Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Skateboarding Is Not a Crime - Seriously

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Skateboarding Is Not a Crime - Seriously

Article excerpt

Byline: Jacob Milano

What is a skateboarder and what is skateboarding? Is the description a low-life menace with bad grades? Are they kids who drop out of high school and get into every type of drugs?

My answer for all of the people who see us as property-destroying punks is no. Yes, there are a ton of kids who skate for a while and end up doing drugs and dropping out of school, but they aren't the real skaters.

Maybe if they were skating every chance they got, like the ones who really love to do it, they wouldn't get the chance to smoke weed. The people I skate with (when I'm not working and when it's not raining) don't do drugs and they get good grades. They are the ones who really enjoy the activity.

Skateboarding is taken too seriously by a lot of kids. They throw themselves down rails and stairs all day long, crushing their bodies, and when they finally land the trick, no sense of self-accomplishment comes into play. They aren't happy inside or outside. Those are the kids who are like, "All right, I did that, now maybe I will go pro."

In my opinion, that is bogus. Every once in a while you just need to go out and ride around at the park and not worry about what anyone thinks, and remember why you really got hooked on this in the first place.

Over the past couple years I've struggled to pinpoint why skateboarding is so thrilling. A couple of months ago a good friend helped me finish my own personal reasoning: For one, skateboarding is a hobby, which means you can do it at any time for any amount of time with no coaches or schedules. Everybody wants to fly, and skateboarding defies gravity with every launch.

All extreme sports are fun, but there are reasons not to do them. It only snows for part of the year, so a lot of snowboarders skate in the summer and a lot of them then convert to skating. Biking and roller-blading seem too easy to break bones. Then there is surfing, which brings with it many complications until you have the perfect wave.

So, skateboarding just clicks. With skating you are setting goals and achieving them, which makes you happy if you really like what you're doing. Just being able to roll around effortlessly and jump over things you never dreamed of is crazy. …

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