SIOUX CITY | Barreling down a concrete ramp, Blake McRostie narrowly avoided a collision with fellow skateboarder Kyrell Roberson at Cook Park Thursday afternoon.
Despite outward appearances, McRostie, 22, wasn't really testing his luck. With more than 11 years of experience under his belt, the Sioux City native is already adept in the extreme sport of skateboarding.
"I've been a skateboarder for half of my life and I see no reason to stop now," he said, smiling.
McRostie will be one of the area participants in the spring skate contest, taking place at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cook Park.
The competition -- open to intermediate and advanced skateboarders -- is the first of three. A point system will be calculated based on finishes at the conclusion of the series of events that have been dubbed the "SIOUXper Crown" of Skateboarding by organizer Marcus Steinhauer.
"I'm hoping this will give skateboarding more legitimacy," he explained. "It's also a way to attract the next generation of athletes to the sport."
A skateboarder since the age of 13, Steinhauer opened Sayor Skateboards, a 1410 Nebraska St., skateboard shop, in March 2015.
"Sayor is an acronym for Skate At Your Own Risk," the now-27-year-old said.
Steinhauer said he grew up watching professional athletes like Tony Hawk dominate the sport. Over time, he said, the skateboarding lifestyle kept him coming back.
"I gave up skateboarding for a few years and was miserable," Steinhauer said. "It seemed like I couldn't pass a flight of stairs or a wall without wondering what it would feel to like to skate over."
That's because Steinhauer excelled at "street skateboarding" -- a style that involved performing tricks while using guard rails or other pieces of architecture not expressly designed for the sport.
It's also an activity that Tre' Worden, 23, is trying to get back to following a decade away from skateboarding.
"I stopped skateboarding when I was 13 years old," he said. "It's harder to bounce back from falls when you're an adult."
Luckily, Worden is relearning the sport from Kyrell Roberson, a skateboarder for nearly 12 years.
"People do get hurt in skateboarding," Roberson, 22, said, recounting the rolled ankles and bruised heels he experienced. "You'll be limping for a while but the adrenaline rush will get you back on your board."
McRostie nodded his head in agreement.
"Anytime you're able to pull off a perfectly executed move, it's the greatest thing in the world," he said. "Skateboarding means freedom for me and I never get tired of that."