Students kickflip into skateboarding

Upside down with the board still on their feet, skaters are able to do things that make others jealous. The board designs, complicated tricks and oversized hoodies all give off a feeling of swagger. However, there is much more to skateboarding than fits the stereotype, as students have perfected the craft in many ways.

Skateboarding often serves as a distraction for the problems that skaters face. Shandin Sorrell, freshman, decided to start skateboarding two years ago because of what was happening in his neighborhood in Oxnard. “There’s a lot of gang violence in Oxnard, [so] me and my [friends] decided to start skating,” Sorrell said. He mostly skateboards in downtown Los Angeles, his favorite part being learning and performing tricks. “Just the feeling of it… like, I really just did that,” Sorrell said.

Although students like Sorrell do tricks, others use the skateboard as a mode of transportation. Nathan Bentley, sophomore, gets around town on his skateboard. “It’s just a fun way to get places. You get there faster,” Bentley said. However, Bentley has become interested in learning tricks and wants to improve his performance. “I just want to get higher off the ground [and] have a higher percentage of success when I try and just expand my arsenal,” Bentley said.

Joah Ditto, sophomore, decided to get back into skateboarding after taking a break for a couple of years. He decided to pick it up as an activity to take his mind off of academics. “I think it’s a stress reliever as well. It’s something that I picked up to sort of distract myself from school,” Ditto said.

Ditto uses skateboarding to travel places, but enjoys going to the skate park regularly to practice tricks. “I like the park a little better because it’s a designated area to skate around, and there’s not very many skate sports around,” Ditto said.

Those who skateboard encourage other students to pick up a board, whatever the reason. “You can sort of pick and choose what groups you hang out with, and the skating community here isn’t toxic. It’s pretty supportive,” Ditto said.