Wood MS used to be known for its massive skate sessions before and after school. Twenty or more students would assemble on the black top or the path, if security was strict that day, and skate vigorously until the bell rang for 1st period. As soon as the 7th period bell rang they snatched their boards out of their lockers and headed to Safeway for an even longer session.
Nowadays, at RHS, it seems around eight kids probably still skate. Compared to the size of the sessions after school on a nice Friday, that is a disappointingly low number.
Senior Kevin Elgueta attributes the decline to new distractions that come with high school. “High school is full of distractions: girls, sports, and other stuff. People begin to find different interests and hobbies so they forget about skating,” Elgueta said.
Being able to skate all day and actually see yourself get better was one of the reasons that so many kids were skating in middle school. Freshman Waldy Marroquin blames the decrease in skaters on lack of time.
“I had a lot more time on my hands when I was in middle school and now I have to stress about getting good grades so there’s no time during the weekdays to skate,” Marroquin said. Skateboarding is a ‘trial and error’ situation so not being able to skate from 2:40 until dark every school day really puts a dent in how much skating you can do.
Skateboarding not only benefits you physically, as a form of exercise, but also mentally as you learn patience, creativity and consistency every time you skate. When you get to high school, it’s hard to find enough time to actually get those things out of it.
“A lot of people get involved in extracurricular activities and there’s a lot less time to just chill and skate all day due to the heavier workload,” RHS alumnus Brandon Ford said. Brandon remembers the epic sessions that took place at Wood and even got back into skating once he graduated because he found himself with more free time.
Skateboarding is a lot more than it seems. It’s a way to express yourself, to exercise, to meet new people and most importantly it’s a way to enjoy the creative process and appreciate things like stair sets and benches that would go right over anyone else’s head. Skateboarding turns the whole world into something else because instead of just seeing what is right there; you see it as a ramp or an obstacle or something beyond what its initial purpose is. This is a very important thing to be able to do, not only with skateboarding, but with everything in life.