Quanterrous Baylor can nearly kickflip. The ollie is there — so is the flick of his outer foot against the grip tape and the rotation of skateboard deck beneath him.
But try as he might — and Baylor tried several times Sunday at the Ormond Beach Skate Park off Nova Road — he couldn’t land it. It was the first time Baylor and his two friends, Marcus Rutherford and Thaddeus Diaz skated at the park, and the trio enjoyed the convenience and the free admission.
“It’s close to get to, and you have all this open space to ride,” said Diaz, 12. His favorite feature in the park is “the volcano (ramp), trying to get on top and then go down.”
Baylor said he derived most of his inspiration from the videogame “Skate 3,” and his favorite professional skateboarder is Rob Dyrdek, best-known from the MTV show “Rob and Big.” While Baylor’s still carving out his skateboarding skills, he made it clear he wants to establish himself skating street — not vert.
“I like grinding rails and stuff,” he said. “Not all that air-type jumping. I watch ‘Street League Skateboarding’ on TV.”
The rising 8th graders skate daily in their neighborhoods, mostly because it gives them something to do during summer vacation.
“It’s entertaining and doesn’t let me get bored,” Diaz said. “When I’m out skating, I don’t have to sit inside all day.”
Casper flip, no faking
Chris Casper and his sons Cole, 10, and Christian, 8, passed through Ormond Beach Sunday morning on their way back from a birthday party. They were wearing sandals. So, what was the next natural checkmark on their itinerary? Strapping on helmets, breaking out their skateboards and dropping in on quarter pipes at the skate park.
“It’s pretty awesome, another way to keep the kids active and enjoying sports,” Chris Casper said. “I grew up surfing and skating, and I just wanted to pass it on.”
Both tykes navigated the park’s ramps and pipes with ease, despite their interesting choice of footwear. Christian remarked that the most daunting challenge for new skaters is “going down the big ramps.” And as a family of multi-sport athletes, the Caspers use skateboarding as a chance to mix things up.
“They do baseball and lacrosse,” said Chris Casper, “so this is kinda like cross training.”