A Grandpa’s View on Skateboarding

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I have lived in this town for a number of years. My daughter, her husband and their children have lived here even longer. Two of my three grandsons love to skateboard! At their home they have probably 10 to 12 different boards in all shapes and sizes. Some boards are for “trick skating.” A few are for “cruising.” One is for “down hilling.” I have learned about what these boards are for through my grandsons, who eagerly share with me their love of what they do. When I watch them, I feel such happiness. When I listen to them, I feel such pride at their passion and devotion!

When the oldest of my grandsons first ventured into the downhill sport, I felt nervous. What if he got hurt? I watched him over a series of months practice and work on his “technique.” He studied videos, he asked experienced skaters questions. But, most important, he practiced every day, first in our cul de sac. Later he ventured to other streets in town that had a little more elevation to them.

He is only 12 and yet he has had the good sense to take his time, and build carefully on his skill before advancing the challenge. It has been an amazing process to watch. I no longer feel afraid, and I often go and watch him in action. What an exhilarating and inspiring thing downhill skating is! It makes me feel young again just to watch. When I see his face and those of his closest friends, who share the same passion for the sport that he does, I say to myself, “This is what life should be about!”

I felt I needed to speak out, because I am in the same age range as most of the SNAG group, and yet I feel so entirely different than they do. I don’t feel inconvenienced! I don’t mind slowing down and checking twice! I don’t mind waiting as they go merrily by me on their boards! In fact, I watch, and I only wish I were still young enough to participate!

I am not sure what motivates these SNAG people, but I don’t believe for one second that it is “for the children” that they act. If they had ever watched these kids with an open heart, they would have become enamored, just as I have!

M. Matthews, Laguna Beach



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