Since the early 1990s, Burnside Skatepark, an epic, community-built and city-approved skateboarding destination, has attracted skaters from around the globe. But the renegade landmark will have competition for the hottest skate spot in town, when Tony Hawk | Rad Science rolls into Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) from Feb. 1 to May 4, 2014.
A killer combo of 25 interactive experiences, the exhibit gives classroom physics a spin that is fun whether you ride or watch. Exploring the design side of boarding, the History Bowl covers prototype decks from the birth of skating in 1962 to some of the most tricked-out rides around today. Newton’s Pool, an empty swimming pool built inside the museum, shows how the laws of motion and abandoned backyard amusements gave birth to the now-popular sport. Meanwhile, Tony’s 900 Vert Theatre explains how skateboarding’s flying pioneer got so much air when he became the first skater to stick a two and a half turns after launching off a half pipe — a feat The Birdman first achieved at the X-Games in 1999.
Never boarded before? Try it out safely with the Bodacious Board Balance, a stationary “ride” that lets visitors experience the sensation of classic tricks like grinding, while risking neither life nor limb. Parents will be happy to explore the Wipeout Ambulance with their little dudes and dudettes — this display looks at helmets, knee pads and wrist guards, and shows why even the highest-flying pro boarders suit up, in case they have to bail on a particularly gnarly trick. But only a poser would let a slam derail them from experiencing this sick exhibit. So drop into OMSI and catch it before it the session is over.