So skateboarding is cool...
We all know that. It's a bit like surfing, if you can't, don't try, Well that's what my first boyfriend used to say. I never agreed with it at the time but watching my husband tap into his lost youth at the Acton Skate Park recently I finally understood what he was talking about. I was standing near some youths gathered on the rim, leaning on BMX's and couldn't help but overhear their jeers. ‘Wait, look there's a parent about to drop in, ha ha. OMG! Man why do these dads just think you can pick up a skateboard and do that, it's an extreme sport man’ I suddenly got defensive. How dare they poke fun at my cool husband! Then I looked over and saw him. They were right. He stood out like a broken thumb, uncoordinated and slightly balding. Bless him. My daughter on the other hand was taking to this like a duck to water. She's 10 and edgy, loves shopping and can be girly but mucks in, gets her hands dirty, mounts bikes on backs of cars and enjoys feeding pigs (big ones – razorbacks) She's very sporty and I knew she'd love this. My son enjoyed it as well but has come off a couple of times and has had his confidence knocked. He'll get back in the saddle but for now he's watching his sister with pride.
We dabbled with skateboards when visiting a friend in Italy last October (See travel blog) her kids carry them everywhere, its how they get around.
These skateboards were a Christmas gift with the hope of a new hobby and some outdoor play for all seasons. I'd done a little bit of research beforehand to know that one doesn't just buy online. These needed to be selected. Now I follow a few skate shops due to my wallpaper 'Wired for Sound' so I keep up with relevant social media. I'm lucky enough to have some boarders follow me as a response to this so I find myself being submerged in the culture a bit and wishing I wasn't 45 with L4/L5 lower back issues…
I decided on Slick Willies in Kensington and took the kids with me to choose. It's a very cool shop and knew we were in good hands when we walked in. Josh (we had a great chat afterwards and now on a first name basis :)) explained to the kids the size of the board is important and that the artwork is almost irrelevant. I was gutted, I had grand plans of having skins made (art wraps to personalise your board). The artwork is underneath the board so is never seen AND it gets all scratched up the moment you ride it!
Turns out he's right. And he would be hoping to make the UK team @joshmanjosh1. Rudy, the owner knows his stuff. He was hanging clothing when we walked in so hands on and very approachable.
We've hit the park about 4 times (due to the extreme cold and school starting back up) but can see that it will be a regular weekend activity. The more you practice the better you get and with amazing female role models now getting exposure, my daughter has got aspirations.
The Acton Skate park built by the Ealing skate park Association (ESA) is proving popular after school and weekends with many kids climbing the fence to use before it opened, a good sign that locals were desperate for somewhere to hang out. There is another park opening in Ealing. With the inclusion of this sport in the Olympics 2020 it's certainly on the rise.