By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
"What’s perhaps most striking is that they all seem to have read the same rulebook: take turns and stay out of each other’s way. When there is a mix-up, there doesn’t seem to be conflict. Rather, the offender apologizes and seems to commit to avoiding that mistake in the future and everyone gets right back to skating," he said.
For many years skateboarding has been understood as an urban culture, like punks, skaters damage property and are against social rules and norms and in some cases, this might be true. But something that piques my interest is what about the others that don’t know anything about skateboarding.
For sure, we are always pushing ourselves to get what we want and sometimes we can be like that in our daily life, with our family, at school or with friends. Also, those who skate have some similar behaviours that can be identified in our community.
Most of them like the pain, it takes away the frustration and the day’s problems seem to disappear. The genre of music they generally listen to is pretty specific and mirrors the way they see life. People that are into skateboarding are generally seen as outsiders, isolated, abandoned, ignored, forgotten and even bullied.
From a psychological perspective Friendman sees skateboarding to give riders a purpose that “has been shown to be associated with a range of positive outcomes, including living a longer life and improved stress management," he commented. Skaters that may have felt sad and empty in the past should see skateboarding as something they can use to improve their lives both physically and emotionally.
Many skaters find “family” in the skateboarding community that they could never find in normal life. In the skateboarding community, the only thing that matters is skateboarding. You can have the best outfit, come from the best families or have social status, but if you don't know how to skate or you don't enjoy skateboarding, you just won't belong there.
"I’m quite sure there are people at a skatepark who do not share each other’s political, religious or social views. And yet, when they are skateboarding, it appears that their primary identity, at least at that moment, is as a skateboarder," Friedman said about the skateboarders' role in his article.
A Pleasant Environment
Skaters are not going to judge you, to the contrary, they're going to help you and treat you as a normal person, without caring about where you are from or what you do. If you really want to learn to skate, you will learn, and the other skaters will help you do that.
Many people think that you can only go to a skatepark if you know how to skate, but the truth is that you don't have to know, don’t be shy because you're always going to be welcome. On the other hand, you can find people in skate parks that just go there to watch.
You should feel safe at a skate park as everyone there respects each other. Everyone has a history and you don't need to know everything about everyone to know that you have to be kind, tolerant, say sorry when you have to say it and forgive when someone asks forgiveness.
Something to note is how different people practice, of course, you won't go far if you don't try hard. But there is nowhere to be at a specific time, no specific place to practice. You have the freedom to do what you want when you want.
Even if there are many positive ways to see skateboarding, we need to remember that there are still divides between skaters. Those that feel they are superior because they are better at skating and then there are those that go skating parks to do drugs, harass others and can become violent.
However, these people are always in the minority and as a community, we have to work to make big changes. The great thing is that skateboarding can be used as a treatment, as a hobby, as exercise. Skateboarding is a lifestyle.