Cherry Hill Skate Challenge Shut Down by Long Beach Police, But Not Before Crowning a Winner

Screenshot from Thrasher Magazine

A raucous bunch of skateboarders repeatedly bombed Cherry Hill last week—the Junipero Avenue road that connects Ocean Boulevard to the parking lot below Bluff Park—as part of the first “Cherry Hill Glory Challenge” put on by Cherry skatepark regulars  and locals alike last Tuesday evening.

According to Thrasher Magazine the rampage down the Junipero Avenue hill was an homage to San Francisco’s Death Race and Dime’s Glory Challenge, a Montreal-based series of skate challenges “that seem like they’re pulled out of a 14-year-old’s sketch book,” according to this recap.

Eventually the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) broke up what they deemed the “free item giveaway”, saying the group—composed of maybe 100 or so spectators and participants— dispersed without further incident with no citations issued or arrests made.

“Several announcements were made to the group to clear the street; however, they failed to do so,” said LBPD spokeswoman Nancy Pratt. “A supervisor ultimately made contact with the event organizer who agreed to cease the free item giveaway and advised the group to leave the area.”

It’s safe to assume that the “free item” was a reference to the $10,000 cardboard I.O.U. (in the form of a check) given to Julian Heller for probably skating really fast downhill. Peep the memo line in the Thrasher video, “This check is only valad if you sk8 fast…” [sic, and also sick.]

It seemed like the locals who accepted the Glory Challenge had more in mind than just speed, as one participant tumbled down Junipero on a rocking horse strapped to a skateboard and others caught ample air flying off the tailend of artist Steve Harrington’s snake-inspired skate ramp, originally designed for last year’s Dew Tour and then moved to Silverado Skatepark.

More skateboarders attempted to kickflip or ollie the entire way down, simply ride the whole thing without speed wobbling or falling, with a number of LBPD officers and their vehicles apparently viewed as mere obstacles on the course.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.