Sammamish teen skating with family by his side | Community recreation feature
By JOSH SUMAN
Issaquah Reporter Sports Reporter
August 3, 2012 · Updated 1:00 PM
When Payton Moriarity began skateboarding, he wasn't after professional contracts or corporate sponsorships. But after watching his father introduce the sport to his younger brother, Payton knew he wanted in.
"I was kind of jealous," he said.
His father Patrick, a former skateboarder himself, started both his young sons in the sport with "mini-boards" designed specifically for kids. It didn't take long for Payton to catch his father's passion for skating and turn it into a family pastime.
"When I skated in the late 1970s and early 80s, it was mainly a form of transportation," Patrick said. "Payton tried the board and wouldn't get off of it."
Rather than sending their son to find his own way to local skate parks, Patrick and Jeanne Moriarity join Payton, often bringing his younger brother and sister along.
While landing tricks with mom shooting photos from above may not be the typical portrait of skating, it is one the Moriarity's have shown can work twofold. Not only has his parents' presence and involvement in his skating career helped steer Payton from the unseemly side of skateboarding culture, it has given them an up-close look at his progression from newcomer to one of the top youth skateboarders in the region.
"It just gives us another chance to spend time together," Patrick said. "We've traveled to skate parks and been able to connect by being together."
Along with trophies from several competitions in Sammamish and around the region, Moriarity has already garnered sponsorships from Cake Eater and Coldwar Skateboards, both based in Portland.
Before the group disbanded, he was also a member of a youth skateboarding team called The Anklebiters, which practiced at the since-closed Skate Barn in Renton.
"The first week I spent at the skate park, I just started liking it," he said. "I've been working at it for a long time and just enjoy doing it."
Along with treks to most of the skate parks and bowls around Greater Seattle, the Moriarity's have taken trips to Oregon, Canada and most recently California, all as part of the effort to ensure skateboarding remains an event the family can congregate around.
For Payton, the possibilities of a professional career are still on the horizon. He and some members of the Anklebiters have plans to construct a vert-ramp for practice sessions and he also hopes to have a chance to meet current professionals to learn more about their paths. Regardless of where his board takes him, Moriarity knows his family won't be far.
"I see a lot of kids who's parents just drop them off and come back later to pick them up," he said. "My parents are here to help me progress."
For Patrick, it has been a thrill watching his oldest son take hold of an activity he passed down.
"It wouldn't matter what the activity was," Patrick said. "Just being there to see him go through the struggle and put in the time to perfect it, that is what you want to see as a parent."
The 13-year-old Moriarity prepares to drop into the bowl at Crossroads Park. Josh Suman, Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter
Payton Moriarity is never more at home than when he's in a skate bowl. Josh Suman, Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter
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