With all but the last event completed, the Hammer team has a comfortable lead over the Flites, but in order to ensure victory, they need a good showing in the final event, the barrel jump. And so during this stunt, both teams begin to leap as if their lives depended on it. The only problem is that they aren’t landing on the boards on the other side. Finally, a nine-barrel jump by John Meehan, a Hammer team member, clinches it, and the victory is Hammer’s.
“Hell, this team had already won about 50 skateboard prizes,” Jason Hammer says afterwards, “but it’s always good to get a few more.” Then I ask if this meet, one of the first of its kind in New England, will be the beginning of bigger things. He turns around and surveys the scene: it is late in the day, the meet has being going on for close to eight hours, yet there are still at least 75 skateboarders in the field house, all going strong. Jake and Patty are still attacking the half-pipe, at least ten people are practicing at the high jump, and two more are sizing up the Porsche with “specialist” Mike Gerard. And all around them, the floor is still thick with skaters practicing their kick flips, nose wheelies and pirouettes. I can tell Hammer is enjoying the spectacle. He turns back to me with a grin. “How can any kid resist this?” he asks with a sweep of his arm. “Believe me, skateboarding has nowhere to go but up.”
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