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"No Rules", "No Holdbacks" for Bienfait Teen

What's that old saying about judging a book by its cover?At first glance, Alex Neumann doesn't seem a likely candidate to be a skateboarder.
Alex Neumann displayed his wide range of skills during the second annual XsiV Hot Dogs and Handrails Skateboarding and BMX Saturday.

What's that old saying about judging a book by its cover?At first glance, Alex Neumann doesn't seem a likely candidate to be a skateboarder.Born without the use of his legs, Alex uses prosthetics to walk, not exactly ideal for a sport that requires a strong lower half and plenty of balance. However, any preconceived notions one might have about what is and isn't possible are quickly shattered when Alex pulls off his prostethics, sits down on his skateboard and proceeds to jump over a bike or does a handstand while flying along the pavement on his board.Alex was displaying his impressive array of skills Saturday during the second annual XsiV Hot Dogs and Handrails skateboard and bmx competition at the city's skateboard park. The 16-year-old, whose family recently moved to Bienfait from Leduc, Alberta, noted that at birth he had a bone deficiency "above my knees down, so I didn't have my bones and my shins were fused together so I had to get them amputated." Like any kid Alex, who uses his hands to propel himself on the skateboard, said he tried a number of different sports while growing up but because he was unable to run he ended up quitting them all. Then, as fate would have it, he came across skateboarding just over three years ago and instantly became hooked."I was at a buddy of mine's and he had a board laying around and I thought I would give it a try," said Alex. "I used to try it before with my prosthetics on but it didn't work so I got the idea one day to take my legs off and start pushing around."Helped on by a healthy lack of fear, Alex has come a long way since that first day. He has a number of different tricks in his arsenal and showed a penchant Saturday for jumping over things such as people and bikes. He also wowed the crowd by doing a handstand on his board."I got pretty far with it my first day and they said just keep going for it and go all out and that's what I have been doing," he said. "I'll try anything and everything that is within my ability. Jumping the bike I have practiced it before and I thought why not make it look as sick as I can. Not many people do that stuff, well, on their butt anyways, so I thought I would go for it."Alex said it's that freedom to try anything that comes into his mind that has fostered his love of skateboarding."I was always fed up with other sports because there are so many rules and restrictions. Whereas with skateboarding, you can just go out and you have your own style to it and nobody can say its right or wrong whichever way you skateboard. It's no rules, it's no holdbacks, you just go all out."Not surprisingly Alex's skateboarding exploits have garnered him a lot of attention. He was featured in a national skateboarding magazine and admittedly gets some interesting reactions from people who see him skateboard for the first time."People who are new to seeing someone with prosthetics skateboarding, they find it pretty interesting to see someone with no legs going off anything that's there," said Alex who has also enjoyed a fair bit of success in the handful of competitions he has participated in."I have done probably six or seven competitions now. My first year I came second and this past summer they had a big competition back in Alberta and I entered in the vert competition and I got second. I was pretty happy with that. It was a mixed competition, there was guys from all over ranging from 15 to 25. I went out there and tried my hardest."Alex's run of success continued at Saturday's event. He placed second in the skateboarding portion of the event behind Estevan's Zach Butler who used two impressive runs to capture first.In the bmx competition Kaleb Memory was was first in the 13 and under division. Brandon Nykiforuk placed second and Cole Barnstable was third. In the 14 and over division, Brett Spencer captured first with Jayden Schindel and Devin Fleury placing second and third respectively.Seth Horn was the winner of the scooter competition. Garrett Schulte finished third in the event while Schindel was third.