Have you ever broken a world record? Since 2010, Morro Bay’s July 4 festivities have included a skateboard competition produced by Jack Smith, one of the “downhill daredevils” of the 1970s featured in the documentary “The Signal Hill Speed Run.”
“Having been involved in long-distance racing, the organizers of Morro Bay Fourth approached me to create a new event on the Embarcadero,” said Smith, who owns and operates the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum. “It is a race for a few and a ride for most.” Participating racers have included top amateurs such as Daniel Engel of Bakersfield; Nick Dicus of Los Osos; and Smith’s son, Dylan Smith of Morro Bay. Most of the 50-plus skateboarders ride along — and every so often they’ll earn bragging rights for being there, like when the loop-mile world record was broken in 2013 by Engel in 3:32 seconds.
With the Morro Creek bike and pedestrian bridge officially opening at noon July 4, Smith has reconfigured the Morro Bay Mile Skateboard Race route so that skateboarders will beat out the parade bicyclists to become the first official event over the bridge.
Skateboarders will register at Morro Bay High School’s back entrance at 9 a.m. Racing will start at 10 a.m. and hug the beach and bay until flying up and over the bridge to finish at the Front Street parking lot, which is the temporary display site of the Central Coast Maritime Museum’s historical rescue submarine.
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“Racers won’t have to slow up to make a U-turn as in the looped race on the Harbor Walk,” Smith said.
He reminds participants that helmets are required, all ages are welcome, it’s a free event, and cash and product prizes will be awarded after the race.
Smith said skateboard races are held nationwide. They range from one mile to Georgia’s 3-day, 188-mile race or San Diego’s Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon, a 26.2-mile longboard race in which Smith has participated.
“Every Saturday at 6:30 p.m., there are three to 12 of us who meet at Cloisters Park for a 6-mile loop just for fun and the exercise,” Smith said. “Anyone’s welcome to join us for 3 or 6 miles.”
The Morro Bay Skateboard Museum opened in 2012 with 700 square feet of display space. It moved in April 2014 to 601 Embarcadero in Marina Square with triple the space for historical displays and retail product sales.
“TripAdvisor says we’re the fourth top pick for things to do in Morro Bay,” Smith said. “There are 300 skateboards on display, including the world’s second biggest. It has become a unique — and fun — photo opportunity for locals and visitors.”