Spend a day watching the local skater dudes
I took some time over the weekend to have a look at the Grass Valley Skatepark, located within Condon Park, near downtown Grass Valley. When I stopped by, about 30 skaters were actively skating. My nonscientific age range estimate, based on squeakiness of voice and hairiness of face, was between 10-years-old and, oh, let’s say, the mid-20s. The gender range was between male and female, with a mysterious few somewhere in the middle.
I noticed that the older skateboarders focused mainly on skating. There was not a lot of chatter going on in that bunch. The younger ones spent a lot of time and energy talking to each other, trying out some newly learned PG-13 slang and issuing bold challenges to their more daring compatriots.
I overheard one young turk urging another to try a particularly daunting trick. The reply, sincere and to the point, was, “The last time I tried that, I got a fractured kidney!” This revelation does not bode well for skaters.
They’re already making the poor kids dress like the Last Starfighter, what with the cumbersome helmet, elbow pads and kneepads. Any day now, they’re going to start requiring kidney pads. And most likely they’ll be terribly dorky looking things.
Happily, there were dads present, watching the rambunctious commotion. Now, I remember Little League dads from my youth, going nuts, yelling at the kids, yelling at the umpire, yelling at the nachos, and generally making nuisances of themselves. I’m delighted to report that skate park dads don’t yell at all.
Mostly they were laughing to themselves while watching their kids try to pull off tricky maneuvers, nodding to each other, saying, “you’d never catch me on one of those things.” It’s a beautiful thing to behold. Moms, I noticed, mostly stayed in the parking lot, keeping the actual skating and inevitable falling down out of their field of vision. You’d have to ask them why, but I have my theories.
I think it’s great that there’s a place for local skateboarders to enjoy themselves without fear of being hassled by the Man. Skate-boarding is a nonpolluting form of transportation, which goes a long way toward explaining why it’s been banned in so many places.
If only some enterprising whiz kid would come along and invent a skateboard that coughs up black smoke twice a minute, the art form would finally be embraced by the mainstream.
Grass Valley’s Skatepark is a great thing for our community and a wonderful gift to our local skaters. It seems like everyone skating there is having a good time, and even going to the skatepark just to observe is a fine way to pass the time – for those of us with fragile kidneys to begin with.
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