The Skating Culture This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   One dark and mysterious summer evening, my friendScott and I decided to go for a nighttime skate. Grabbing our boards, we walkedto the end of my development and started skating. Before long, a tall, commandingfigure stepped out of the shadows of his garage.

"What are youdoing?" he demanded.

"Just skating," wereplied.

"Well, you can't skate on my sidewalk. I don't want to behere when the police come to arrest you, you delinquents," said theman.

Disgusted by yet another misguided fool, Scott and I picked up ourboards and headed home.

So many people do not know the truth aboutskateboarding. When they hear the word, they cringe in terror. Skateboarders havebeen mistakenly branded as hooligans since skating became popular. Many believeall skaters are crack-loving delinquents waiting to be thrown in jail. This isabsolutely wrong. A few law-breaking individuals have been connected with allskaters everywhere. Sure, a small percentage of the skating culture does usedrugs, but it's not right to say all skaters do.

Among my skater friends,I do not know one drug user. Many people, including me, have chosen a positive,drug-free lifestyle. But people are so obsessed with the label, they don't knowthe truth about skating.

Skateboarding is evolving into a major sport andattracting attention. Many new followers join the skating culture every day. Itis appealing because of its many facets; skating can be fun for tricks andgrinds, freestyling or just skating down hills and picking up speed. While thelearning curve for tricks may be steep, there are so many things a person can doon a board.

I love just about everything about skating, it doesn'tmatter if I'm simply standing on my board or trying new tricks. For me, nothingbeats the elation of mastering a new trick or doing an old one. The adrenalinethat comes with the accomplishment is amazing. I also still love flying down hugehills on my board, feeling a rush of wind in my face, knowing that if I fall itwill hurt really, really badly but somehow not caring because it's worthit.

Skating is moving into the mainstream, and skaters are beginning toshow up all over. While skaters may be misunderstood for a while, I'll do my partto correct the misguided. Any time I come across people who try to label me as adrug addicted, law-breaking skateboarder, I try my best to correct them for thesake of the sport.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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