What’s a blog without venting?!
Ever since middle school, I’ve been skating on and off (it’s been more “on” than “off” as of late, and I look to continue that trend). Even during my “off” periods I would constantly be watching skate videos, reading about the current news in the skateboarding industry at the time, and looking at public spots thinking, “wow, that spot would be pristine for skating” (side note: check out this article that was put on The Berrics in late April about how skaters view their surroundings differently than that of the everyday person: http://theberrics.com/skateboarding-architecture.html). But, why is skateboarding so widely criticized in the eye of the public? Why is every skater viewed as a, “weed-smoking rebel” who is going nowhere in life? I hate it to break it to you, but Marijuana is slowly gaining legality (which I won’t get into because I don’t know enough about it), so will the views of skater’s shift to something better? Doubt it. It’s too rebellious of a sport.
Now, I’ve heard the argument before that skateboarding itself is not a crime, but damaging public property is. So why not strap the handcuffs on Mother Nature for damaging homes/buildings/etc. with her powerful storms? Or Father Time for slowly deteriorating said homes/buildings/etc. over the years? I know these two analogy’s are pretty far-fetched due to the amount of time it takes and scarcity of occurrence (and I guess the fact there’s no way of preventing them), but it’s the thought that counts, right? What I’m trying to get at is build areas for kids to skate at, and don’t just be done with it. Check back every now-and-then to see the condition these parks/plazas/etc. are in. If you see a problem with the condition they’re in, update it! Fill in the missing chunks of concrete, replace the rusted rails, do something, because, sure enough, kids will leave these parks and go back out and “destroy public property”, thus continuing the cycle and providing society with ways to strengthen the stereotype skaters are tagged with.
Maybe not every person views skateboarder’s as “rebels”, but I’m confident in saying a good chunk of society has this view. I wonder if they know about the most recent athlete – who their daughter/son may idolize – that has been charged with possession of marijuana or driving under the influence? Or, what about their favorite celebrity who admits to doing drugs to get into character/write their next hit single? Probably not. These celebrities entertain society and that’s all they’re known for. I can say, from personal experience, that there are skaters out there who could hands-down be the nicest person you’d ever meet. Of course there are few bad seeds in every bunch, but that’s life. No body is perfect.
To be completely honest, I used to be hesitant in telling people I skateboard, because of the assumption that they would be quick to judge. I’ve seen the unintentional facial expressions, or the sounds of disgust people make when I tell them. Now? I could care less. I know what us skaters are like. I’ve seen two complete strangers become best of friends; I’ve seen two acquaintances reignite a friendship; I’ve seen skaters giving tips on how to do a trick, no matter the age. All of this stemming from a piece of wood, metal, and urethane wheels. So, before you quickly judge us, just know we see those disgusted looks you give us. All we do is laugh, because you haven’t the slightest idea.
Take it from a well recognized comedian, Jerry Seinfeld: “Those kids will be alright.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rub-lW-9MXw