EDMOND — Several teens and preteens patiently sat through a discussion of the benefits and safety of skateboarding, the youth movement in general and possible job opportunities in the board sports industry.
After the brief talk by skateboarder Steve McNutt, the audience was rewarded with live demonstrations Monday night at Edmond Library.
Pete Miller, 19, Matt Ramesh, 20, and Jeremiah Willis, 14, all of Edmond, showed some tricks on their skateboards — from the basic Ollie, which allows the skateboarder to lift the board completely off the ground, to a 360 flip, in which the board does a full rotation.
Before long, the youngsters were showing their own skills.
"I came to skate and learn some stuff," said Moses Ward, 10, of Edmond.
By the end of the demonstration, Ward was catching air with his board from the steps of the library's Shannon Miller pavilion and grinding along a bench set up for the skaters.
He also earned the respect of the other skateboarders.
"Skateboarding provides a social outlet," McNutt said. "It beats locking yourself in a room all day playing video games."
McNutt, who formerly owned Altered Skates in Edmond and now works with Flipd Action Sports of Edmond, has brought his skateboarding message and live demonstrations to eight libraries this summer. At 2 p.m. Sunday, he'll be at the Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave., in Oklahoma City.
McNutt said he got in on the beginning of the board sports industry. He worked at one point as a snowboard designer and event marketer in Huntington Beach, Calif., before returning to his Oklahoma roots.