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Third annual mini skateboarding contest a success

Brandon Bayramkul, 11, Laguna Niguel pulls off a big maneuver on his way to the win as defending champion and this year’s runner- up Devyn Flanner (in the T-shirt with the star) looks on. Photo by Sheri Crummer
Brandon Bayramkul, 11, Laguna Niguel, pulls off a big maneuver on his way to the win as defending champion and this year’s runner- up Devyn Flanner (in the T-shirt with the star) looks on. Photo by Sheri Crummer

By Sheri Crummer

Unlike the sort of finger bowl one might encounter at a fancy dinner party, the Republik of Kalifornia Finger Bowl had young skateboarding enthusiasts rushing to participate.

Tucked away in the back room at the Republik of Kalifornia shop on El Camino Real in San Clemente, tre flips, varial kick flips and nose blunts lit up the crowd at the third annual finger skateboarding Finger Bowl. About 50 groms packed the back room, frothing for their turn and hoping for a spot on the podium.

After an afternoon of hard fought heats the finalists were down to the top 10. Brandon Bayramkul, 11, Laguna Niguel took the win, edging out defending champion Devon Flanner, 16, of San Clemente. Ben Morley, 13, of Oceanside took third and Carlos Alarcon, 14 of Dana Point won the best trick capturing the spirit of the event. Finalist and outstanding San Clemente surfer Drew Hemnes, 15, just missed the podium with a great final run. Hemnes relates fingerboarding to real skating.

“It’s fun. The way you move your fingers, you can realize how to take that into your real skating,” said Hemnes.

Fingerboarding has been around for many years, and lately interest has resurfaced. Using fingers, boarders maneuver mini skateboards over a miniature street course.

“We left a fingerboard out one day and the kids started playing with it. We realized there was still an interest and we have a passion about anything surfing or skating”, said Greg Morley, partner in Republik of Kalifornia.

With the help of Dave Hennings, Shorecliffs Middle School Surf Team coach, the Finger Bowl was born. Hennings built the ramps, ran the event and pumped up the crowd with his colorful announcing.

Check out Republik of Kalifornia online at www.republikofkalifornia.us for more upcoming events throughout the year.

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