Learning in the (skateboard) park

Cruising in the skateboard park
Cruising in the skateboard park

Parks come in all shapes and sizes and I never thought I would be having this much fun in a skateboard park.

I don’t know what possessed me, but there I was with my six year old son strapping on pads while we watched the other guys (and they were all guys) practice tricks on their skateboards.  I had even warned my son that he was on his own on this one as I had been on a board perhaps once, and that was at least three decades ago.  My son on a “trixie” board as he calls it, and me on a longboard (supposedly more stable for us old folks).

Growing up, skateboarders were those punk kids who terrorized the neighborhood and insisted on riding places the signs said they should not. Perhaps that’s still true some places, but somehow the whole sport seems to have matured. Half the people riding in the park were in their twenties (or older) and all were friendly and slightly bemused by the sight of us two. By some strange coincidence a number of the guys were pro’s — yes, they made a (decent) living riding boards. Theotis Beasley even signed my son’s first board. Not sure it was the message I was hoping my son would take away from this — but its a good reminder that excellence comes in many shapes and forms.

After a few valiant attempts to teach everything I had learned from a 3 minute 41 second YouTube video on starting to skateboard, a five year old came over and took charge. A few minutes later and my son was making his first tentative turns. “You know,” he said, “It’s OK for a five year old to teach a six year old because we’re all good at different things.” Pretty profound lesson from the skatepark.

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