What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of a “skateboarder”? Graffiti, vandalism, shady looking kids, trouble makers? A stereotypical label has been put on us skaters and our reasons for why we skate.
Now, in the eyes of a skater, what is skateboarding? Freedom, a hobby, a sport, a community, a shared interest. It’s amazing the feeling you can get from a piece of wood with wheel on it. If you couldn’t tell already, I am a skateboarder myself, and I have many friends who skateboard and they have many friends who skateboard as well. There has been this label put on all skateboarders as being trouble makers and outlaws of society. It is this untrue stereotype that makes stores and businesses put up three to four signs that proclaim in bold letters and exclamation points “No Skateboarding!”
I am not part of a “skateboard gang”, I enjoy other sports as well, but, skateboarding is my favorite sport. It is my sport, my hobby, and even my mode of transportation. I don’t even own a bicycle any more, I skateboard everywhere. I love everything about it…except the stereotypes. I have been skateboarding since I was 3-years-old and all I have to say about skating is…thank you. I’m fifteen now and skateboarding is what has shaped me into the young man I am today. It taught me to always get up after I fall, to never give up, to stick with something until I get it down and to be proud of what I have accomplished.
When I was little I would go to the skate park with my Walmart skateboard and try to do the little things I knew how to do. I was this little kid skating around and sometimes accidentally getting in the way of all these bigger kids. Not once did any of these kids yell at me to get out of the way or say anything rude to me at all. In fact, some of these kids even took some of their own time to give me tips and show me how
to do certain tricks that I was having trouble with.
So next time you see a skateboarder, don’t think of him as a kid with nothing better to do, think of him as a kid who is enjoying his favorite sport…skateboarding.