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The Positive Side of Skateboarding

Updated on October 5, 2017
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Dianna is a writer with a background in education and business. She writes to inspire positive lifestyles in others.

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Skateboarding is what gets Justin “Jay” Jablanski up every morning. Since adolescence, he has never lost the challenge of the sport and keeps tuned in to what makes it work for him and those he serves at the YMCA of The Palm Beaches' Oelsner Skate Park.

What are the odds that out of the 6.4 million skateboarders in the US, the top enthusiasts and professional skaters practice at the local Y? We can count Jay among that group as he has learned from the best, including Alex Sorgente (2017 X Games Gold Medalist).

On any given day, fans of the sport can observe Jay in action jumping, sliding, and rolling to perform difficult stunts or demonstrating ollies to young skaters. There is never a lack of attention from him as to what might make the park a better place for kids, young and old. He focuses on keeping the action upbeat and safe for all skaters.

How daring are you?

Given the sport is growing in popularity, would you consider this activity for personal recreation?

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A Passion to Learn

So how did Jay become such a skateboard aficionado? When he was ten years old, Jay’s passion for the sport was influenced by a next-door neighbor. As he watched him from across the street performing amazing stunts, Jay’s curiosity drew him in. He started spending every summer day learning the basic skills from his new buddy who was only too willing to help him experience the challenge of skateboarding.

Jay also credits Mike Rogers, Founder of Grind for Life, with taking him under his wing to master higher level skills at the local Y. As Mike Rogers tells it: Justin came to the park an amateur with minimal expertise but in just a little time he built his strength and stamina to become a competitive skater.

Both Mike and Jay would agree skateboarding leads to a positive and healthy lifestyle. Jay’s take from staying with skateboarding? It is the feeling of knowing you are good at something. Something hard to learn and persevering till you master it.

I was skating with friends in my neighborhood, and then eventually I was invited to go to the skate park with one of them. When I saw people flying all around - literally flying in and out of bowls - that is when I knew I wanted to do it. I wanted to figure out how I could get there and how I could fly. -- Tony Hawk

Kicking It and Feeling the Grind

Answers to Most Often Asked Questions

What draws a person to the sport?

It is the challenge of mastering a trick. Setting a goal and pulling a trick safely without bailing. It’s learning how to make that next level work for you. It’s also the camaraderie you build with others in the sport. Everyone takes an interest in helping you learn skills.

Are there any dangers to skateboarding?

The sport gets people outdoors to enjoy a fun activity. You make good friends. But, it also comes with potential for injury. It’s part of the sport. Skaters expect an occasional slam. I myself have taken a few hard spills but the goals accomplished and skills mastered outweigh the threat of any injury. Here at the Y we enforce wearing helmets where other parks do not follow this practice… also, we monitor the park for safety. A good reason to use the facilities here.

What age is too young or old to start skating?

The younger you start, the better. Alex Sorgente was six when he came to the Y. I would say the ideal age to start would be around seven. Young kids do better because they are not afraid to fall, an important part of facing the challenges. Although, there are a few adults who have taken an interest in the sport and do very well. We do see more adults frequenting the park just because it helps them keep active.

Best skateboard to own?

My first skateboard was a Sunsport, a gift from my mom for my 10Th birthday. I was not totally surprised since I had hinted for one almost every day that month. Today, there are so many choices out there but I like those with good graphics, like Antihero (which is American made -- another plus with me!). Which is best? It really depends on what you want to do with it. What types of tricks you want to learn? Cruising or skateboarding? Basically, you want one that rides well and is going to take the hard landing from flips and spins.

What does a good skate park look like?

The ideal park has rails, pipes, stairs, a full bowl and all flows well. There are other skaters who you can watch and who can critique your skills. Music is a good backdrop for training and added hype. There are plans to develop a new 27,000-foot skate park here. The park will boost competitive style skating and gives skaters, especially the younger ones, a safe place to hang out.

Skateboarders portray themselves as drifters with questionable habits. The media shows them as drug users skating the streets. What is your take on this type of image?

