Public Skateboarding

More stories from Anthony Roberts

Team Scholars
March 5, 2015
The Last Fall
February 4, 2015

Millions of people around the world skateboard and of these, 6 million people skateboard in the United States.

Whether it be an actual skateboard, a longboard, or a penny board; people skateboard because it defines who they are as a person.

Many communities view skateboarders as punks or pests and think skating has a negative effect on the youth.  The popular belief is that skaters do drugs and vandalize public property.

There have even been instances where skateboarders would get tickets just for riding to the neighborhood gas station for groceries.

Although there may be laws that prohibit where skaters are allowed to skate and put limits on what they are allowed to do, skateboarding is legal and a skateboarder should have the same rights as other people, especially bicyclists.

Bicyclists have their own lanes on the sides of roads and can bike anywhere they like because they have the right of way on busy roads. Many places, schools for example, have bike racks to put your bikes on while you go inside.

This is not fair to skateboarders because they cannot go anywhere they would like due to the stereotype of skateboarders being troublemakers.

If skateboarders were allowed to ride in public areas, then there would not be rebellious teenagers making a stand for their rights to ride.

Every year, more and more people, both children and adults, own skateboards due to the popularity it is gaining by video games, television shows, movies, and celebrity skateboarders.

Skaters are starting to become role models to youth by performing acrobatic stunts in the X Games’ extreme sporting events.

It is understandable that companies do not want skaters to get hurt on their property due to lawsuits. It is the skater’s fault if he or she gets hurt on your property, not the owner’s.

If you want to avoid lawsuits, then set up cameras around your property to show proof of what actually happened. Skateboarders should not have to worry about security guards running them off if they want to cruise around a parking lot or a scenic public park.

Citizens make arguments on how skateparks are made exactly for that reason; to give skateboarders a place to ride and show off their skills. Just like a bicycle, people do use skateboards for means of transportation. So why is it that skateboarders do not have the same rights?

“I think we should be able to skate in public places” said skateboarder Kevin Girard. “We’re not harming anyone or anything. It’s our form of transportation. If a landowner doesn’t want to get sued if someone gets hurt, he should put a sign up that says ‘Skate At Your Own Risk’.”

Property issues are not the only reasons that skaters are not allowed to skate in public. Police officers claim that they are only worried about the safety of other citizens.

The main reason is that skaters do not give off the vibe that companies are trying to create for themselves. Not all skaters dress the same.

Saying that all skaters dress the same is like saying all birds can fly. There are different species of birds just like their are different nationalities and interests in skaters.

There are laws for skateboarding. In Southern California, if you bomb a hill (go down a hill very fast) without slowing down for traffic, you can earn a $250 fine.

In Cincinnati, public skating is a $100 fine. Skateboarding laws vary from state to state. Either way, it seems as if authorities are trying to rid of skateboarding all together. Confining skaters to just a skatepark takes away the freedom of skating.

In Philadelphia, there is a law called Title 10. It states that if you are skateboarding in a public memorial or grind on public artwork, you can get up to 90 days in jail or a fine. 90 days in jail seems a little ridiculous for such a minor offense.

Skaters around the world are taking a stand. The more that authorities prohibit skateboarders from skating in public, the more people are going to do it.

It would save a lot of trouble by allowing skaters to have fun and ride in public areas. Skateboarding has become a big part of the youth’s culture and should be cherished rather than frowned upon.