“You can’t do that here!” I often hear from security guards and people who run establishments with good spots to skate. “Why don’t you go to a skatepark?” If the one asking couldn’t answer the question on his or her own then I probably couldn’t help them understand why.
Skateboarding in the streets has a completely different feel to it, not to say that it is better or worse. Skateparks are meant for skateboarding, everything created at a skatepark was created for someone to skate on it. On the contrary, skating things in the streets are a bit of a challenge – which is what makes it so fun – as the architects more than likely had not meant whatever it is that they made to be skated and, potentially, destroyed, albeit this isn’t likely to happen. That handrail or ledge that would normally be used to sit on or to aid a person as they are walking down a set of stairs has, or will, mostly likely be skated, giving it a completely new reason to be there. A reinvention of purpose.
I can understand why a person would get mad about someone skating a rail next to their hotel or breakfast eatery; it wasn’t made for skating, it was meant to serve a different purpose, that is completely understandable. But isn’t that what makes it so special? The fact that we’re using something differently than how it was meant to be used. Why can’t it serve two purposes? We aren’t harming anyone, we’re just having a good time.
The feeling that you get from skateboarding in the streets is not something you can get skating at a skatepark; the rawness and danger of skating somewhere that you aren’t suppose to. There is some struggle that comes with it, and that is what makes it so satisfying. The streets and spots were not meant for such a thing, but, as I see it, we are simply giving it a new purpose.