Tait Nelson collapsed while skating and has had his life support turned off. Tait chilling on the original half-pipe at Alexandra Headland in 1992. Photo: Contributed
Tait Nelson collapsed while skating and has had his life support turned off. Tait chilling on the original half-pipe at Alexandra Headland in 1992. Photo: Contributed

Tributes flow for ‘skate master’ after tragic death

ALEXANDRA Headland's original "skate master" and father-of-two Tait Nelson has had his life support turned off, days after collapsing doing the sport he loved.

Tait suffered a brain aneurysm and never recovered.

Many consider Tait to be the "pioneer" of street skating on the Sunshine Coast, a living legend who never looked for fame, and an all-round good man.

He leaves behind children Tobin and Eliza and generations of skateboarders who adopted him as their own.

Darren Minchenton went to Kawana State High School with Tait and quickly bonded over their shared love of skateboarding, which back then was only a very small community.

That community is still coming to terms with Tait's death - only two weeks ago the pair caught up for a roll at Darren's home.

Tait Nelson, Darren Minchenton, Gutty Mitchell, Brett Reedman, Cameron Nolan and Leon Mollenhauer having a last skate together at Alex Skate Park before it was demolished. Photo: Contributed
Tait Nelson, Darren Minchenton, Gutty Mitchell, Brett Reedman, Cameron Nolan and Leon Mollenhauer having a last skate together at Alex Skate Park before it was demolished. Photo: Contributed

"He was just skating at Sippy Downs with another mate and he just collapsed, it was so out of the blue, no warning," Darren said.

"Tait was a true street skater and an absolute master, he lived and breathed it."

While Darren took a break away from the sport for a time, he said Tait's passion never diminished.

From 1987 to 2019, Tait was the type of man to skate every day if he could, juggling his time as a dedicated disability worker and two kids.

"He never lost his natural ability, he would always skate to progress and learn new tricks," Darren said of that last roll they shared.

"He knew so many different crews, our crew from back in the day, then probably five different others over the generations.

"His heart was just so genuine, he cared about people, so friendly and kind, he'd talk to anyone. Especially about skateboarding."

 

Tait shredding it up at Mooloolaba Primary School in 1989. Photo: Contributed
Tait shredding it up at Mooloolaba Primary School in 1989. Photo: Contributed

Later today, Tait's closest mates will meet at Alexandra Headland to farewell their beloved friend.

Tributes are flowing on social media with all corners of Coast skating honouring the master.

Wade Kelle wrote: "Tait was the first skater I met on the Coast… he welcomed me with open arms… that was the sort of bloke he was, big heart."

Cameron Nolan wrote: "He was the first person I became friends with on the Sunny Coast back when we were kids in the late 80s. I had never seen such a technical street skater before, he had such amazing kicks."

Tait skating at an old ramp in Mountain Creek in 1992. Photo: Contributed
Tait skating at an old ramp in Mountain Creek in 1992. Photo: Contributed

Daniel Brown wrote: "Skate master Tait. That name is so fitting, he truly was a master of skateboarding, could do just about any trick with his own unique style. He was one of the nicest, good natures people I have ever met, was lucky enough to skate the curb at Alex with him a few months ago, you will be sadly missed brother."

Tait's former wife and mother of his children, Sheree Bateman, posted a touching tribute.

"Today we said goodbye to you Tait. Thank you for gifting me (two) beautiful children. I know you would be so proud of them and how they are moving through this tragic time. Like you, they are so generous and kind and love you so much. I feel so sad that you will no longer be there for them, although you will always be remembered and celebrated in their lives. I will do everthing (sic) I can to give them everything they need. You would also be super impressed with how your closest friends have stepped up to help support Tobin and Eliza while dealing with their own grief, I am just so thankful to them. Thank you for sharing 16 years of your life with me, I have many fond memories."



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