Busting gnarly kickflips, son…

I learned how to skateboard at the age of 7. Back when skateboarding was mainly prevalent in white, suburban areas. My cousins, Rafi and Moksha, decided to visit from Atlanta. Sitting on my front porch, I saw Rafi ride his skateboard up and down my block. (I only knew what he was doing because of my love for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) I immediately asked him to teach me how to skateboard, which he agreed to. He woke me up at 7am the next morning (a Saturday morning) and for the rest of the day, I fell, got back up, fell, got back up, rested, fell some more, and got back up some more. After accumulating about 104 scratches and 13 sprains, I could proudly call myself a skateboarder. I’d ride my skateboard EVERYWHERE. I took pride in the fact that while all of my friends rode their bikes, I followed on my skateboard. Over the next few years, I was ridiculed for participating in a “white boy sport”, even though skateboarding is more of an activity than a sport, in my opinion. I didn’t understand why so many of my black friends LOVED TMNT, but couldn’t grasp how skateboarding could be fun. As a teen, I was a hot dog skater, basically, for the ladies. That went on until I tried to hitch (skating while holding onto a bike,car, etc…which I advise skaters to NEVER try) one day, and ended up shattering my forearm. I’ve only experienced a greater pain once, and that was when I cracked two ribs. Let’s just say, that since then, impressing the ladies with my skating hasn’t been my top priority. Shortly after that, suddenly, skateboarding became popular in urban areas, and moreso amongst minorities as well. Credit Stevie Williams, Teddy Kennedy, Tony Hawk, Pharrell, Lupe, whoever…for it becoming acceptable to “be from the hood” and ride a skateboard. I haven’t ridden in more than a month (I tried to bust a manual to impress a gal and suffered some bruised ribs) but I plan to ride this weekend with Martina, J Earl, and Kidd Skidd to officially say goodbye to the summer. Just a nice, casual ride. No ollies, or nose manuals. I know this, though. When it comes to skateboarding, it’s refreshing to see one less stereotype thrown around… P.S. I miss Karen!!! P.P.S. #shoutout to Martina (thanks for the blog inspiration, miss), J Earl, Kidd Skidd, Rafi, Laney, Sarah, Cassie aka Ms. Applebottom, and all the skater dudes and dudettes, grinding rails and acing Butterflips for the love of it…

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