Commentary of a Sidewalk Surfer


Skateboarding illegal? Really? What happened? A few self absorbed drivers get distracted from a text forcing them to actually drive?

Skateboarding is a non-issue. Not anyone’s business. Skaters don’t hurt anyone. I’ve three decades skating Laguna qualifying my opinions. What’s next? City Hall telling me I can’t surf when the waves are big?

Mind yours, I’ll do the same!

My skating started as a mode of travel, developed into time with friends, ‘pushing the envelope’ going to the edge and back; a form of stress release and personal expression, pure thought, perfect action. In short, good times.

Fact: a car’s a weapon, a large chunk of steel in motion. Fact: a skateboard’s a toy, a piece of wood. Compare annual statistics for deaths caused by skating under the influence? Texting while skating, etc.? Get my point?

More dangerous while driving? Being forced into on-coming traffic because cyclists riding side by side. Scarier still, reckless endangerment faced by babies in SUV-type three wheel strollers pushed by fitness addicted mothers, forcing drivers to drop their mobile devices and drive! Don’t get me started on grocery carts while parking, frightening! What about wheelchairs? Only on designated streets, Mondays and Wednesday?

To be from Laguna was a unique experience; there is no comparison. Possibly why we produce people who are independent, creative, innovative, and passionate while contributing original ideas and trends to society.  My generation took what we enjoyed doing and created profitable careers and billion dollar industries, by thinking out of the box.

Think X-games, snowboarding in the Olympics, think fashion and its accompaniments. We said good-bye to the 9 to 5, the suit and tie, creating new better opportunities.

Today, showing up to a dawn patrol on the beach before going to work isn’t frowned on; it’s called a board meeting. In short, we created lifestyles and the world followed.

I’m not claiming it all happened here in Laguna. But this place was a catalyst. The people and place intertwined, epicenter to a majority of influences.

In that sense, so much started on these streets in this town and, like it or not, born in the imagination of kids ‘sidewalk surfing’ between swells. Seems simple when you picture that in your head.

Nothing is invented, created or brought to fruition until first imagined in the mind. When they outlaw skateboarding, only outlaws will skate. Well…

Catch me if you can!


Pierre Balasuriya,

Laguna Beach

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