August 25, 2004

Skateboard Internment Camp

Skateboard Park, Robb Field, Ocean Beach, CA

Keep them locked up for the duration....

I'm old enough to have learned to bleed and bruise on clay wheel skateboards, back in the first mass market wave of 1960s sidewalk surfing, a decade before urethane "Cadillac Wheels" meant skateboarders had to go looking for serious injury rather than it invariably finding them. And long before anyone thought to consolidate skateboard accidents into skateboard parks....

But I never really caught onto the skateboard fad: I was a "Vot" not a "Surfer"; wore "loafers" not "sneakers"; listened to the Beatles, spewed silent venon at the mere mention of the Beach Boys.

These days, I see the point even less. There's nothing eXtreme, X-treme, Xtreme, X-Game, or X anything about skateboarding, much less skateboard parks.

Skateboarding today is just one long commercial stream of skateboard shoes, videos, logos; skateboarding clothes, pictures, movies, and "Skateboarding, The Art of"; skateboarder backpacks, posters, buddy icons, catalogs, stores, web sites, and skateboard stickers and stickers and stickers; there are skateboard parks, sponsors, camps, screensavers, clothing, gear, music, magazines, chat rooms; and skateboarding hats, helmets, pads, and proliferating varieties of skateboard equipment I can't even name.

There's even skateboarding wallpaper....

Maybe skateboarding is not a crime, but in America skateboarding is culturally lethal: If you want it, you can shop 'til you drop of skatebored stuff.

The latest skateboard trend is skateboard parks, composed of swimming pool-like pits and pathways, with designer ramps, decks and rails, and offering classes where local "Pros" can teach your child proficiency in the latest tips and tricks and flips.

Does skateboarding, "The Sport" really have a style other than "Freestyle"? Is Freestyle really a style at all? Can a sport that has no real style but "Freestyle" really be a sport at all?

Never mind. I entirely approve of the expenditure of public, taxpayer funds for the incarceration of the little rats in "Skateboard Parks," until they either spew their brains or grow up and out of it.

Breakfast (Lunch and Dinner) of Skateboarding Champions
Robb Field: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner of Skateboarding Champions
or The Three Food Groups of Healthy Young Minds and Bodies