As a life long skateboarder, I hated convincing myself that "real" skateboarding only happens in the streets. That skateparks were reserved solely for helmet wearing teeny boppers, and their equally insufferable helicopter parents. My local skate park did a fantastic job reinforcing this idea with ridiculous helmet requirements, a full time dedicated helmet nanny, and a strict no boo boo policy.
This made our local skatepark nothing short of unbearable for those of us who had any intentions of getting any hardcore skateboarding in. But what happens when your city becomes the target of a political embezzlement scandal that drains the public resource fund, leaving no budget for a full-time nanny, or for the upkeep of the park? What happens when a group of teenagers and early 20-year-olds are left to their own devices, unattended, un-restrained, and free?
For us, that’s the beginning of the story. I have taken on the project of documenting my local skatepark in the form of an ongoing photo essay. This is not about kickflips, or throwing yourself down the biggest handrail in town. This is a story about people, a look into the lives of those who live and breathe skateboarding.
We are not the next generation of skateboarding olympians, we are not the next Tony Hawk. We are, for the most part, a group of low life’s, working dead end jobs for minimum wage with little to no for-seeable future. Many of us just eeking out the last fading moments of our childhood, trying to hold on as long as we can before the inevitable reality of adulthood sets in.
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