WHY SKATEBOARDING IS A BRILLIANT TEACHER
Riding a skateboard is a cultural statement, a courageous undertaking and a beautiful form of art. In a poetic sense it is legitimate to speak of it as riding concrete waves in urban jungles. It is one of those pastimes that look so incredibly easy to pick up but have you toss your board in the corner after your first try, humiliated by defeat, bruises and bleeding knees. However, after victory over the mandatory initial stage of bodily disco-ordination, it has the power to transform your life and skyrocket your cool factor.
Judging by the eye and in numbers, more males than females skateboard. Visit any skate park at any time and you will have males outnumber females. This is just how it’s always been. This misrepresentation is owed to our perception of gender roles: little boys are left to mess around on a skateboard, little girls are sent to ballet class or ride ponies. As soon as we are old enough to understand this, the majority is already too preoccupied with self-consciousness, posing a barrier for females to start skateboarding: not only are you the rare female at the skatepark (and are hence looked at), you are also the kook novice (and are hence stared at, at least in your head). The difference between not facing and overcoming this barrier is made by a simple choice: are you letting these thoughts control your perception and make excuses or are you able to detach yourself from them and just do it? If intrinsic motivation is present, the desire to master a skill overrides fear of failure.
Once your intention is set, you are destined for progress but throughout your journey you will learn to choose opting in over backing out, over and over again. Our minds are funny like that, thoughts will come and go. One moment you will feel stupid and incapable. You will be falling and be scared to death before your first drop-in (you just cannot believe how putting all your weight into this movement is supposed to make this any less scary because you are less likely to fall). It will all seem so freaking scary. Still, you will choose you are going to do this as you remember that a decision got you in this position in the first place.
Because soon, when you do your first turn, you will feel like Nora Vasconcellos. Let alone yourself, because you will impress the boys. Because you will eventually make it look easy. And most importantly, because you will learn that you are much more capable than you thought you were.
It’s funny how the moment you once dreaded has the potential to develop into your moment of rejoice. In skateboarding, as with many other things in life, it’s not about winning a trophy. It’s about your intrinsic drive to progress and to face your fears. The time you put in and the thoughts you manage to pause is the progress you get out. Hell, scrap the serious achievement talk. It’s about having a good time, falling and then laughing at yourself, inspiring your friends and finding inspiration, driving and feeding off each other. Together to achieve individually. The point of the matter is that skateboarding is as hard core as it is inclusive and empowering.
Let’s also just add at this point that deviations from skateboarding to cruising and carving have gained massive popularity with a largely female audience, for their ability to express grace and style. This is an excellent way to increase your confidence before hitting the bowl or mini ramp because a solid foundation stones for rewarding progress on the board. If you still lack imagination of how you can approach this, grab your friend or follow an organised community like GRLSWRL.