POINT PLEASANT BEACH — In what has become a Halloween tradition, dozens of disguised skaters zoomed around the Point Pleasant Beach skatepark, showing off their scary-good skills in a friendly competition.
Some of the area’s coolest kids participated in the event, which was held on Saturday, Oct. 28. Tom Toohey, the organizer of Grom-o-Ween since its inception, told The Ocean Star that despite the visible success of the event, the contest had an uphill battle to fight in order to become the tradition it is presently.
“This is the fourth year,” he said. “I was on council when we originally…voted to build the place. There was a little bit of acrimony in the community about whether or not it’d be successful, so we wanted to have an event right off the bat. It kind of brought everyone together; showed the space in a positive light.”
The word “grom” is a slang term in the skateboarding [and surfing] community, which refers to a precociously talented young skater. As such, the event’s title, “Grom-o-Ween,” was fitting; the kids who attended were true masters of the craft. Rarely did any of the competitors, who ranged in age from six to 18, take a spill—and, when they did, they got right back up to continue ripping up the ramps.
“It helps me to be brave,” said Posey Parisik, 7, regarding why she skateboards at such a young age. Bravery was needed too—as her competition win came largely from a huge drop from a roughly eight-foot ramp, all while wearing a zombie unicorn costume. “I’ve been skating since I was three.”
Boys and girls alike were welcome in the space. Also competing in the girls’ division was nine-year-old Vail Lockwood, whose hippie costume involved a bit of skateboarding-related wordplay.
“I’m dressed as a hippie; in skateboarding there’s this trick and it’s called a hippy spin,” said Vail as she demonstrated the trick for The Ocean Star. “It’s so fun…today in the beginning I kind of had butterflies in my stomach, but they went away.”
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