Skateboarders break free from stereotypes
Skateboarding had an unfavorable stereotypical image in the past, but today, it has become a very popular pastime for college students around the country.
Engineering sophomore Gabriella Koenig, who has skateboarded for a year now, said that it shouldn’t be viewed as a hobby for troubled teens.
“People don’t skate because they are troublesome; many people use this hobby as a way to stay away from other negative activities they could be doing, like drugs and crimes,” Koenig said.
For journalism sophomore John Grobe, skateboarding is primarily a method of releasing energy that otherwise would come out in a negative form.
“If I didn’t skate I don’t know how I would let all that energy out. I would probably get into a lot more trouble than I do now,” Grobe said. “Also, it’s just a more efficient way to get around.”
Grobe has been skating for five years and says that although he has never partaken in a competition, he would really like to someday.
“I see people on TV at work who take part in these competitions and it makes me want to compete as well,” Grobe said. “I just hope I’m that good one of these days.”
However, skateboarding does not come without its hazards. Grobe said he has broken the same wrist twice from skate-related causes.
Other skaters like mechanical engineering student Robert Love have never broken any bones. Love has been skating for only six months and has made it an everyday hobby.
“I haven’t really noticed a big skating community at UH, but in the meantime, I’ll just skate by myself,” he said.
Love does not compete professionally, but said he hopes to in the future. However, he does attend many skate parks in Houston.
“There are a lot of places to go in Houston if you want to skate. You don’t even really have to go to a skate park; you can simply go downtown, to bike trails and other open places to enjoy skating,” Love said.
Skating is a hobby that requires money. Pre-pharmacy freshman Austin Ross has spent at least $65 on around 13 broken skateboards.
“I don’t think I’ve spent more money on any other hobby. It’s what I have been doing for three years now, and I don’t really mind spending money on something I love doing,” Ross said. “My mom always encouraged me to save my money, but I couldn’t help but to buy another skateboard every time one broke.”
Skateboarding has proved to be a convenient mobile tool for students on campus like chemical engineering student Rami Tony.
“I drive to school, but when I park my car, I skate to my classes because it is easier than walking, and you get some attention while doing it,” he said.
Tony was 11 when his neighbors took up skating. He finally became friends with them and joined them in their hobby.
“Skateboarding to me can be a social hobby,” Tony said. “You can interest others just by showing them a few tricks, and in just a couple of days, they can get hooked to it, just like I did.”