This week I am posting an Article written by Preston Clark. Preston is a Highschool Sr., very talented skater, he has volunteered as an instuctor at skate camps for 2 years, and has been helping us with developing our programming all summer!
Skateboarding has saved my life: By Preston Clark
Skateboarding is the only thing kids like me have. I’ve never been good at other sports, and I was never the social type either. I have something to be motivated and passionate about. I have a place I fit in. Skating has taught me how to; set goals, achieve those goals, and overcome my fears.
Skateboarding has kept me out of trouble, given me amazing friends, but most importantly it gave me a purpose in life. I want to spread the joy that skating has given to me and so many others. That being said, I have some concerns about the way skateboarders are treated as a community.
Skaters are often given a negative image for being disrespectful vandals. I’ve personally been yelled and cursed at for just riding down the sidewalk. Without notice I’ve even had people try to take my board, call the cops, even fight me over my choice of sport and transportation. It happens all the time too. At times I feel like we’re not welcome in our own community.
There is not much support for the skateboard community. The outdoor skate parks are only usable during the summer months. There are no after school activities or clubs during the rainy season. I don’t think people realize how large this skate community is in Washington and how important this issue is to us.
We have a large skate scene here in Tacoma and it’s only getting bigger. There are skate spots all over in Tacoma that have been featured in skate videos seen all around the world. These videos are what got me into skateboarding in the first place. Skate teams come from all over the U.S. to skate and film at these spots.
We all learned from one another and fed off of each other’s energy. We wanted to learn everything we saw in skate videos. Street skating was all we watched so naturally that’s all we knew. We learned; names for everything, how to flip our boards, how to wax a ledge in order to grind and slide on it, how to jump down everything, how to balance on two wheels, we set up boards to jump over, we played games of S.K.A.T.E.
I feel frustrated as a skater in the North West, I feel like many of the things we do as skaters can be used in our schools and community. I would like to have a dry space to skate in that doesn’t cost a lot of money and would be able to learn more about skateboarding and teach other kids to skate. I would like to have the support that other sports have.