By Jim Mendoza - bio | email
AINA HAINA (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the sport of competitive youth skateboarding, 11-year-old Heimana Reynolds is one of the hottest kids on wheels with a pocketful of tricks that's growing by the day.
"When we watch them, I'm like, 'Hey, dad. That's cool. I want to learn that,'" he said.
In just a couple of years Heimana has become one of the best skateboarders in the country for his age group.
The Punahou sixth-grader is the first Hawaii youngster to qualify for the finals of King of the Groms. The national competition finds the top riders age 12-and-under in the country.
"It's hard to hold the camera still being such a proud father," said Heimana's father, Matt Reynolds.
He documents his son's exploits on video and still camera, coaches him, and takes him to contests. He also helps Heimana balance his sport with school work and family time.
"I spend a lot of time with him in his endeavors with skateboarding. And I think that's the key in keeping him grounded," Matt Reynolds said.
"He's amazing," Heimana said of his dad.
Matt built a ramp in their driveway so Heimana can skate after homework and chores. He practices about two hours a day.
In preparing for competitions, father and son work together on Heimana's one-minute routines, timing them to the second.
They see a new trick, break it down, then rehearse it at the Kamiloiki Skate Park in Hawaii Kai. When Heimana competes he doesn't veer from the script.
The strategy has paid off. Heimana's bedroom is plastered with certificates and skate boards he has won. He's now ranked in the "Expert" division in the national 12-and-under category.
"He's working hard and keeping the dream alive," Matt Reynolds said.
Heimana's been injured a couple of times. But like other X-treme athletes he idolizes, he bounces back.
"I want to some day turn pro and be in the X Games. If I stay focused and keep my eye on the prize," Heimana said.
Ten companies now sponsor Heimana head to toe with skateboard apparel and gear and the boards he rides.
If he stays on course, who knows how far he can fly.
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