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Skateboarders Gather for National Celebration of Their Sport

By DNAinfo Staff on June 26, 2010 1:55pm  | Updated on June 26, 2010 1:53pm

By John Marshall Mantel

Special to DNAinfo

LOWER EAST SIDE — The noise beneath the Manhattan Bridge usually comes from the subway trains clattering overhead. On Go Skateboarding Day this month, it was from thousands of much smaller wheels.

The 7th national event brought hundreds of skaters to the Lower East Side skatepark June 21 for a day of breathtaking tricks on rails, ramps, ledges, pyramids and fencers.

The event, devised by the International Organization of Skateboard Companies, came as New York skaters were still reeling from the loss of the Brooklyn Banks skate park, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, which closed earlier this month.

Skate champion Chad Muska was on hand at the festival for autographs and to add a touch of celebrity sparkle to this otherwise gritty urban event.

Classic tricks such as the ollie, kickflip, airwalk and backside brought cheers of approval.

Police monitored the scene along Monroe Street, making sure that the sidewalks did not turn into an additional improvised skate park. One kid was so eager to try a new maneuver, he didn't seem to notice that his broken skateboard had no wheels.

After a few hours of competition and socializing, the skaters headed out into the surrounding neighborhoods, some clinging to the back of a Chinatown-bound delivery truck.