Not sure what it’s like where you are, but skaters are renowned for having a bad rep within their communities.
Right from the earliest days Skateboarding has always embraced a certain amount of rebel attitude… ;) But the lifestyles and actions of a few extreme dudes has led to many people in the non-skateboarding world having a distorted idea about what it means to be a skater. They immediately think vandalism, drugs and outrageous behaviour... then do ridiculous things like get onto the cops at the merest hint of wheels. C'mon!!
K, so a little bit of flack ain’t gonna stop us! But it still sucks if people dis us just because society has told them all skaters are trouble.
Good news is, there’s plenty of stuff going on to change that shit.... even from WITHIN some police forces! Check this longboarding cop in Wisconsin... guys getting hassle in the 80’s and 90’s just won’t believe this is for real!
One of the most impressive things to come out of skateboarding recently is the Skateistan Project, which started out in Afghanistan. It’s an uber inspiring example of kids going out there and challenging society’s opinions. Major credit to them all.
Obviously that’s a pretty extreme example … but in your own place you can make a difference too. :) Wherever you are you can do little things like keep the place litter free. Or show respect to other people when riding the streets. Elderly folk approaching? Then get out the dang way!
Wanna think bigger? Then initiatives like Skate for Change in the US, are doing great stuff for skateboarding’s ‘image’. It’s an initiative running in many states, where groups of skaters go out on the streets and give things out to needy people… like socks and food. To see the project in action, watch Ryan Sheckler join Mike Smith in Nebraska. A great way to change perceptions!
If that’s fired you up and got you interested in using skatingboarding to make a difference, then click on our good guys section. It lists loads of foundations that use skating to get smiles and change lives… and you’d be super charging the trend for more positive attitudes towards skaters.