Like many kids, I got into skateboarding simply out of an infatuation with it and a desire to challenge myself. I came to find homies that I skated with, and that was all that mattered in life for years and years.
Los Angeles is widely seen as the skate capital of the United States, especially in the Midwest where I’m from. When I first came here a year ago I was mesmerized by all the things to skate. Having grown up skating in Indiana, I once fell during a trick and lost a good amount of skin. I’d gotten used to rough ass concrete. Here though, it was like fucking paradise. There are perfect ledges, nice banks, and smooth concrete areas everywhere.
The mesmerizing effect of skating in L.A. starts to wear thin over time though. Aside from heading out with a few younger kids down the block from my apartment, I skate alone. I connect with these younger skateboarders more than those of my age because they still have an outlook on skateboarding that I cherish. All they care about is skating together and having fun and trying to learn new tricks. Most fools my age are only concerned with how good people are and talking shit on kids who aren’t as talented as them; it’s like skateboarding has become all about skill, and not just having fun. Skating with these kids reminds me of when I first started skating. That said though, the fact I no longer had skate homies anymore became a heavy matter to me. At that point skateboarding in Los Angeles became more of a personal realization to me than anything else.
I realized that regardless of not having anyone to skate with, I still had the urge to do it. Skateboarding became more than just a thing for me to do with my friends. Skateboarding is now something I know I love enough that, no matter what, I always want to be doing it. I think this realization can be applied to anything: everyone does shit that they strictly do with other people, but would they do it by themselves? I think there’s a lot of value in that. I think there’s value in enjoying something solely by yourself, and for yourself, and not for a desire of companionship with others. Don’t get me wrong - skating with the homies is my favorite thing in the fucking world - but it’s not all skateboarding has to offer me. It offers me a consistent balance and release from my normal life. I thank Los Angeles for showing me that.