ARLINGTON — Longboarders from as far as Singapore gathered in Arlington over the weekend to race.
Chris Kuhn, 36, of Arlington, fashioned a longboard for his 6-year-old daughter. He attached metal handles from a scooter to help the girl who was still wobbly on the board.
They stood together at the starting line. As the countdown ended, she kicked off.
Chris and Angela Kuhn, 38, coordinated the fifth annual Centennial Sk8 Festival. Longboarders between the ages of 5 and 63 competed in races on Saturday and Sunday. Handmade trophies, which change every year, were awarded to riders. This year, Chris Kuhn crafted wooden wheels and placed them on shiny plaques.
One contestant from Singapore, Adrian Oh, is traveling the world on four small wheels. He has traveled about 5,500 miles so far. He had been passing through Arlington on Saturday.
This was the first time Autumn King, 38, and Gwendolyn King, 32, had visited Arlington. They traveled from Portland, Oregon, for the festival.
Autumn King planned to ride in the Pacific Northwest Championship Tour. After competing in Arlington, she heads south to the cities of Banks and Bend in Oregon.
The couple has been signing up for races as a way to train for an upcoming marathon. They finished in the top three during a Saturday race.
Marbie Descatamiento, 29, of Seattle, taught herself to ride when she was 19. Not many of her friends know how to longboard.
“Usually I don’t ride with other people, so this is a treat,” Descatamiento said. “It’s always super cool to see other ladies get into the sport.”
She watched the kids race near the starting line with the Kings. They noticed the number of girls lined up in brightly-colored helmets.
“When I grew up, there weren’t any women longboarders,” Autumn King said.
When it was Descatamiento’s turn to race, she found a spot in the back. She was looking forward to the scenic ride.
The race took boarders through farm land, wooded areas and ended at the Nakashima barn. The historic barn was one of the earliest farms in Snohomish County. It was once owned by the Nakashima family before they were forced into internment camps during World War II.
The Kuhns took over coordination of the festival three years ago after they moved to Arlington.
“Chris grew up as an amazing skate boarder who could jump over massive things,” Angela Kuhn said.
At the time, he wore his hair long and dyed it blonde. Eventually he switched to longboarding.
The Kuhn family of six spends many Saturdays skating together. The couple’s 3-year-old daughter, though eager to skate, is too young to longboard. She still tags along on outings.
She sits in a wooden cart on wheels her father made special.
She may not skate now, but she’ll get there, Angela Kuhn said.
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.