There is a false pretense and stereotype about skateboarders. Many view them as just a group of disobedient teens that are reckless and delinquents. I am here to discount all of that. To explain to you as a parent of a skater you are wrong. Your lack of knowledge coupled with your quick judgments leaves these kids at the bottom of your list. I mean our town spends millions each year to upkeep football fields, basketball courts, tennis, and baseball. But leaves the skatepark at the heart of the main rec field in shambles. Why ? Because it's just a haven for delinquents, right?
My son is starting skating at 11. He came to us with an unwavering desire to skate. That weekend and purchased his first board. We went to the skatepark and watched him struggle just to stay on it. He would get up each time and try again. There were about 20 kids at the skatepark that day, many teenagers. They were older, more experienced, and with their friends. But after watching my son struggle only for a few minutes. They came over, they offered to help him. They taught him how to get on the board, how to use it safely, and even managed to get him to go down a little ramp by the end. These were a bunch of disrespectful kids, they were doing drugs and tagging up the skatepark. They were there to skate, their passion. I watched them for over 2 hours. Skate down ramps, hit tricks, and fail. But each time they failed you would see it in them that they weren't going to quit until they perfected it. This sport is unique. It's just you and your board. No team or coach. No one telling you what to do or how to improve it. It's on you to work hard.
The skatepark is like a huge family. They look out for each other and push each other to do better. Skating has made my son independent, hard-working and determined. When he isn't at the skatepark he is home every day in our driveway setting up make-shift ramps and rails out of scrap wood to get better.
Now my son is 15, he skates every week. He needs it, he loves it, and it's part of him. It's his outlet and artform, We believe in him so much that we have sent him to a skateboarding camp at Woodward pa where he was trained and met pro skaters. He came home with even more drive and love for the sport.
I have learned a lot about skating. The terms, tricks, and types. But I've learned the most about the skater mentality.
- Skaters are obsessed with the sport, so much so that a day without skating is like a day without sleep. They live and breathe it.
- Skaters care very little about what the outside world thinks of them and their sport. They use it as a shove to push harder.
- Although it's not a team sport. Skating is the tightest community I've seen. There is an unbreakable bond and support within it.
- Skaters will always find a place to skate, but creating a safe place for them gives them more opportunity to grow and be able to share the sports with kids that might not otherwise be able to experience it.
I have had many shitty and negative comments said to me since my son started skating. A lot of people's views of the skatepark, and my son is part of a crew that is trouble makers. And I will tell you this, I hit back hard. I fight for my kid and the kids in this skater community. They don't deserve the uneducated bullshit comments about who they are. And if you are one of them who believe this, I say this go, go to the skatepark stand there for 10 minutes, and watch these amazing kids do something that you would never have the courage or passing to do. I sit here very comfortable knowing my son is at the skatepark expressing himself and becoming the best version of him he can be. And know that I am one proud mom of a SKATER!