Post by Boedee B.
Featured Image by http://pixabay.com/en/skateboard-skateboarding-bicycle-724743/
Nobody knows exactly when this phenomena was invented. Some say in the 1950’s or 1960’s by surfers. Others may say this “sport” really took off in the 1970’s. In the 70’s the Zephyr skateboard team was created. It was a group of kids that skated and were sponsored by a local surf shop. Notable members on the team are the three legends Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Stacy Peralta. Those three dudes revolutionized the “sport” that is ever so popular today.
Skateboarding has always been seen as a “sport” that leads to drugs and crimes. However that has happened to many skaters, a lot of skaters just skate because they like it. There is roughly between 11 million and 14 million active skaters in the world. Skateboarding has a more positive impact on kids. Skateboarding is a way kids can express themselves and be part of a community that is very accepting.
Tony Hawk is the number one skateboarder people usually think about when skateboarding is mentioned. Tony Hawk is the man that landed the first 900 degree spin on a skateboard. Now he focuses on his company Birdhouse Skateboards and his foundation named The Tony Hawk Foundation. The Tony Hawk Foundation was founded after a number of emails were sent by parents explaining to Hawk that there are not anything safe or legal places to skate. And in some cases the kids were being arrested for skating public property. His mission was to serve the population and develop high quality places to practice the sport. The foundation then began in 2002 to pursue Hawks mission. “To-date, the foundation has awarded over $5.2-million to 557 public skatepark projects in all 50 States. 466 Tony Hawk Foundation grant recipients have opened their skateparks.”(Skateistan.org) These parks receive more than 4.8-million visits annually by youth who benefit from the active lifestyle.
Skateistan is another organization doing good for the community with skateboarding. “Skateistan is a non-profit organization using skateboarding as a tool for empowerment. Skateistan began as a grassroots ‘Sport for Development’ project on the streets of Kabul in 2007, and is now an award-winning, international NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) with projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Skateistan is the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding and educational outcomes. Skateistan’s vision is to grow a sustainable organization that is recognized locally & globally for changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth through skateboarding and quality programmes – creating leaders that change the world.” (Skateistan.org)
These are just some of the positive influences on skateboarding that help expand and evolve the “sport”.
Skateboarding is only as bad of an influence as you want it to be. But most parents are concerned more about the punk, raw, angry side of skateboarding – and the drugs and alcohol abuse that can come along with it. It’s true that skateboarding has always welcomed the rough crowd. Skateboarding has strong historical ties to the punk movement, and even further back to the innovative, aggressive young surf crowd. But there are skaters out there who might be bad influences on your kids. That is the truth. But the truth is, there are football players, cheerleaders, geeks, church kids and nice kids out there who could be bad influences on your kids, too. Skater punks tend to stand out because they try pretty hard to look mean. It’s all part of the style, but some are actually mean kids with issues.
Skateboarders always get in trouble for skateboarding in the streets and on public property. This would be referred to as Street Skating and that is what most skateboarders skate in the street. Now the street doesn’t just mean the streets we drive on. Street Skating is a style of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and transitions in public places. Sure this could cause property damage to businesses and other places by grinding down there handrails and ledges, but when no parks are around that offer exceptional skateparks this is going to happen. Even if there are exceptional skateparks skateboarders are still going to be street skating. There are skateboarding laws is some states and cities because of skaters causing damage or getting hurt. A lot of businesses kick people skateboarders out of spots because they think they will get hurt and try to sue the business. However most skaters fall trying tricks most of them would not sue a business for them falling. Its not the businesses fault they fell. Its the skaters fault.
I personally think skateboarding has a positive impact on people. It changes lives and when you get good enough it can become your job if you choose to continue on that path.