SKATEBOARDERS performed tricks and learned to skate from a pro at the first Big Skate event in Bournemouth on Saturday (JUN 27).
More than 200 people took part in the event in the Triangle, from complete beginners to seasoned skaters, with ramps and boxes laid out for them to show off their moves.
Skateboarding expert Hamish Fleming was on hand to pass on tips to those taking part, while a competition from 4pm gave participants a chance to test what they had learned.
PC Joel Brooks, one of the organisers, said: “It has been really, really busy.
“We have had a couple of hundred people taking part of all ages, the youngest was a little boy aged about three, and there have been some people in their 40s.
“Hamish has been brilliant, teaching people of all different abilities to skate and to do tricks.
“What is also nice is there have been quite a crowd of people watching from the steps in the Triangle and filming on their phones, it is quite a spectacle.
“Some have been quite surprised to learn that skaters are nice, friendly people, not thugs who push people over in the Square.
“This is our first Big Skate and I’m hoping if it is successful it will continue next year.”
The event was organised to promote safe skateboarding.
PC Brooks said it illustrated the need for a dedicated skate park in the town centre, since plans for such a facility in Horseshoe Common had been dropped.
Volunteers gave out skateboarding maps showing the best places to skate around the town, and the Safe Bus was on hand in case there were any bumps and scrapes.
The event was organised by Dorset Police and Bournemouth Council youth services, with support from local companies Consortium, Vans and Animal. Obstacles were provided by Tony Hill of Prevail Skatehouse, while Mr Fleming runs dontrain.co.uk.
The Big Skate was planned months ago but follows on from calls last week to ban people from skateboarding in Bournemouth Square after a pedestrian sustained an injury in a collision.