Meet Morro Bay’s Jack Smith….

…Starring Jack Smith

               In 1978 professional skateboarder Jack Smith squeezed stomach-first into the domed Vetter streamline skatecar designed by Cal Poly’s Mechanical Engineering students to race in the World Speed Championships at Signal Hill in Long Beach, CA. Would his 60-mph downhill run win? Amazing he was one of the lucky one’s to survive the run. The movie Signal Hill Speed Run was featured during the SLO Film Festival in March, 2013 and is available at the Morro Bay Skate Museum.

Thirty-five years later, Smith can’t believe he did it, yet the 90-minute documentary demonstrates his survival during the wild, early years of skateboarding before safety was a consideration. Now an icon in the sport, Smith hopes Craig Vetter and Professor Steve Blair will join him and director, Mike Horelick at Saturday’s showing. Immediately following, Smith invites all to the official opening of his newest exhibit “Anything But Wood” at the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum in Marina Square with skateboards on loan from Stephen Pizzo’s collection.

The museum opened in November, 2010. “I wanted to share the history and culture of skateboarding.”  Smith documents the evolution of skateboarding showing boards from the era. His first board was made by his dad. He shows the steel wheels of the 1960’s and sophisticated modifieds like the skatecar. He talks about his boards used in Skateboarding Across America. Many are autographed by notables.

In the 1960s skateboarding began as a kid’s toy “steel wheels stolen from your sister’s roller skates.” In the 1970s Urethane boards morfed skateboarding from a fad to risky recreation. Once skaters discovered empty swimming pools to challenge their skills, today’s extreme sport was born.

“The coolest is Stacy Peralta’s trophy when he won Skateboarder Magazine’s poll as “Skateboarder of the Year.” He’s an award winning film director now,” said Smith. “My favorite board pictures my son, Jack Marshall Smith, who died of Lowe Syndrome. We dedicated our 2003 Skateboarding Across America in his memory.”

Smith started skateboarding seriously after graduating from Morro Bay High School. “We used to do it after dark, because we were embarrassed it was still considered a kid’s thing.” He made the finals in his first competition at the Del Mar Nationals in 1975. That summer he produced the first of ten competitions for Morro Bay, several World and National Championships. Taking time off in 1976 as Sun Bulletin Circulation Manager/Sports Writer, Smith, Jeff French and Mike Filben completed Smith’s first Skateboarding Across America. In 1984 it benefitted Multiple Sclerosis. In 2003 it memorialized his son. Coming up in 2013, the tour raises funds for Alzheimer’s.

Smith, the consummate entrepreneur, publishes skateboarder’s Journal and had a small part in Lords of Dog Town with Heath Ledger.

Jack would love a visit from locals and visitors at the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum and he’s looking for sponsorship for his next cross country adventure to benefit Alzheimer’s. He leaving July 4th and information can be found on his Facebook page for the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum.

And speaking of Morro Bay 4th….BIG – Delish – annual event that helps fund fireworks in Morro Bay…Tognazzini’s Dockside 2 does an Oysters & Beer Event this Saturday May 18, Six huge barbecued oysters and a pitch of beer for only $20…lots of fun people and good food…all for fireworks in Morro Bay.

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