Monday, January 25, 2010

My Experience With The Police

Police brutality has been a general problem throughout America, and it can be experienced in the skateboard community as well. Such violence to teens that are doing nothing more than a recreational activity is wrong and unnecessary.

Two days after my sixteenth birthday, a few friends and I decided to go skate downtown. We had just got a camera a few weeks before, so we planned to go film for a video we were working on. We decided to skate a spot that we have been to several times next to the Nationwide Arena.

Before we drove to the spot, we decided to get some drinks at a gas station, and as we left, we realized that a cop was following us. We didn't have anything to worry about, so we ignored the cop and continued to the spot. As we were pulling into the Nationwide Arena parking lot, we looked back and we shocked to see the cop still behind us. He immediately turned the sirens on and we stopped the car.

"Where's the weed at," was the first words to come out the officers mouth. Our friend in the back seat giggled and the cop ordered us to get out of the car and sit on the curb. My friend asked the officer if we did anything wrong, and the cop pushed him to the ground, calling him a “smart ass.” As the cop proceeded to search the car, we all looked at each other, questioning whether or not this was some sort of TV show prank.

After a ten-minute search, the cop returned to the curb empty handed. He then began to ask each of us several questions as he went down the line, and then it was my turn. I’ve never had to deal with the cops, so I was very nervous; when he asked me my age, I replied, "15 sir.........uh I mean 16." Although my birthday just past, I was still used to saying my age was fifteen.

This answer really irritated the cop, and he told me to stand up. He proceeded by putting me in handcuffs and placing me in the back of his car. After searching the rest of my friends, he let me go and gave us a bullshit excuse as to why he pulled us over; We didn't turn on our blinker the proper distance away from the turn.

Based off this experience, I get nervous every time a cop is around. Cops have the power to pull you over for anything, and there is nothing you and do about it. Even though the cop didn't act violently towards us , I believe the cop was abusing his power to scare us.  Although he claimed he was pulling us over for the blinker, it was clear that the cop was profiling and assuming that a group of teenagers were into drugs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Early Years of Skating

Prior to skateboarding, I would enjoy the sport only by watching it on the t.v, or watching my friend’s. I would only watch skateboarding and think to myself it would be something fun to learn. I was introduced to skateboarding during my freshman year in high school. A good friend of mine got into skating a few months before our freshman year, and during the first week of school he got a new skateboard. He gave me his old board and insisted that I should get into skating. I was hesitant at first, thinking I could not learn a sport such as skateboarding, but I have been skating ever since.

The first year of skateboarding, we would skate behind a Wal-Mart within walking distance of our neighborhood. The area was very plain; there was nothing there but the cement ground covered by a large green roof. We named the area,” The Green,” based off the roof, and we would skate there for hours everyday. “The Green” was a good place to skate because it was covered with a roof so we had a place to skate when it rained, it was behind the store so there were no cars or pedestrians to look out for, and the best thing about skating here was nobody cared if we were back there.

We did not know this at first, but “The Green” was used by police as a speed trap to catch speeders going through the area. There were several incidents where we would be skating and cops would pull up, and as we began to pack up and leave, the cops insisted that we stay. We were very surprised to hear this, but we continued to skate while the cops watched us as entertainment. The cops would occasionally talk to us and they allowed us to skate the area as long as they didn’t have any complaints by the workers, or we didn’t trash the place.

We continued to skate the spot for over a years, bringing rails, boxes and building several ramps. Once one of us got our license, we spent our time skating several spots and skate parks around Columbus. To this day we still skate The Green on rainy days and we were glad to have the privilege of having an area in which we had to ourselves.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The History of Skateboarding

Skateboarding can be described in several ways such as an recreational activity, an art-form, a sport, a job, or simply just a method of transportation. Skateboarding is a popular activity that children, adults, men, and women can enjoy. Skateboarding originated in the late 1950's in California. It is said that skateboarding was created by surfers who were looking for an alternative when the waves were uncooperative. With a few simple modifications to a surf board, skateboards were created. In the early 1960's skateboards were being sold in America. Skateboards were very popular for a few years, but in the mid 1960's many stores stopped selling skateboards because they felt it was too dangerous and unsafe. This is when the sport entered its first slump. In the early 1970's a man by the name of Larry Stevenson invented the first "kicktail" skateboard. The kicktail introduced concave skateboards which brought some of the first tricks into skateboarding, such as the ollie and kickflip. The late 70's and early 80's was a large growth stage in skateboarding, magazines and videos were created, concrete skateparks were built throughout the U.S.,skate shops were built and vert skating was very popular. The 80's generation was very important for skateboarding because this is when many pro's were recognized such as Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero. Towards the end of the 80's, skateboarding shifted it's focus onto street skating such as stairs, gaps and rails.  The 90's is what made skateboarding what it is today. A variety of tricks , teams, and companies were brought to the skateboarding community. Skateboarding increased it's popularity when it was displayed in the first ESPN (Extreme) X Games in 1995. The impact of media coverage has helped skateboarding become what it is today by raising the general image of skateboarding , and this has moved skateboarding from an underground sport to a spectator sport over the past years. Today skateboarding is still very popular, you can see it on t.v., magazines, and movies. It has become more than just a hobby to people, some people earn money and can make enough money to live a great life from skateboarding. Due to these changes in skateboarding, a pro can make anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 a month just from doing what they love to do.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Welcome To My Blog

I am writing this blog about skateboarding, I plan on explaining how i got into skateboarding and how skateboarding has affected my life throughout the years. I plan to describe my experiences that i have been through throughout my years of skating, such as being kicked out of spots from security and the police. I also plan to discuss some other topics including injuries I have experienced, some of the various tricks and products in skateboarding, and some news going on in the skateboard community. I will be giving my opinion on the various skateparks and skate shops around the Columbus, Ohio area. Some people view skaters as rebellious teens who always want to start trouble, so in my blog i want to express my ideas on the stereotypes of a skater. The skateboarding population has been growing steadily throughout the years, and skateboarding has expanded all over the world, so in my blog I will be going to explain some of the history of skateboarding. Throughout my posts on this blog I want to describe my feelings on skateboarding, and why i believe skateboarding has been a very important part of my life.