Growing up in Huntington Beach, Val Bertignoli played S.K.A.T.E. almost every day with friends. This weekend, he'll be at the center of a tournament again — only this time, he's looking to show off his business savvy rather than his skateboarding prowess.
Bertignoli, a 21-year-old Orange Coast College student, founded the skate shop Street Wise in August. The shop, tucked into a strip mall at 18358 Beach Blvd., offers skateboards, clothing, protective gear and other accessories. On Saturday, to promote his enterprise, Bertignoli will host the Street Wise Game of S.K.A.T.E. Tournament in the front parking lot, with free registration and hundreds of dollars in cash prizes.
"It's universal, pretty much," said Bertignoli, a Huntington Beach High School graduate. "Everyone who skates knows about it."
The game, modeled after H.O.R.S.E., challenges players to come up with difficult skateboarding moves that their opponents must duplicate. If a player fails to copy a move, he or she receives a letter of S.K.A.T.E., with players eliminated when they reach all five letters.