Stereotypes In Sports People today stereotype skaters and surfers as lazy, no good potheads. I would have to dissagree with that statement. Police harrass skaters for skating in parking lots and on the streets of their towns. It is like the police think that they are going to do more than skate. It is the same with surfers, people think they do not hold jobs, their lazy, and all that they do is smoke pot. Those things are (for the most part) not true.

In my paper I will give three examples of people that do not live this stereotype; however, they have actually become pillars of the community. In addition to their community stature they also have become idols to thousands of children across the world. Surfing is an ancient sport first practiced by Hawaiian kings. Early surfers rode 14 to 18 foot wooden boards that weighed over 150 pounds (Tomalin1). Duke Kahanamoka introduced surfing to the United States in 1912 (Weir3). If you asked someone who is the father of surfing, they would probably say, “Duke who?” But mention Kelly Slater and they will not stop talking.

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Robert Kelly Slater was born February 11, 1912 in Cocoa Beach Florida (Tomlin1). He went to high school and actually graduated. The reason I say this is because most people like Kelly (surfers knowing they are going to go professional) never graduate high school. Kelly grew up in Florida all his life. He was a local hero in central Florida, because everyone knew he was destined to make it as a professional surfer (Tee Interview). From 1992 thru 1994 Kelly placed first in the Maui Pro, second in the Maui Masters, and third place in the Rip Curl Pro, the Chiemesee Pipe Masters, and the Gotcha Lacanau Pro (Solano1).

In 1995 he, from surfing alone, made 57,750 dollars (Solano1). Kelly won four world titles by 1996, one in 1992, 1994, 1995, and again in 1996 (Solano1). In 1996 Kelly was a busy boy, he won his fourth world title as well as 50% of his WCT Tournaments; moreover Kelly collected over 300, 895 dollars in prize money alone. In 1997 he won 446,295 dollars in eleven events(Solano2). Kelly has brought so much popularity to the sport that it may even be a sport at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games. Surfing is not the only thing this master of the “green room” is involved with.

He was featured on “Baywatch” from 1992-1993 as Jimmy Slade (Tomlin4). He has also been in numerous surfing videos. Kelly has been in surfer Magazines : Island Voyage(1995), Pacific Rim (1995), Velocity (1995), Voluptous (1996), and On Edge (1996) (Salano5). Kelly also has his own band called “The Surfers”. “The Surfers” consist of Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and Peter King (Sullivan118).

Kelly is also an owner of a longboard/skateboard company “Sector 9” based in Florida. At the “Longboard House” in Indialantic Beach, Florida they sell on average four “Sector 9s” daily (Tee Interview). Which comes out to over 480 dollars a day. The reason Florida has the biggest “Sector 9” sales, is because it is very flat there, and flat ground is the best surface for Longboards (Tee). They are made for crusing up and down the boardwalks and side streets on your way to the beach.

Kelly also owns a surfboard shaping company. It specializes in shaping “fish”. Fish are no bigger than five and a half feet. Ron Jons (a well known surf shop) carries Kellys boards more than any other brand, and Ron Jons happens to be the worlds largest surf shop chains. So you see how popular his boards are. Kelly has to be the most successful surfer-businessmen out there today. In-line skating is big and bigger than it has ever been.

Among the 6 to 17 year old crowd, only soccer and basketball are more popular athletic activities (OConner 1). “In the skating world Im extremely famous and it feels cool,” says 23 year old Arlo Eisenberg (OConner1). Arlo has been called the Michael Jordan of agressive in-line skating. If every sport has to have its idols, then put Arlo Eisenberg at the top of the in-line skaters list. This Dallas native has been in a countless number of in-line skating videos and featured on in-line skating magazine covers. Arlo started skating at the age of fourteen and never once looked back.

Throughout the country at exhibitions, competitions, apperances – wherever he is around a skating crowd- he gets the full star treatment. Name chanting, autograph hounding, worshipful gazes, the whole bit. It is if it were like “The Cult of Arlo” (Bryant1). He is at his best when he is on the street course. Out on the street Arlo is in his element.

