I have never really understood skateboarding. As I was growing up, it always came across as kind of lame. Travis from Clueless, the skater representing an entire subcultural group of drop-outs – nice people but very very daggy. My brother’s school friends who sold him the idea that skating was the coolest thing ever and bullied him to push himself until he broke his arm. The kids who sat around at the Summer Hill skate ramp acting like they were untouchable – the coolest youths on the planet. The boys pulling off tricks and the girls swooning. It was just not that appealing to me at all.
Today I took my lunch to a local park and sat looking at an empty skate ramp. It’s a pretty good one, lots of different curves and ramps and things. I don’t know what they are called. Concrete shapes for skating on. As I was eating a couple of teenagers came across, jigging during lunch. As I watched one try to teach the other I realised this was the first time I had actually paid attention to skateboarding. And oh my goodness it was lovely! I tried not to stare as the better guy slid up and down the curves making beautiful shapes and beautiful lines. He moved his feet just the right amount to steer a perfect course. He was airborne just the right amount to smoothly come to a stop at the top of the ramp. It was pretty amazing.
So there goes my bias against skateboarding. I know that there are still awful kids hanging out at skate parks, kids like my brother’s friends and the ones from Summer Hill, but I don’t mind so much. I guess now that I am not a teenager anymore, I don’t find them so intimidating. I can just sit back and watch from a distance, and admire it like art.