Skating Away

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 Broken Skateboard. Photo by Katelyn Avery.

Skateboarding has left my life, but only for the time being. The spirit of skateboarding will stay with me during this break. I will continue you to flip through skateboard magazines and follow publications on Facebook. I’m not ready to quit skating, but I am without a board.

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 Broken Skateboard. Photo by Katelyn Avery.

As early as seven years old I wanted to start skating, but my Dad was against it. He allowed me to ride a bike, thankfully, but something seemed too dangerous about a board on wheels. I can’t blame him though, it does sound bad on paper.

One day my Mom and I were shopping, possibly at Walmart, when I decided to drift away into the sports section. I was 8 years old and allowed that much freedom while my Mom grabbed some new rugs. It was like hitting the jackpot, at least to a kid, as I placed my hands around a skateboard. I tugged on the board to get it out of the miscellaneous bin, and placed it on the floor for a “test run”. My spirit lifted as I stepped up onto the board. I was gliding through the air and descending quickly onto the floor. I must have put too much weight on the tail because the board slipped out from under me. I landed quietly, able bask in my first skateboarding fall. Literally down, but not out for the count.

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 Broken Skateboard. Photo by Katelyn Avery.

My requests for a skateboard continued for the next 4 years until my life met a compromise. My younger cousins Ashley and Alex were around 6 and 8 at the time, and they owned “kid skateboards”. They were flat boards that you could put a handle on if you wanted a scooter. I think one of them may have been a Barbie scooter/skateboard.  Ashley, the older of the two, had since removed the handle and begun skating.  She allowed me to use her toy as well, and I graciously took lessons from her. When I could finally push off and roll away, without bailing, I felt complete.

Sometime later, while I still in middle school, I finally stepped onto an actual board. My cousin Alex had a used skateboard that he had received from an older neighborhood kid. The ware and tare was minimal. The board wasn’t cracked or anything, but it didn’t have any grip tape. The deck had a surfer design on it, and I thought it was beautiful.

A real skateboard had finally been placed below me. From that time on my cousins, twin sister and I took turns riding around on that skateboard, until winter pushed us off the street, and into snowbanks. Of course, borrowing my cousin’s skateboard was not completely satisfying.

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 Broken Skateboard. Failed healing of a split nose. Photo by Katelyn Avery.

During my freshman year of high school my paternal Grandmother agreed to buy me a skateboard. The best birthday present I ever got. I was a week away from being 15 when my Mom, Grandma and I made a trip to the sporting goods store. My Grandma didn’t know much about skateboards so she wanted me to pick the board myself. A Tony Hawk birdhouse series was my first complete skateboard.

I finally owned my own skateboard. I could ride around whenever I wanted, and I had even learned how to do a manual. The basement became my skate park. Eventually I was able to do a low ollie, but I never became that good. It didn’t matter though. Cruising around was good enough for me.

For a little more than six years I skated around on that board. By the end of its life my board had a fraying tail and a split nose. A small piece on the top of the deck had snapped out while my cousin and a friend were doing tricks, but I had hot glued it back on. The grip tape really needed to be replaced.

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 Broken Skateboard. Photo by Katelyn Avery.

My cousin Alex is now 14 and I’m 21. I finally passed my board on to him during Palm Sunday weekend. He’s always been better than me anyways. Although I didn’t give him my board until it was almost snapped. The loose piece on the deck had snapped out again and the wood was starting to split through the middle. My cousin and I tried to snap it completely but the wood was too strong. Still, it was undeniably broken.

We headed into the street and rode around. My cousin could even do a few tricks. When I saw that my heart felt moved enough for me to say “You can have my skateboard now. Try to break it, but the real way. Ride around on it. Do tricks. Don’t break it with tools”. He agreed that was the “right” way and was happy with his “new” board.

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 Broken Skateboard. Photo by Katelyn Avery.

Now I’m boardless, but not for long. Tax returns came in and a new order is about to be placed on Amazon. I’m not going to make it to the Women’s X Games, but for now I still need a board in my life.

-Katelyn Avery

833 words

 

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About Katelyn The Journalist

Katelyn Avery is a Connecticut based writer, born in 1993. She graduated from Central Connecticut State University in May 2016. Journalism major, History minor. Having a bachelor's degree is cool. As someone who has enjoyed writing since childhood Katelyn is very excited to see where her career choice will take her.
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