Skateboarders, victims of misinterpretation

Skaters ask for higher regard


Josh Garcia

(From left to right) Junior skaters Nathan Hubba, Tyler Wolfe, Christian Vezina, Kaipo Chavez, and Henry Graycochea walk to WRV skate park at the Oceanfront.

Josh Garcia , Staff Writer

Many people think of skaters as a group of outlaws and hooligans who destroy public property; while this may be true for some skaters, not all seek a bad reputation. Skaters deserve a better image.

Every clique has its rebels that cause mischief, so is this negative label fair to skateboarders? No.

Skateboarding is an extreme sport, and these daredevils that ride a piece of wood with four wheels 20 mph down the street should be respected, not scorned. Skaters are not delinquents, and they don’t purposefully wack pedestrians in the ankles or destroy public property with intent to harm.

According to the New York Times, “Vaughn Reale (mayor of Margate City, New Jersey in 2004) says he is annoyed that skateboarders are perceived as criminals first and children second.”

I experience this disdain almost every time I skate with my friends. We are often rudely kicked out of spots around the Oceanfront just for being there.

In fact, one time we were skating in front of my friend’s house when we were approached by a cop car. The cop told us that someone had complained that we were in the way of traffic. He could tell that we were doing nothing wrong, so he just told us to keep skating. It is incredible that some people will actually take the time out of their day to call the cops on some teenagers skateboarding.

According to the New York Times, towns all around the state of New Jersey ban skateboarding downtown or near municipal property. Similar to New Jersey, city officials of Virginia Beach put prominent signs forbidding skateboards in Town Center in 2017, according to Citylab.

“You can break a window with a baseball, too, and no one is thinking of banning that on public property,” said Reale.

According to, approximately 6.38 million people participated in skateboarding in 2017, which is almost six times the population of Hawaii. This number proves to be quite impressive when put into perspective.

With such a large amount of skaters in the world, the label seems much heftier. Skateboarding is mainstream, so why not give skaters the respect they deserve? Besides, skateboarders should not be a topic of concern when there are teens the same age turning to drugs and gangs.

“It’s unfair and unjust,” said junior skater Henry Graycochea. “We are just kids trying to have fun, but we don’t really have anywhere else to go.”

Most of the time there is nowhere for skaters to practice their crazy maneuvers. There needs to be more skateparks for skateboarders to do what they love. Sure skateparks exist, but they are often not in convenient locations for teenage skaters. Sometimes skaters can’t make the trip to the skatepark, so instead, they skate street spots; it all comes down to convenience.

If the city built more skateparks in convenient locations for teenage skaters, there would be a decreased number of skaters skating public street spots.