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Skaters make the most of quake-damaged roads near Kaikoura (Video)

Christchurch skaters Tomoki Peters, Troy Tapara and Billy Mclachlan saw a unique opportunity in the earthquake-damaged roads south of Kaikoura.

The quake-damage to State Highway 1 is a major headache for motorists, but it presented a unique opportunity for a group of Christchurch skateboarders. 

When photos of the torn-up road appeared on the web, photographer Tomoki Peters was reminded of skateboarders using quake-torn streets in the city as a skate park.

"As soon as I started seeing the photos … I just really wanted to take a bunch of skaters up and see what we could do with what we could see."

Troy Tapara ollies over earthquake damage on SH1 south of Kaikoura.

He put out a call on Facebook to all his skater friends in Christchurch, trying to "gun them up" for a trip up past the cordons on the road.

READ MORE:
Skaters leap Christchurch earthquake cracks 
Slips, fractures close roads into Kaikoura; days until highways reopen
Trucking companies at a standstill

Three others got excited about the idea and they headed up on Saturday, taking bikes in when they reached the cordon. 

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Billy Mclachlan clears earthquake damage to SH1 south of Kaikoura.

Peters said they were conscious of not getting in the way of emergency services. 

"If we got turned around at the cordon we would have understood.

"As we passed the cordon they did tell us that if we go in, that's our responsibility."

The group got as far as Hundalee before ditching their bikes and hitching a ride back to the cordon with someone who was rescuing paua.

After a night in Christchurch, three of the group drove back to collect their bikes before continuing north to get to the spots they had seen in the pictures. 

They made it to about Oaro and found the features they were looking for — though skating them proved tricky.

"Getting speed for the tricks was quite a difficult task, but in the end we gave it a couple more pushes and yeah we got there," Peters said. 

Troy Tapara said the experience was about "the uniqueness of it" as the roads were in bad condition. 

"You can skate anything really, it's just whether you can see that you can skate it or not."

The trip had a few memorable moments. 

"On the Sunday we were there and there was an aftershock while we were skating one spot, that was kind of scary."

At one stage, Tapara's board ended up in a crack. He had to reach in up to his waist to get it back, while a friend held his legs.

"It was quite amazing how deep they were, most of them you couldn't see the bottom."

Tapara even lay in one of the cracks to take a photo while Mclachlan ollied the gap. 

He said he was never going to get a chance like that for the rest of his life.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get there and do this."

 

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