‘Trickers’ do more than back flips

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‘Trickers’ do more than back flips

by Kelly Kerrigan, Contributor

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If you have ever walked past Hepner Hall on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon you may have seen students who appear to be jumping or doing back flips to the beat of electronic dance music.

But what they’re doing it more than just backflips. It’s actually called tricking.

“(Tricking is) a mixture of martial arts, break dancing and gymnastics,” sociology senior J.C. Tores said.

Thanks to YouTube, tricking has grown in popularity and is now beginning to gain a following at San Diego State.

The on-campus tricking group ranges from freshman to seniors who have met through similar interests.

Sean Quetzada, a geology freshman, met his tricking friends while working at the gym.

Prior to tricking, Quetzada was a parkour coach.

“At first I I thought it was not as cool as parkour,” Quetzada said. “But then I realized tricking is pretty sick and I started tricking with them.”

Other trickers include chemical engineering senior Dane Barland, chemical engineering junior Kaelan Rios and international security and conflict resolution senior Robert Rutherford, who competed in the Junior Olympics for the United States in gymanstics.

Rios said he first started tricking because he has too much energy.

“I gave it a try and ended up being pretty good,” he said. “I’ve never been in any organized sport before this.”

Although many people have a presumption of a “martial arts type,” Rios wants to eliminate this stereotype through his participation.

All of the athletes have experienced a plethora of injuries.

Quetzada has broken almost all his toes and Rios has fractured his spine, ankle and wrist, as well as hyperextended his knee.

“Usually injuries come right when I’m about to break into a new trick so I have to go back and finish what I started,” Rios said.

The constant want to be able to successfully complete a new trick is what keeps all these “trickers” on their feet.

“(Practicing in public) fuels me more to hit harder stuff and trains me past where I would normally get tired and just want to go home,” Rios said.

Tricking is a sport that requires extreme athleticism, strength, flexibility, agility and body coordination.

Although it is something that anyone could participate in, it requires hard work and commitment.

This unique activity caused much curiosity in students around campus.

“I didn’t know what was going on when I first watched, but grabs your attention while walking to class day to day,” undeclared freshman Paige Valiukas said.

Students can usually watch the trickers on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon in front of Hepner Hall.

The group said they are always accepting of anyone who wants to join and practice their skills in front of an audience.

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