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Santa Barbara - South County

Skateboarding on a roll during its Olympic debut

Skateboarding on a roll during Olympic debut

GOLETA, Calif. – Skateboarding's popularity grew long before its Olympic debut, but skate shops are benefiting from the global attention being paid to the sport in Japan.

Some parents buying skateboards for their children said they enjoyed seeing 13-year-olds competing with adults and winning gold.

Margot Heiligman of Santa Barbara said her son Elias Williams loves the sport.

"I think it is super exciting to see so many kids who have the same passion my son has, which we have always known," Heiligman said. "This is a very popular sport, but it's incredible to see it legitimized in the Olympics."

Skateboard company Powell Peralta has local roots.

The company created by George Powell and Stacy Peralta got its start in Goleta in 1978 and now makes skateboards in Ventura.

The staff at the Powell Peralta Skate Shop off Kellogg Avenue in Goleta is keeping an eye on the Olympians riding their boards and using other equipment they carry.

"Kelvin Hoefler won silver in street, and we have Andy Anderson going for Canada in park this week," said Carlos Juarez, the manager at the shop.

They aren't on the team USA, but they have American fans.

Shop employee Ryan Rullman said customers can buy the exact boards they ride in the contests at their store or online.

Rullman said they haven't raised their prices due to their success.

"It's the first time skateboarding has been in the Olympics and surfing, which is pretty exciting, you know," said Rullman. "Skating started out of surfing so it's kind of cool that they are both in there."

Heiligman's son Elias said he hasn't been watching the Olympics but he has heard about the winners.

It appears young skateboards are too busy doing the sport they love to sit still and watch the competition.

California / Economy / Lifestyle / Money and Business / More Sports / Ventura County / Video
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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