Fans flock to see Hawk

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hundreds of kids and their parents filled the backstage parking lot at Verizon Wireless Music Center on Wednesday for a chance to see world-famous skateboarder Tony Hawk.

The Tony Hawk Boom Boom HuckJam Tour made its fourth stop of the year in Pelham, giving fans a chance to see skateboarding, BMX and motocross all in one show.

“It’s different than any other skate tour or motto,” said skater Jesse Fritsch of State College, Penn. “This is the only tour that brings everything together and everything works together. There’s a lot of overs and unders and people riding at the same time. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind tour.”

That is exactly what kept fans like Cody Christian, 10, of Alabaster, screaming from the front row to the back.

“It was loud and crazy. There were skaters and motocross people flying everywhere,” said Cody, who enjoyed watching pink-haired skater Kevin Stabb.

To help motivate the crowd further, skateboarder and emcee Jason Ellis promised to give away his skateboards to the fans he and Fritsch thought were screaming the most through the entire show. Ellis was trying to get the crowd louder. It worked, helping athletes like Sergie Ventura soar high above the half pipe.

“The energy we get from the crowd is actually transformed into us. We take it in and we give it back,” said Ventura, who was making his first appearance back in Shelby County since competing in Alabaster last April.

Fritsch and Ventura both enjoy the tour simply for being able to spend time learning from Tony Hawk and spending time with their friends.

“What’s rad about this tour is that our boss is one of the athletes,” Ventura said.

The tour continues in Atlanta on Thursday and hits 20 more cities before its conclusion in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 24.