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Ariffin Jamar
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sports

Skate scooter moves not for the faint-hearted

The New Paper | Ariffin Jamar | Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The sound of metal scraping on metal fills the air as a rider grinds his board down a 20-step rail.

His body pulls shapes to keep balance.

Forget skateboarding. This is on a skate scooter.

Then this reporter overhears a spectator mocking: "He's got to be the oldest kid on a skate scooter!"

The skate scooter riders are used to the constant teasing. Especially over the assumption that these two-wheelers are meant for kids.

But negative remarks turn to praise and applause once Muhd Nur Putra Shahfiq, 19, starts ripping.

"It's a combination of BMX and skateboarding. You pump your foot to move yet steer with a handlebar," Shahfiq says while casually spinning his bars 360 degrees.

These scooters are very different from the ones for children.

The beefed-up rides are more rigid and non-folding. The bars are made of steel while the board is made of aluminium or an alloy. These scooters are designed to take a beating.

Do a quick search on YouTube for "skate scooter tricks" and you'll get a trove of clips showing backflips and other extreme tricks.

Shahfiq rolls with his crew, ScooterSG - seven friends in their late teens. They skate at least twice weekly; daily during the holidays.

The tight-knit group even does overnight sessions, and this evening, The New Paper on Sunday catches them at the East Coast Xtreme Skate Park.

The camaraderie between them is obvious. When 17-year-old Koh Choon falls on his ankle, the guys rush over and carry him out of the bowl.

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