M4 wash-away opens the door to skateboarding heaven – North Coast Courier

Bad news is not all that bad for some people.

While the M4 freeway is closed for repair at the site of a massive wash-away near Umhlanga Rocks, a few plucky skateboarders have taken advantage of the rare opportunity to practise their skills and tricks.

The M4 is closed to traffic from the Sibaya circle to the dual-lane road before the Umhlanga on-ramp.

Here the long yet wide, gentle downhill stretch which continues for over a kilometre until the Umhlanga bridge provides the perfect playground for 40-year-old Umdloti resident Jacqui Herbst and her young friends.

Skateboarding pals Jamie and Demi Rowe together with Jacqui Herbst. Photo: Bryan Rowe

Picking up from her youth and her days roller-blading, Jacqui picked up a skateboard in September 2018 and joined her friends in Umdloti who were also keen skateboarders.

“It feels like freedom, I never really want to grow up,” said Jacqui.

“It is a rebellious sport, but I am also very conscious of road safety so I wear a lot of gear.”

Jamie Rowe is very focused while skating. Photo: Bryan Rowe

Jacqui and her friends Jamie (15) and Demi (15) Rowe also enjoy surfing and body boarding.

“A lot of people considered skating on the M4 but no one had tried it,” said Jacqui, who describes skating and surfing similar to painting an art on a blank canvas.

Demi Rowe, who has been skating since she was eight, was drawn to the sport by her USA-based uncle who has a keen interest in skating.

Demi Rowe enjoys the freedom of skateboarding on the closed M4. Photo: Bryan Rowe

“The M4 was awesome to skate, it is a lovely hill with a good surface.”

Demi uses skateboarding to de-stress from school.

“The challenges that you overcome while skating make you feel great about yourself,” said Demi.

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