I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to abruptly stop in the middle of traffic for someone other than a pedestrian out here in the Valley. I’m not knocking your hustle or your talent, but please since you have wheels, you have to obey the rules of the road.
After seeing so many bike riders and skaters out here, I had to find out where the inspiration to skate comes from and where they all congregate.
I observed from afar for a while to get a sense of the individuals, environment and atmosphere. I definitely didn’t see what I expected. There were kids and teenagers galore. Hardly anyone was wearing PPE, personal protective equipment. Excuse the military jargon. I come from an organization, the US Army, who’s extremely precautious and safe. We have to do composite risk management to walk across the street. We have to wear Kevlar helmets in the Armored Military Hummers. Therefore, it baffled me to see so little people not wearing any protective gear. The only ones wearing the gear were the very small kids, 5-7 year olds, who were there with parents.
After observing getting a feel for the scene, I moved closer to blend in with the crowd, as not to stick out too much.
I chatted with a few kids, but I was very intrigued by one in particular. He seemed to be skating in his own world listening to music and completely zoned out from the rest of the park.
I watched a him do a few tricks. Not what kind of tricks he was doing and how long he’d been skating and why he skates, I decided to talk to him about it. He didn’t wear any protective equipment either.
“I never think about getting hurt,” he said. “If you think about it too much, you will get hurt.”
He’s 19 years old from Arizona, but just recently moved back here from Omaha, NE.
Being in Omaha, he developed a love and appreciation for skating.
“One of my friends introduced it to me, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.
Many people spend all day at the gym, playing video games and maybe even at the mall, but his haven is the skate park.
“Sometimes I skate from 7 am – 1o pm or 8 pm -2 am or 3 am,” he said. “It’s what I do. All I do. Go to sleep, wake up, skate,” he said.
Skating out here in Phoenix is like pick up basketball in the south during the summer. You forget everything around you and skate all day.
“If I’m not with my girlfriend, I’m skating. I usually bring her with me once in a while,” he said.
Check out a few of the skaters here