Again and again, Alex Swartz, 11, took gravity to school. And while Isaac Newton made gravity famous, Swartz made it look silly.
Fitted with a pair of inline skates and about enough pads to double his weight, the Forest Edge Elementary School student sped off ramps, taking flight like a small bird — if only briefly.
Many skaters enjoy the perceived weightlessness of skateboarding and inline skating. "It’s like surfing the streets," said Tony Kasulis, a junior at Herndon High School.
AT LAST SATURDAY’S temporary skate park event, which Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D) and several other public and private groups helped bring to Reston for the second time, about 50 skateboarders and inline skaters transformed the parking lot into their own personal playground.
Held at Wiehle Avenue Park & Ride Lot — which was converted into a skate park provided with ramps, quarter pipes, rails and kickers — the event attracted skaters of all ages and levels despite a cold and windy day.
"Once you skate for a while, it’s OK," said Swartz of the cold weather.
Featuring music and skateboard demonstrations, the event, this time called Skate for Katrina Relief, also raised funds for hurricane evacuees.
Many of the skaters at the event, like Sully Malik, skated at the first mobile skate park that Hudgins hosted back in May. "It’s been a nice summer to skate," said Malik, 13, a student at Rachel Carson Middle School. He said he was glad that the event was held again. Malik and some of his friends still hold out hope that Reston might build a skate park someday.
Connor Brennan, who also attends Carson, likes to skate half-pipes, which can usually only be found at big skate parks. Brennan and his younger brother, Ryan, spent much of their time at the event skateboarding on the mini half-pipes.
Eleven-year old Brody Bolanos, a Forest Edge student, noticed that there were more ramps this time. "I like the box ramp to practice ollies," he said.
HUDGINS THINKS THAT the partnership that has formed to bring the temporary park to Reston will be important for bringing a permanent skate park here. "That’s what it takes to be successful," said Hudgins. "We see us moving forward on this." She also pointed out that a skate park is zoned for Lake Fairfax in the master plan. "It is no secret that our youth have an interest in skateboarding and skating as an activity," she said.
With a new parking lot being built at Lake Fairfax, Hudgins said she would like to plan a third event there when the lot’s finished in the spring.
Skate for Katrina Relief was sponsored by Hudgins in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Reston Community Center, the Reston Association, America In-Line Skating and EnviroSolutions Inc.