Ashland teenager to take part in 2022 global scooter event – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News
Jamie Lusch / Mail TribuneBodhi Sol, 15, from Ashland, rides Wednesday at Ashland Skate Park.
Bodhi Sol placed fifth in his US division to make International Scooter Federation matches in Denmark
At Ashland Skate Park on a recent weekday afternoon, a handful of kids were enjoying the perfect fall weather – sunny, 70 degrees and little wind. With their scooters and skateboards, they roamed the park to the sound of booming reggae music amid the foliage that surrounded them.
And there was Bodhi Sol, 15, very much in his element. In a sweatshirt and helmet, he circled the concrete bowl on his scooter and even did a back flip.
âFor me, this is something I turn to if I’ve had a hard day or if I just want to get out of the house and relax,â Bodhi said. âIt’s almost therapeutic.
For Bodhi, the park was a very different setting from his recent outings. The Ashland High School student had just placed fifth at the International Scooter Federation’s North American Open on Oct. 30 and 31 in Tucson, Arizona. Now he awaits the world championship next year in Denmark, which had been delayed due to the pandemic.
âIt’s a little surprising – I don’t think it’s fully sunk yet,â Bodhi said of his feat. “It will be really exciting for me because it will be my first time traveling outside the country.”
When asked how he thought he would do well in world competition, Sol said he “isn’t keeping my hopes too high” but hopes he will “do it decently well”.
Bodhi is sponsored by Soul Flow Pro Scooters in Springfield, near Eugene. Kim Combs, company founder and mentor to Bodhi, set the stage for what the 14-year-old faces on the other side of the Atlantic.
âIt will be a tough competitionâ¦ a showdown,â Combs said.
Bodhi has always loved riding in the open on wheels. But his scooter journey began four years ago, when he bought one at a bicycle shop.
âAs they say, the rest is history,â Bodhi said.
Bodhi ditched his bike and started bringing his scooter to Ashland Skate Park. It would be his training ground before any serious competition.
âI was free – not that I am not now – for probably the first two years,â Bodhi said. âThen I started to take it a little more seriously once I had mastered some of the more difficult tricks. “
Combs remembers Bodhi’s first visit to Soul Flow Pro Scooters several years ago, as it was the only place to get parts.
âIt’s just something I saw in him when I started to see him ride,â Combs said. âI could see his dedication and commitment and I just got that feeling. I have watched runners for a long time. He was just one of those runnersâ¦ he just kept getting better.
Bodhi first represented the Soul Flow Pro Scooters team before becoming a member.
âI started competing more and ranking higher and started growing my library of stuff, I would say,â said Bodhi, who accepted a membership offer in 2019. âThey got me. contacted and asked if I was ready for the next step. “
Combs said Bodhi had competed in the United Scooter Association – a who’s who of American scooter riders – for several years.
Eventually, Bodhi was able to compete in the junior division of the International Scooter Federation. This is what led him to Tucson and earned him the opportunity to go to Denmark.
In Tucson, Bodhi placed eighth in his first round. The next day, he placed fifth. Combs applauded the fact that Bodhi placed so high in the United States among all scooter riders for his age.
âIt’s amazing, especially for Bodhi, as he’s been riding seriously for about three years,â she said. “It’s fast.”
Bodhi’s dad, Erik, thinks the recent competition has been good for Bodhi because the top spot “wasn’t up there on a silver platter”.
âHe had to go up against the best in North America to get in the top five,â said Erik.
Bodhi called the competition a âgreat great experienceâ.
Before Tucson, it wasn’t all success for Bodhi. When he felt he hadn’t performed as well as he thought at Portland and Salem, he took a break.
âI just had time to focus onâ¦ improving on my mistakes and getting a feel for how I wanted to ride, do a couple of tricks and keep up the speed,â said Bodhi.
Combs called Bodhi “one of the most naturally skilled riders I have ever met”.
Erik doesn’t take credit for encouraging his son to ride the scooter. One of the things he loves most about his activities is that Bodhi “finds his own way”.
âI want him to be happy and connect with other human beings who are really positiveâ¦ and have a perspective on life outside of Rogue Valley,â Erik said. âI’m not panicking – I’m happy for him. Being able to do … what you are passionate about and allowing that vehicle to be the vehicle to see the world is as good as it gets.
Erik added that in order for Bodhi to ride his scooter competitively, he needs to have physical strength and excellent hand-eye coordination.
âAll of this – it’s a great opportunity to stay in shape physically and mentally,â said Erik. âMentally, it runs the gamut – you have to be creative. How do you use the features of the park? How to score points? How are the judges?
When asked if Erik thought his son could compete professionally with his scooter, he didn’t rule him out.
âThe sky is the limit,â Erik said. “I think it’s an emerging sport and it’s opening up for him.”
Regarding the competition, Combs noted the mantra she says to Bodhi and the other runners.
âYou don’t have to win to be good,â Combs said. “Going out there and doing your best and coming out with a clean, respectable run is the most we can ask of any of our runners, and that’s definitely something Bodhi is doing.”