Reveling in the improbable pastime of grinding down the metal rails. Or he is taking to the air, flying over stone steps and concrete ledges. Anything to challenge the urban terrain. On the ramp or on the street, all of this is called “agressive” skating and Arlo is considered a pioneer. Agressive in-line skating evolved out of skateboarding.

“It has nothing to do with street hockey, speed skating, or even grandma skating around the lake in pruple Spandex” Arlo said (Mcknight 3). In the parlance of the sport, agressive skating is “extreme”. Arlo, when he was nine, wanted to be an artist. His mother said “I can not remember a time when he was not creating.” His parents divorced when he was three, but remained united on the need to raise their children with love and nurturing. Together, they made sure that Arlos art was carefully tended to, sending him to Greiner Middle School and to Arts Magnet High School (McKnight 3). When he attedned the University of Texas, his passion for art diminished.

“Slowly skating consumed all this passion and energy.” He says, “Because to me, skating is a form of art. It is not athletics, its a way of expressing myself. The rewards are immeiadiate- either you win, or you dont” (McKnight4).When Arlo found himself sleeping in his skates he knew that this was what he wanted to do. Arlo began his carrer on the NISS tour. The NISS is a tour for amature skaters who are trying to make it into the professional field.

When he got on the NISS tour, he won the titles two years in a row. After the NISS he went on to the ASA tour, which is the pro-circuit. Arlo won the ASA championship in 1995, 1996, and 1998 (Damage Goods). He has come in second only four times in his career (Damage Goods). He has skated in exibitions in Japan and Europe for the experience, he made no money, just did it for the love of skating.

He pays for himself to travel to all these places. Arlo owns his own company called “Senate”. Senate is the most popular in-line skating company in the United States. They sell everything from T-Shirts to wheels. Senate has made Arlo enough money to allow him to open his own skate park in Plano, Texas.

The name of the park is “Eisenbergs”, obviously. Eisenbergs is home to many an exibition, competition, ASA tournament, and is even open to the public. It is an indoor facility, so if it rains, you can go to Eisenbergs. Arlo Eisenberg has become much more than just any old skater. He is the best, and one of the most dedicated skaters in the world, not to mention a very successful businessman.

Finally, Tony Hawk is the clean-cut kid who turned professional at the age of fourteen, bought his first house at seventeen, and today is a very successful entrepreneur. (Hawk interview) Gravity-defying Hawk was 10 years old when his older brother gave him his first skateboard. He quit plauing little league a year later and has been on wheels ever since. Hawk topped the National Skating Association series overall standings 13 years in a row (Hawk interview). He has won the X-Games three out of the four years he skated on it.

If this industry has an establishment, he is its leading citizen, a modest, fan-friendly, clean-cut, regular guy who transforms into a gravity-defying gambler.Hawk, the dominant figure in extreme skatboarding in the past two decades, hasmade a career out of being a creative risk taker. Yet, his most surprising breakthrough has not come out on the half pipe, but in the marketing world. In an age when endorsments go to basketball, football, and baseball players, Hawk has become a crossover phenomenon. In th past five years, the 30 year old San Diego native has appeared in ad campaigns for AT&T, Levis, Campbells Soup, The Gap, and both Pepsi and Coca-Cola. (Hawk interview) Hawk is quick to say that the most mainstream ads have him as a generic skatboarder.

Hawk says skate-based companies are his top priority, but hes open to any endorsments.. “within limits”. “There was a tour in Malaysia sponsered by Benson & Hedges (a cigarette company) that was very lucrative,” he says. “I just would never do that.” (Hawk interview) So, we see that not all surfers ans skaters are bad. These three men show that you can make a living out of something you love .

they also show kids that they do not need to do drugs and drink alchol tohave fun. They also show that hard work will get you far in life.


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