Skateboarders Nationwide Restless; A Problem That Needs Attention?

Skateboarding. A sport that only requires a board and four wheels. One needs
only seventy to one hundred dollars to get one. It seems pretty simple, doesn\'t
it? Well it\'s not, and for one important reason.

On a typical day, a skateboarder usually gets up at about 10a.m., throws their
board in the trunk of their car, puts a Bad Religion tape in the tape player,
picks up several other skaters and sets off to find a good spot to aggressively
push their bodies to doing the unthinkable. Defying gravity, stretching the laws
of physics and subjecting themselves to much physical pain and discipline all in
a day\'s work. Everyone takes turns trying new moves and cheering each other on,
a sport with no pressure to do better than anyone else, there are no winners or
losers. You skate until you are exhausted, and go to bed early only to wake up
and repeat the process the next morning.
Skateboarders are mostly straight-edge, which means that they do not
use drugs, or alcohol. This is because skateboarding, and improving requires
almost constant practice. This determination in only clouded by the effects of
drugs. Anyway when one performs an intricate maneuver flawlessly, the rush is
greater than any pot or coke. Unfortunately, this cannot happen when a skater
is denied access to their sanctuaries, there favorite spot. A good example is
given by Johnston foster- "Last summer, me and some friends were skating at Phi
Beta Kappa Hall, the theater at the College of William and Mary. I pulled a
phat 360 kickflip down the three steps out front. The session was hot, we were
all on (landing most attempted tricks) and it wasn\'t too hot out side. We all
sat down to rest and then heard sirens in the distance. We saw a blue and white
William and Mary Police officers\' car pull into the parking lot. We got ready
to run, but then realized it was too late. The officer made generalizations and
decided that we are the skateboarders that previous complaints had been made
about. Not listening to our sides of the story, the officer proceeded to write
me and five others, ages ranging from 11-17 trespass warnings, stating that we
are not allowed to be on the William and Mary campus for a year. The thing that
sucks is that we had never been asked to leave by anyone before, no one at Phi
Beta warned us and no signs were posted. How could she do that? How are we
supposed to practice with such unnecessary consequences? It\'s really
[email protected] (interview Foster)

Good areas to skate are few and far between in most cities. A good spot (place
to skate) has curbs and ledges (preferably made out of marble), stairs with
hand-rails and lots of flat, smooth concrete. Also, skaters prefer drop-offs
from sidewalks, or "banks", which are inclinations which are used to separate
uneven levels in parking garages, tennis courts or parking lots. These things
that make up the composition of a good spot. Good spots are usually schools,
hotels, college campuses or business plazas, which are all illegal to skate.
They are illegal to skate for a few reasons. When a skateboarder practices with
his friends, called a "session", they usually fly down stairs, and grind on
curbs or handrails. Grinding requires jumping up onto a ledge, curb or handrail
and scraping the metal wheel connectors, called "trucks" on the edge of the
object, and then jumping down with a smooth landing. Well, this "grinding"
scrapes the paint off of the curbs or handrails and chips expensive marble
ledges. This is destruction of private property as well as trespassing and can
result in lawsuits, fines, or being arrested.

Many local skateboarders sympathize with Johnston Foster\'s opinions on a lack of
area to practice. Billy Sheeran commented on the subject, AThe nearest
functional skateboard park is located in Hampton(Virginia), and many
skateboarders are too young to [email protected] (interview Sheeran) Many reasons tie
into the need for a local public skateboard areas. A local skatepark can help
keep local skaters out of trouble, and keep local businesses and Police officers
happy.

Skateboarders have this problem of a lack of area to practice because of the
many rules and regulations making it illegal to skateboard. Many different
factors tie into the limited area to skate. One factor is the Virginia state
law number 46.2-932. The law states ANo person shall play on a highway, other
than on the sidewalks thereof, within a city or town