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.

 

References

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

Comments

I agree with your view points on this article. I do think that skateboarders are discriminated upon because of the stereotypes that have surrounded the history of the sport. I think that it is wrong for all skateboarders to be judged like this. My city was granted a new skate park from a Tony Hawk organization about five years ago. The park was only left open for around a year because the city “claimed” that the park was used for drug deals and fights, not skateboarding. Every time that I went there, or my friends went there, it was being used by skateboarders and not any illegal activities. Outside of that park, my city has a ban on skateboarding in public areas. That was the main reason for the park being built. With the destruction of the park, there are no longer areas for teens to skate and this has lead to the death of the sport in my city. This same effect has started to happen with BMX biking. My town has had a few successful bikers, but when one of them made poor decisions and ended up in jail, the rest of the bikers in town were viewed as criminals. They blocked off all access to the dirt park that was built over time by the bikers of the town. Those who went to the park were subject to arrest. I do not like the idea that one bad apple spoils the bunch. That is not always the case.

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