Anyone from my generation (Gen X, baby!) who skated or was around the skateboarding scene would know the phrase “Skateboarding is not a crime.” Before skateboarding was recognized as something more mainstream, people used parking lots, curbs, handrails, banks, and parking garages (you get the idea) as their “skatepark,” and as you can suspect, not everyone was happy about this.
Fast forward to today, and it’s not just your buddy’s backyard skate ramp that you use or an empty pool — skateparks have started popping up in cities giving skaters of all ages a place to go.
READ: The Best Skateboard Parks In & Around Jax
They say having kids gives you a second chance to relive your childhood, and in my case that is true!
I am a mom of two boys, ages 10 and 8, and when we aren’t at jiu-jitsu practice or at school and work, we’re at our local skatepark. When I was younger, my husband and I would skate together — he is much better than I am having grown up street skating, but it was still a fun pastime for us, pre-kids. Oh, the free time before kids!
Since we are lucky enough that our boys share the same love of skateboarding as we do, it’s not that hard to convince us to take them to the skatepark. It gives us a chance to connect as a family, get a little bit of exercise, and blow off some steam. There is also no better feeling than having your kids cheer you on saying, “YOU CAN DO IT, MOM!”
One of my favorite things to do is cruise down the snake run at South Beach Skatepark and try to go faster and higher! We cheer each other on, we try new tricks, and it’s a great way to catch up with friends over summer break.
Do I get injuries? Yes, I do. Do I fall a lot? Why yes, I do — but that’s all part of the journey.
I do admit, skating as an “adult” is much different than when you were younger. There is a lot more at stake if you were to seriously injure yourself, so I leave the fancy tricks for kids, and let me tell you, there are a lot of really good kids out there! Six-year-old rippers dropping in on giant bowls like it’s nothing, and a lot more young girls out there which I LOVE seeing. The girl power at the skatepark is growing, and I love it.
The comments I get when I tell people I skateboard sometimes surprise me though, because it instantly puts me in this box or category — age being the first one.
“Aren’t you too old for that?” I challenge anyone to say that to Tony Hawk, who is 55 years old and currently still at it!
“Don’t you worry your kids are embarrassed by you?” Not at all, they love that I’m out there (for now), and the moment they turn into teens and no longer want me around is the moment I just go when they aren’t there! Problem solved.
“Moms usually don’t do that type of stuff, are you having a midlife crisis?” This one cracks me up because I would love to know how getting fresh air, exercise, spending time with your family, and challenging yourself would equal a “midlife crisis,” but I shrug off all of these comments and let people think what they want to think.
If you knew me before kids, you knew I dabbled in skating and surfing, and I suspect surfer moms don’t get these same comments if they are still surfing at my age, so I really wonder what the difference is to people? Maybe the difference is just that. That it’s different.
I think to myself, “Surely I’m not the only mom who has skated on a skateboard? I’m sure there are plenty of others out there who are way better at it than I am?”
Whatever the case is, what do I know to be true is that it is such a fun feeling to be out there doing your own thing, the wind blowing in your hair, and that rush you get when you land a trick you’ve been practicing forever. You aren’t worried about what others are doing or what they think, just your own personal accomplishments that you get to share together with your family.
The videos and pictures we take together are ones I will cherish forever because it’s a moment in time where my boys still want to hang out with their parents, I’m still physically able to join them, and we have something to talk about together as a family.
My hope is to see more “skateboard moms” out there — because everyone starts somewhere, right? Wouldn’t it be cool to have a girl gang of moms out there cruising and connecting with their kids and each other over something they enjoy?
If you need me, you know where to find me — at my local skatepark, soaking up every minute of the heat, cold, wind, rain, and bruises with my guys, which is completely normal to me, and I am okay with being different. I challenge you to be different, too.