Farris eyes World Champs: North County native, scooter pro hopes third time's a charm

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Chris Farris is the ambassador for scootering on the Central Coast and this summer he will get his shot at a world title in Barcelona, Spain, something that has been a long time coming for the 19-year-old pro.

Farris has won countless scooter competitions and travels the world putting on shows with action sports collective Nitro Circus. He has moved from Atascadero to San Diego and accomplished almost everything a professional can in the scooter industry except one thing — winning a world title.

“I’ve been working for worlds for a long time, I’d say about five years now,” Ferris said. “That was my first goal I set in scootering, I wanted to win worlds and be a World Champion.”

Ferris started locally and grew up as a regular at A-Town Skate Park. Even though he’s busy training for the championships, he still makes time every year to come back and MC a scooter competition at the park.

Now one of the top riders in the world, Ferris first started on skateboards and bikes before eventually turning to gymnastics. After two years of taking classes, 12 years of age, he became a teacher.

“That was when I really started to see the physics of things,” Ferris said. “And I really started to see that I could work out certain muscle that would make certain tricks easier.”

Farris has gone from being the starry-eyed kid waiting for the pro to show up, to being the reason that people come to the skate park.

“I used to be that kid waiting for the pros and now to be the guy where kids come up and say, ‘Hi Chris,’” Farris said. “It is the best reward for all the work.”

A few weekends ago Farris competed at one of the four International Scooter Association Qualifiers in Bakersfield. The top ten riders from each of the four competitions advance to nationals in Chino Hills. The top ten from nationals move on to compete in worlds. Farris took first at the competition, earning himself a golden ticket, which is essentially an automatic bid into the worlds without having to compete at nationals.

This is actually the third time the former Atascadero native has qualified for worlds and the third time he has earned this same golden ticket. Each previous time he qualified, he experienced an injury leading up to worlds and was forced to withdraw. Three years ago he broke his tailbone, and two years ago he broke his left ankle just three days before his flight was leaving. Last year was the most difficult of all because Farris did not receive the golden ticket and fell on his wrist in training for nationals. He still competed in Chino but without a healthy wrist he was not able to land any tricks of significant difficulty and didn't qualify for worlds.

The competition is judged on four categories: park flow, park usage, difficulty of tricks and audience appreciation.

“I like to hype the crowd up and go for crowd appreciation,” Farris said. “I like to be a part of the event and not just secluded in my own mind.”

Farris goes big.

“I like feeling as much wind as possible,” he said.

Out of his arsenal of tricks, he says his front flip inward (when he does a front flip in the air while his scooter also does its own front flip, then he catches it and lands on it) is what really gets the crowd going most.

The local pro rides for District Pro Skaters, a company that manufactures high-quality scooter parts, and has done so for years. The company recently came out with a new deck and Farris was selected as one of the pros to create his own graphic for a deck. With the help of graphic designer Fernando Young, his deck came to life and sold out quickly.

The ISA World Championships will take place on June 17 and 18 in Barcelona. Until then, Farris will be training harder, but smarter than ever before as he hopes that the third time's a charm.

When asked how he expects to do, he said, “I’ll do my best and nothing less.”

The World Championships will be broadcast online. Check the Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press for updates on links to watch Farris compete when the event gets closer.


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