Elementary students are far from elementary skaters

Elementary+students+are+far+from+elementary+skaters

Shredding the half pipe at Independence park, on May 7, is 11 year old skateboarder, George Walls. “George is really good,” Lucy, a park employee, stated, “He’s going to get sponsored one of these days.”

Hanna Suarez, Editor-in-Chief

Local kids gather at the skate section at Independence Park, in Downey, to practice their tricks and skills on their boards every afternoon. However, these are not your ordinary skater boys; lately, the park has been populated with children as young as seven. These youngsters use their swift, agile bodies and quick mental caliber to their advantage. They practice daily, using every spare hour to shred on the half pipes and board slides.

One eleven-year-old boy named George Walls receives much attention from the other skaters at the park and also from the workers there.  He is known for his ability to learn quickly, showing the same level of skill as the older kids who have been skating for years. Walls has been skating for about a year now and claims that he picked up the hobby from his younger brother.

“My brother got me into it, because he started skating first but I just turned out way better than him,” Walls said.

Walls hopes to become a professional street skater although he is skilled at both vert and street style. He admires Nyjah Huston, a seventeen year old pro-skater, who began at the age of five. Walls’ strategies are simple, but his small dexterous body works to his advantage as he watches his fellow skaters and attempts, and usually lands, the complex tricks. His younger brother Alex Walls, age nine, skates alongside his brother at the park. He has also been skating for about a year and looks up to pro-skater and TV personality Rob Dyrdek.

The park workers are also very aware of the young kids’ talents. Worker Lucy is amazed by their capability and is proud of their smart decisions and goals.

“I love watching George skate. Once he beat four adults in a game of SKATE,” Lucy said. “All of the kids have different talents and I’m happy that they’re trying their best.”

Another young boy uses his own impressive strategies to practice his skating skills. Jacob McPhail, age nine, explains how he uses muscle memory to connect the different tricks he attempts.

“A long time ago I tried to grind on the board slide and realized that [when I landed] it sort of felt like a pop shove-it and kick flip,” McPhail said, “I just have to pretend that the board slide is in front of me and it is easier to learn the pop shove-it kick flip.”

This unique way of thinking can surely be used for other learning procedures and is a vivid example of individuality that skaters adopt while developing skills for the urban art.

Whether they are practicing for future fame or present day fun, these kids are giving themselves an opportunity to become talented individuals. They are taking over what is more commonly known as a teenage sub-culture and molding it into something new with much potential. If this pattern continues there is no doubt that the definition of skateboarding should be crafted into something different, just as it has been changed over past generations. Where they are headed next is completely up to their developing individuality and fate.