Not every skater is like that. Skateboarding is an outlet for most. A fun activity. They enjoy the challenge of mastering a trick – it drives them. That is a positive outcome for most skateboarders.

How has skateboarding changed over the years?

There are a lot more parks and the level of skating has increased. Girls, like skate pro Lizzie Armanto, have gotten into the competitions. They are great challengers. Skaters are starting younger now due to the hype and passion demonstrated by other skaters. Also, the International Olympic Committee has approved it as a competing sport for the 2020 program in Tokyo. It is getting world-wide attention.

Skateboarding on the Beach

The feminine attraction to skateboarding is on the rise. it's a great way to exercise while having fun.
The feminine attraction to skateboarding is on the rise. it's a great way to exercise while having fun. | Source

Top Five Reasons to Skateboard

Benefit
Reason
Outdoor Activity
The fresh air stimulates your mind and helps you re-focus. It can also boost your immunity. It's a great stress reducer as you exert physical exercise.
Improve Coordination
It requires you to use your hands, feet and eyes to balance yourself as you skate. This only improves over time as you continue to master tricks.
Full Body Workout
As you move you are using your whole body, which in turn gets your heart pumping. It's a great cardio activity. It also burns calories and keeps you flexible.
Teaches Perseverance
The challenge of mastering tricks excites skaters but it takes dedication and time to really excel at them. Skaters learn to analyze a move to perfection. Patience is the outcome!
Overall Health
The mental and physical exertion help eliminate diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Source: Health Fitness Revolution

Boost Your Mental and Physical Capacity

You definitely get a complete workout participating in this extreme sport!
You definitely get a complete workout participating in this extreme sport! | Source

Perseverance Pays Off!

In spite of a late start and other personal setbacks, Jay has persevered to own the sport of skateboarding, defying the odds. He is an inspiration to many young atheletes who frequent the skate park where he works. Watching him ride the rails or cruise the walkways you can almost feel his pleasure. He exhibits pure excellence at the sport and in his attitude.

© 2017 Dianna Mendez

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    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 2 weeks ago

      Larry, your words ring truth: the sport is underrated. The benefits are so beneficial to the entire human body!

      Nell, I can't imagine you on a skateboard. Wait, I forgot you love taking a dare. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

      Jo, it is amazing what can be done on just a small board.

      Christy, thanks for view on the sport. It is one that encourages a positive lifestyle for so many.

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      Christy B 2 weeks ago

      I liked learning more about the skateboarding sport! I think it's great when youth (or a person of any age) has something they're enthusiastic about :) And it takes some serious talent to pull off those tricks. Well written post, Dianna!

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 2 weeks ago from Tennessee

      Cool article! I'm amazed at some of the skills these youngsters have.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 weeks ago from England

      My son is a great Tony Hawks fan, and he was always belting around on a skateboard. In fact there is a skateboard park down the main park in town. loads of kids are down there most days. Not something I could do as I fell of the one and only time I tried! lol! this was really interesting, and I will show my son when he comes over.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting read on this misunderstood hobby.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 2 weeks ago

      Nadine, love those who remain active throughout their lifetime, such a good influence on their children! I do enjoy watching the sport too from my chair on the side.

      Dolores, they do flow so smoothly as they skate. Wish I had taken an interest earlier in life. Your sons will only gain good balance and health using the boards.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Love your article and I will share it with a good friend who goes around on a skateboard at the age of 56 together with her son who is 17. I love watching the sport.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      I have watched the younger skate boarder in the past and been amazed at their coordination. We bought one for one of my sons years ago and never imagined how he would take to it. He, and other young men in my area, often use skate boards for moving about town. It amazes me how comfortable he (and others) are with those boards!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 weeks ago

      Audrey, it is a sport that builds balance. The ability to even stay on such a moving board is amazing. I appreciate your visit, dear lady.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm always amazed watching skateboarders. This is indeed an art. The balance, movement and sheer confidence is something to behold. Enjoyed this hub my friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 weeks ago

      RD, If only we had tried this sport earlier! I think I would have enjoyed it as I was an avid roller skate fan at the time.

