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Blind skateboarder breaks Guinness World Record with 50-50 grind

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A blind skateboarder from Michigan broke a Guinness World Record when he performed a 50-50 grind on a rail for a distance of 22 feet and 5 inches.

Daniel Mancina, 35, of Royal Oak, said he took up skateboarding at the age of 13, the same year he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. The condition affects the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye and often leads to complete blindness.

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Mancina said the condition's progress was slow at first, but he eventually determined he had lost too much of his sight to continue skateboarding.

Years later, Mancina said he decided to give skateboarding another try, despite having only minimal sight in one eye.

"I rely on my white cane the most, using it to scan my environment and to find obstacles while skating," Mancina told Guinness officials. "Being a blind skater, I have to take my time to feel obstacles and have a good understanding of them before I start skating."

Mancina, who is now completely blind, said he is constantly updating his technique.

"My favourite trick changes all the time," Mancina said. "I get obsessed with a trick for a while and then kind of move on to new ones. I really love skating flat bars the most though."

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Mancina did a 50-50 grind -- a trick where the board slides on a bar or other surface -- for a distance of 22 feet and 5 inches, earning the record for longest 50-50 grind on a skateboard (IS2). IS2 is Guinness' category for record-breakers with visual impairments.

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