At age six, Elliot Vecchia witnessed his first skateboard trick as a kid on Circuit avenue kick flipped his way down the avenue.

“I was obsessed with skateboarding ever since,” Mr. Vecchia said, remembering how for years he begged his parents for a skateboard.

Twenty years later the Island native has combined his passion for filmmaking and skateboarding into Natural Selection, a montage of skaters kick flipping, heel flipping and rail sliding in empty pools, city parks and downtown streets. The film premiered at Dreamland Friday night, with all proceeds benefiting the Martha’s Vineyard Skatepark Association.

“I went to film school, I didn’t want to do skate videos, they chose me,” said the young filmmaker who spent two years making Natural Selection.

Filmmaker Elliot Vecchia introduces Natural Selection. — Katie Ruppel

Other entertainment at the fundraising event included a live performance by the popular Indie Island band DCLA.

Nick Briggs, a founding member of the skatepark association and widely recognized for both his skills as a skater and as a quiet youth leader, said the association wants to raise $60,000 to improve and add on to the skate park in Oak Bluffs, built 10 years ago.

The Vineyard skate park hosts an eclectic group of people, with “some dads older than me,” said Mr. Briggs, who is 33 and married with two children.

“It’s a great thing for kids, especially in the technological age,” he said. “it’s good for girls, boys, kids who aren’t into other sports, anything besides watching TV or playing video games.

“Even if it’s 20 degrees outside, you can drive by [the park] and see kids skateboarding.”


Tax-deductible contributions to the skate park may be mailed to MV Skate Park Association, Box 1298, Vineyard Haven MA 02568.