Author: AMEERA ABIDFri, 2018-03-23 21:36ID: 1521819791625382300
JEDDAH: Shocks and awe abounded as the Festival International des Sports Extremes (FISE) came to Jeddah for the first time, providing an introduction to young Saudis keen on taking up adventure sports.
The free event, jointly organized by Hurricane Events and the Saudi General Sports Authority, 2018 kicked off in front of the beautiful waterfront in new Corniche Jeddah.
The construction of the park took about a month with different shaped ramps and rails of a number of sizes were set on the stages and in the water.
Different stages were set for a number of acts — BMX riding, roller skating, skateboarding, mountain biking and wakeboarding.
The crowd was whipped up with hip-hop music, then the show kicked off with roller skaters who performed seemingly impossible flips effortlessly in mid-air. Most of the roller-skaters were Saudi and performing for the first time.
On the second stage, the skateboarders showed off tricks on rails and other elevated platforms. The performers performed 360-degree turns, soared in the air and balanced on the rails.
The third stage was smaller than the rest of the stages made for the stunt-bikers who performed 20-second spins on one wheel.
In the water, platforms have been set up for wakeboarding. Enthusiasts jumped over the rails and performed mid-air spins.
Mohammad Al-Aseeri a 19-year-old skateboarder, said: “I have been skateboarding for two years and this is the first time I have been in a park with proper ramps — it is such an amazing experience.”
Danny Madrid, 25, a cyclist from Spain, said: “It’s great that the Saudis are promoting something like this.”
He advised young Saudis thinking of taking up an adventure sport: “Get a bike or a skateboard, or whatever it is that you are interested in, and just have fun with it.”
Wakeboarder JD Webb said that he was extremely happy to be in Jeddah: “It is pretty awesome that they are pushing for adventure sports here.
“We went diving in the Red Sea and the experience is unreal, it is so beautiful.”
Mohammad Siddique Sabir, a 25-year-old graphic designer who helped create the ramps, said: “I am so happy with the reaction of the audience after all the hard work.”
The athletes emphasized the importance of proper coaching for anyone interested in taking up adventure sports with the potential dangers involved.
“I love this place so so much, it is very exciting,” commented Lama Assi 36, who is a mother of two. “I like to bring my children to such events as it helps open their minds.”