• Poe Pinson of Fernandina Beach hones her skills at the Fernandina Beach Skatepark at Main Beach. She was second in the pro street division at Exposure Skate 2018 in Encinitas, Calif., on Nov. 4 and plans to return to the West Coast in 2019. Photo by Beth Jones/News-Leader

Just a day at the park for Pinson

Poe Pinson, 13, got her first skateboard when she was just four years old, but she wasn’t all that interested in it.

“I never really rode it,” she said.

But a year later, her interest was piqued. A neighborhood kid had one.

“I thought it looked pretty cool. I really liked it,” said the eighth-grader at Fernandina Beach Middle School.

She upgraded from her little, wooden board to a pro board and started visiting the skatepark at Main Beach on a regular basis.

In November, Pinson had her biggest competitive finish so far. She placed second in the pro street division at Exposure Skate 2018 in Encinitas, Calif., collecting $5,000.

Pinson has trekked to the West Coast four times to compete in the event. She won the girls 14-and-under division at the age of 10, and in 2017, she moved up to the pro street division, which meant tougher, co-ed competition.

“This was a huge exit from her age group,” said her father, Keith.

She placed 19th in her debut in the division.

“I knew what I did wrong last year,” Pinson said. “I learned from my mistakes. I picked easier tricks and landed everything.”

Pinson hasn’t sidelined other sports.

“I’m into other sports, but mostly skateboarding. I like running. I play basketball at school,” she said.

But, it’s skateboarding Pinson sees in her future.

Pinson first competed at the age of six in a local event sponsored by the former Pipeline Surf Shop. She placed third in her first outing.

Pinson won the girls street division in the Rocky Mountain Rampage in August 2017 and placed fourth in the Wheels of Fortune at the Altogether Skatepark in Seattle, Wash., in 2016.

Winning her age division at Exposure Skate 2015 in Encinitas, Pinson punched her ticket to Woodward West 2016 in Tehachapi, Calif. She placed first in the street division.

She captured wins in her division in Cocoa Beach and Fernandina Beach and placed sixth in Florida’s Bowlrider Cup at Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville in 2015.

“I travel during the school year,” she said. “There are some during summer, but nothing I’m too interested in. And they’re usually in other countries.”

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