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Midtown skim jam brings beach sport to urban core

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A 100-foot sandy "beach" will rise in the parking lot behind Midtown’s BarWest Burgers & Wings on Saturday, and 1 inch of water will slide over it – perfect conditions for the evening’s skim boarding competition.

"It’s kind of like a giant Slip ‘N Slide where you’re staying on the board and doing tricks like you would on a skateboard," said Brendan Mohr, owner of Ground Zero Board Shop and one of the event organizers.

Inland Skim Movement’s Brian Kniveton, one of the event’s organizers, said the sport originated in Sacramento in the mid-1980s, and while he usually takes his assortment of rails and other fixtures on which to do tricks down to the river, he said he wanted to try building a beach in the urban core, and the Second Saturday Art Walk was the perfect venue.

"We have free skim boarding lessons in the day," he said. "Second Saturday is usually considered to be something for college ages and above, but skim boarding is fun for all ages, and we thought we could get some younger kids out here during the day to check it out."

Lessons will be held from 2 – 4:30 p.m., and the two-hour competition will commence at 5 p.m.

The beach is based on a two-by-four framework that is then covered with a waterproof plastic coating before the sand is added. The 100-foot-long beach is 8 feet wide, and about an inch of water will run atop it at all times, giving conditions similar to skim boarding on a beach after a wave recedes.

Video by Lon Porteous

A $2 entry fee that goes to the Sacramento Food Bank is waived by bringing in a canned good. Upon entry, spectators will get a raffle ticket to win one of a number of prizes, including skim boards.

The full menu from BarWest Burgers & Wings will be available, and a beer garden will be set up for adults. BarWest owner Trevor Shults said a combination plate of three spare ribs, coleslaw and corn on the cobb with a Lagunitas Undercover Shutdown with souvenir glass will be available for $19. Local DJs will provide musical entertainemnt for the event.

Find the event in the parking lot behind BarWest at 28th and J streets.

"Our whole idea when we opened this was to bring the beach to Sacramento," Shults said. "I don’t think you can come any closer to oing that than with this."

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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