial representatives of the local Skate community. Two main concerns—shade and GRAFFITI stood out (along with a lack of recycling bins) and the group had several great suggestions to tackle these issues.
Hopefully we’ll hear back from the Louisville Seven after they shred familiar ramps and bowls thousand of miles away. (And could the mayor’s interest in extreme sports give new life to the stalled second indoor phase of the extreme park?)