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News: Freestyle, Street Luge, and Local Updates

INFSS Launches New Web Site.    The International Network of Flatland Freestyle Skateboarders launched its new web site this month. The January 1998 edition features a Profile of Russ Howell, an Ask the Experts section on how to find a Rodney Mullen freestyle deck, Facts & Rumours, a look at Flatline No. 2 1997, INFFS Official Newsletter, and a thought-provoking editorial by Stefan "Lillis" Åkesson. Lillis did a great job designing the site, handling editorial matters as well along with Dan Gesmer. It's definitely worth checking out.

INFSS welcomes both street skaters who enjoy doing tricks on the flat and pure freestylists. The purpose of the Network is as follows:

Joining INFSS is free. All you need to do is send them your address, but if you'd like to receive the Flatline newsletter (published 2-3 times a year), send $15 annual membership fee to Stefan Åkesson, Abbedissavagen 15, 746 95 Balsta, Sweden.

1998 International Street Luge Series Announced.    ESPN2 will be airing the first ever televised professional street luge racing series. The eight race Grand Prix style series will debut in early July, 1998, immediately following the 1998 X Games. All eight 1998 ISLS events will be televised on ESPN2 during prime time, with the Finals being aired on ESPN. In addition, the coverage should also reach a global audience of over 200+ million viewers.

Total prize money for the series will be over $80,000, making the ISLS total purse the richest in street luge history. Plus, all of the 1998 ISLS events include an open qualifying period, providing an opportunity for the best aspiring racers to compete in each event.

Local San Diego Skateboarding News.    Well, I've got good news, and I've got bad news. The good news is that they have finally decided on a site for the OB Skatepark. The envelope please, and the winner is. . .Robb Field. The administrators of Robb Field and the San Diego City Council have reached a tentative agreement to build the OB skatepark on an acre of land in the far corner of Robb Field. The deal calls for the city helping Robb Field to develop their seven acres of remaining land into additional ball fields, more parking, and new restroom in exchange for donating a portion of that land for the skatepark. The latest plans call for a low-intensity concrete facility with banks, bowls, and rails and best of all no riding fees.

The bad news is they are hoping to break ground on the skatepark this year. That means that the OB Skatepark may not open until 1999. My other bad news is that the San Diego Unified School District has decided to ban skateboarding on school grounds. The District cites property damage due to skateboarders as their primary reason.

Elsewhere on the local front, the San Diego Skate Coalition continues to hold regular rides. The SDSC is a group of inline skaters of all ages and abilities organized to enjoy and promote the sport. Skateboarders are welcome, but bring your fastest wheels as they move along at a pretty good clip. Also, the coalition asks that all riders wear at least a helmet and wrist guards and have a light if riding at night. For more information, call their hotline (619) 544-4553 or check out the web page below.

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Nose Wheelie, except where noted otherwise, was written and created by Chris Sturhann.
Copyright © 1998 Chris Sturhann