Hate Towards Skate
by rsmit18 on March 7, 2014 - 3:00pm
For some reason skaters don’t get a good reputation. I consider myself as a part of the skateboarding culture. I ride a skateboard, I wear the clothing, and most important of all, I embrace the freedom it promotes. Skateboarding is all about becoming one with the board, and one with yourself to view the natural urban environment in ways It has never been looked at. The majority of us skaters are peaceful, however by some odd reason we have been tacked with this bad boy, wreck less, disruptive, and destructive stereotype. Skaters are not out on a mission to destroy the world, were merely trying to use so called “public areas” in interesting and creative ways. Recently I read the article Don’t Skate Here: Exclusion of Skateboarders from Urban Civic Spaces in Three Northern Cities in England. (WOOLLEY, HAZELWOOD, & SIMKINS) This research piece did an excellent job of detailing the spaces that skaters pick out, what attributes they look for in spots, and the factors acting against skaters. The piece explains that skaters look for a couple of qualities in a spot. These include “accessibility, trick-ability, sociability and compatibility.” (WOOLLEY, HAZELWOOD, & SIMKINS) As stated in the journal accessibility describes how easy it is to get to, and how easy it is to stay there. Trick-ability describes what can be used there. Being just a flat surface just doesn’t cut it. Skaters look for obstacles to trick on such as benches, curbs, stairs, handrails, and banks just to give you a slight idea. Sociability is quite obvious, and computability describes how compatible skateboarding is with the other users of the public space. The journal carries on with describing how there are restraints being put down both physically and socially to try and stop skaters from using public space. Laws have been placed and even structures are being built for objects to become near impossible to skate to try and discourage skateboarding. But the main meat of the journal is the comparison of three cities in England who all have been implementing designs to try and stop skateboarding. The journal takes a look at Crewe, Shefﬁeld, and Manchester, and how they’ve modified objects such as benches and plazas with skate topers, and other means to try and stop skateboarding. Each city has slightly different actions as some design the objects from the start to not be skate accessible, while others modified the objects after skaters were constantly using them. I think it is a little excessive that people want to ban skateboarding so bad. I’ve experienced this a couple times myself. Of course I was always respectful to those who asked me to stop, however one time I wasn’t so respectful. I was skating in front of my drive way and a neighbor of mine decided to call the cops on me. Of course the officer sympathized with me because he understood all I was trying to do was have fun. People shouldn’t look at skateboarding in such a negative way. It’s a great outlet for kids, and it keeps them from getting into dangerous activities such as drugs and gangs. We are skaters, but we are also humans.
I think this journal was constructed well. It focuses on an issue, and focuses on that issue throughout the whole entire piece. The issue? Skateboarding not being allowed in public spaces, and how cities are trying to prevent the activity. It tells both sides of the issue. It shows what the skaters want, and it shows what the general public wants. It then dissects the issue more by giving three cities as examples. Then the journal gives detailed pictures and descriptions of the cities and their attempts at minimizing skate-ability. So overall I think the article was well constructed, focused, and provided evidence and detail on the focused issue.
Woolley, H., Hazelwood, T., & Simkins, I. (2011). Don't Skate Here: Exclusion of Skateboarders from Urban Civic Spaces in Three Northern Cities in England. Journal Of Urban Design, 16(4), 471-487. doi:10.1080/13574809.2011.585867