Growing skateboarding population brings together sport, leisure and art

Growing skateboarding population brings together sport, leisure and art

Allison Stalberg/Guilfordian

Whether you skateboard to cruise or for tricks, skating is a form of artful expression.

From a choice in boards, clothes or civil disobedience, the history of skating reflects its rebellious and multicultural nature.

“Skateboarding is as much of a sport as a lifestyle and an art form,” said former professional skateboarder Tony Hawk in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “There’s so much that transcends in terms of music, fashion and entertainment.”

Skateboarding at Guilford College differs by the style of board and the intent of each skater.

Influences in urban East Coast culture and West Coast surf style intermingle, creating one radical and unrestricted category of athlete.

“Skateboarding permeates to every subculture in society,” said junior Nick Nesbitt.

“There is no limited style about it. Everyone does their own thing. The culture of skating is important but is becoming more diluted as skaters adopt their own personal style. There is no way of defining skate style.”

As the motive of the skater changes, so does the size and style of the board.

“The stereotypical skateboard is mainly for tricks,” said senior Matthew Poling. “Since the wheels do not grip as much and have a narrower build, the rider can perform tricks easier.”

Longboards are lower to the ground and lack the concave structure that traditional skateboards possess, allowing for more speed and slides.

Though boards may set skaters apart in style, a mutual respect is shared. This kinship stems from the similar experiences shared when learning how to skate.

“In order to get good at skating, you need to fail at some point,” said Poling.

“It helped instill the trial and error process within me. I skate because I have developed a love for it. ”

Luckily for students, Greensboro’s own Above Board Skate Park and Shop on Greengate Dr. and 915 Skate Park and Shop on Warren St. are only a quick skate down the road.

These parks also serve as retail shops, supplying locals with the latest skating gear. Board Paradise on Battleground Ave. is another favorite of Greensboro skaters for hardware, boards, trucks and basic inquiries.

“Board Paradise has everything you need to get started,” said Poling.

“Plus they have unlimited information on board styles, wheels and hardware.”

Are you a newbie?

Lessons are offered at a small cost by Go Skate Skateboard School. Instructors will help any level of skater improve, either by coming directly to your home or meeting you at any Greensboro skate park location.

Greensboro has options for the trick skater as well as longboarders looking to cruise and shred hills.

“We call one hill the tearjerker,” said senior Noel Baker. “Every time you hit it, it jerks a tear out of your eye. It’s down New Garden towards the Target.”

The skating community at Guilford grows visibly each year, as students across the nation find common ground here in Greensboro. This culture is built around, and promotes, creative individuals.

“At Guilford, there is more diversity among skaters,” said Poling.

“Students from all backgrounds, locations and interests come together to skate. We pull in people from so many different regions that the environment becomes more accepting and cultured.”