Wickid show at Cabarita

SKATEBOARDING, BMX riding or in-line skating can give youngsters direction and discipline in their lives, according to world-ranked skateboarder Chris Ward.

Chris, 23, from Melbourne, was a star attraction at the Cabarita Skate Park on Saturday, part of the 'Totally Wickid Tour for Youth' sports show travelling around NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

More than 100 enthusiastic local youngsters were given performance tips by Chris, as well as by BMX rider Luke Fink and in-line skater Iain Smith, both also world-ranked stars in their high-adrenaline sports.

Chris said exhilarating activities like skateboarding can be great motivators to help young people achieve goals which boost self-esteem and confidence.

He won the Australian Skateboard Titles in 2002 and placed 11th at a skateboarding world cup event in Melbourne early this year.

"You can achieve your dreams, but you've really got to want it," Chris said.

He frequently travels around Australia and in America and Europe competing in skateboard contests.

"It pays all my bills plus any competition bonuses can give you a bit more. In the US, some guys earn millions from skateboarding, with video and shoe contracts.

"But it's a short career span, most of the guys retire before 35."

Chris said it was vital for new skaters to learn how to fall.

"That's one of the most important things, you have to know how to take a slam."

Chris has broken his leg twice and endured serious knee injuries, but he says the aches and pains are more than offset by the thrill of riding.

"The adrenalin really pumps," he said.

Chris said the Cabarita Skate Park was an excellent facility.

"Everyone builds such good parks nowadays, but the locals at Cabarita are pretty lucky.

"I've done a lot of tours to skate parks and that's one of the better ones, for sure."

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