      Chitrangada Sharan, your children must really enjoy the trill of challenges. Good job raising them to be adventurous!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 3 weeks ago

      Interesting subject :) I had a skateboard gifted by my cousin brother which I tried, but my mom was afraid of me trying, so she gave it away. It's quite fascinating. All the stunts are exciting.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent article about skateboarding!

      I am sure this will enthuse many to join the sport and your well written article also clarifies doubts through your most asked questions!

      I have never done it myself but my children have done skateboarding and they enjoy it immensely. They are a big fan of adventure sports such as paragliding, surfing, hiking , trekking and so many of such activities. I really feel scared for them. But the younger generation finds it rejuvenating.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful information with nice pictures and video!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 weeks ago

      Mary, I can only watch the beauty of these skateboarders myself. It is an art form I can appreciate.

      Flourish, I would love to be so flexible and to experience the "flying" effect. I too think cities should provide parks and areas where these skaters can enjoy their passion.

      Linda, I am so glad you found this article interesting and educational. Have a great weekend.

      Paula, the sport is on the increase. It is a great way to get outdoors and increase your enjoyment of exercise while having fun. I know your son would agree on these benefits. I am with you on staying on the sidelines. I am way past participating in this type of activity.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 weeks ago from Brazil

      When I watch skateboarding I find myself holding my breath until they land safely. I find some of the tricks they do frightening to watch but am impressed by their dedication.

      I think any activity which gets people outside and moving is good not just for their health but also their attitude to life.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      They are fun to watch and I envy their athletic prowess on those boards. I enjoyed your interview. It's too bad that so many areas don't permit skateboarding on sidewalks or in parking lots, even when vacant.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and informative article. I've never thought much about the benefits of skateboarding. Thank you for the education!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Diana, So good to see you! I love that you chose to write this article on skateboarding! I see these kids everywhere & it's obvious they love what they're doing. Nearly every town, park, YMCA, (even our school) has at least one popular skateboard area. No doubt it is a very popular activity.

      All my grandchildren have boards, especially my eldest (21) who takes great pride in his abilities. I'm happy to know they're "outdoors" in the fresh air, moving their bodies, in a pleasant break from indoor video games!!

      As for me? LOL. Really, Diana, I have to laugh at the thought of that! I would certainly keep the local Orthopedic clinic in business! As youngsters though, my sister and I were roller skating fanatics.....there's a huge difference!

      I truly enjoyed this great read, Diana. Have a nice week-end. Paula

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 weeks ago

      Dora, I am of the same mindset: I enjoy watching. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend.

      Jackie, I can see how this would be the next best thing to the ocean with the feeling of surfing.

      Eric, I remember seeing the kids hanging on the trucks at times when I was younger. I am thinking "Back to the Future!"

      Susan, your sons know how to fly! It is seems like a great way to stay fit too. Enjoy your day.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      It's beneficial on several levels, but still I'd rather watch and be entertained--and encourage those who want to try. Thanks for the information, inspiration and challenge.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      If this had been around me at a younger age I would say I would have been right into it and for young people why not? We don't all have an ocean! Next best thing.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic article. You really did a great job here. Thank you.

      It took me 20 minutes to argue for a lesser penalty for my eldest son ticketed for grabbing rides from the back of trucks going 40 or so. And the luging in a city park.

      Otherwise he was/is a perfect son.

      Thanks again

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Two of my three sons are skateboarders and have been since they were young boys. They are now 29 and still love to skateboard. They've been injured a few times but thankfully nothing too serious. I thought that they would have outgrown this sport by now but no way, they love it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 weeks ago

      Bill, I can see you skateboarding as I know you are always willing to take a dare! Thanks for coming by here. Enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      What an interesting topic for you to write about. Very cool, dude! LOL I am in awe of good skateboarders. I was pretty athletic, but I had a hard time skateboarding for whatever reason.