Skateboarding championships brings top competition to Salem

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 7:35 PM PDT
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SALEM, Ore. (KPTV) - The World Slalom Skateboarding Championships are being held at Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem beginning Friday.

Juanita Savoy-Nash of Salem wanted to check out the skateboarding races this weekend. Her granddaughters have been doing this type of slalom skateboarding for years.

“(They) did this when they were two years old,” Savoy-Nash said. “They went through the house on a skateboard and mom and dad didn’t care and that was new to me.”

The competition brings athletes from 14 different countries to Bush’s Pasture Park.

“They do a variety of things,” Savoy-Nash said. “Skateboarding is just one of them. It’s interesting. It breaks up a dull day.”

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One of those skating this weekend is Orion Lehrmann of San Diego. After getting into these types of events in 2019, he’s now trying to move up the rankings.

“My goal is to become world champion one day,” Lehrmann said. “If not today, I’m going to make it happen one day.”

The skateboarders with top times here qualify for the World Skate Games. Since that competition recognizes slalom skateboarding, Lehrmann hopes it can soon become an Olympic sport.

“It’s definitely growing right now,” he said. “People are excited about that and people are putting a lot of effort into that to grow the sport.”

Savoy-Nash said she’s going to continue to take in the skills of the skaters through the weekend.

“Just the placement of their feet on the board,” she said. “Arm movement, body movement. It’s quite remarkable to watch them.”

The races will continue at the soap box derby course at Bush’s Pasture Park both Saturday and Sunday.