I am writing this letter to let you know how important it is for you to help change the laws in regards to skateboarding. Please take a few minutes to read my letter, as I hope to help you to understand why I skate and why skateboarding should not be considered a crime.
You see I am a skateboarder. I love to skate. Skateboarding is a way of life for me, which you might not understand. Skateboarding has been around since the early 1920’s. Our great-great grandfathers and great-grandmothers put roller-skate wheels on apple-crates; eventually they evolved into the first skateboards that were sold in hardware stores around the U.S. as early as 1950. Huge growth in the 1960s came about when the clay wheel replaced the steel wheels.
Since then, United States cities have done a wonderful job in creating recreation areas in their public parks for almost every sport known to man. Basketball courts, football and soccer fields, baseball diamonds, tennis and racquetball courts, the list could go on and on. But for one reason or another skateboarding has been neglected.
Skateboarding is an activity that requires physical strength, stamina, and an aggressive attitude toward success, all of which happen to be traits of what we label as a “sport”. Skateboarding is a truly creative sport that emphasizes the incorporation of city terrain into smooth, fast movements. It’s a sport that accepts anyone willing to try it. It doesn’t discriminate against race, religion, or sexual orientation. This is why I love to skate. I can skate whenever and wherever I want. I don’t need a field. I can skate to school and get some exercise. I can skate with my friends, boys or girls. I can skate alone. I can skate to work- save time, money, and the environment. All I need is the legal right to skate on the street.
Or, I need a skatepark where I can skate, meet new people and help support an industry that supports my individuality. Every year there are more than 350 million dollars spent on skateboarding-related products. Everything from wheels and kneepads, to shoes and clothing items, I’m sure you’ve seen a television commercial or advertisement in a magazine lately that features a skateboarder.
Yet, the current trend in city law-making is turning skateboarders into criminals by outlawing skateboarding in downtown areas, where the total number of skateboarders is greatest, and not providing an alternative to what was stripped away. We are one of the cross-sections of America’s youth that needs you the most. Please don’t turn your backs on us, like so many others have, by dismissing my letter. Ours is a real problem that requires people in your position to be part of the solution.
I understand that rules and regulations are necessary to help keep the people and the people around me safe and happy. I hope that you will try and understand that I want to be safe, happy, and able to ride my skateboard.