The following is an article written by Steve Cave. Steve is a professional skateboard instructor who has been teaching through skate clubs, books, websites and magazines. He has given us permission to quote parts of his answer to this question in our website, newsletter and flyer.
Question: Is skateboarding a bad influence?
“A young skater named Noah wrote and told me that his parents are concerned that skateboarding will attract bad people or bad things. This is a concern that a lot of skateboarder’s parents have. So, is skateboarding a bad influence?
Answer: Skateboarding is only as bad of an influence as you want it to be.
Skateboarding itself is not a bad influence at all – in fact, it’s a very good influence! Skateboarding keeps kids active, teaches them to set and achieve goals, challenges them – there are a lot of reasons that skateboarding by itself is a very good influence. Read The top 6 reasons to skateboard to learn more.
But, this isn’t what most parents are concerned about. Some are worried about their kid getting hurt – and that’s a good thing to consider! You will get beat up pretty badly as you learn to skate.
But most parents are concerned more about the punk, raw, angry side of skateboarding – and the drugs and alcohol abuse that can come along with it. It’s true that skateboarding has always welcomed the rough crowd. Skateboarding has strong historical ties to the punk movement, and even further back to the innovative, aggressive young surf crowd.
But the truth is, that skateboarding is only as bad of an influence as you want it to be. If you are a parent reading this, then you likely already understand the way that bad company can corrupt your child. It’s true of anything. There are plenty of good skateboarders out there. . . .
For parents, I believe the answer is in being involved with your kid. simply spend time with your kid while he or she skates. This is the best idea I can share. You can try and skate with them if you want, but you can also just watch them and be impressed! That’s all you need to do. A lot of work goes into skateboarding, and it feels good to have your family be impressed! And, if you’ve raised your kid well and taught them how to live, they shouldn’t drift too far from it when they get older.
If you are a skater reading this, and you are looking for ways to not fall in with the wrong crowd through skateboarding, there are a couple of things you do. A lot of youth organizations or churches have skateboarding clubs. Look around, call places or ask around . . . If there aren’t any skate clubs around, then just be careful about the skater friends you hang with. At some point, you need to be responsible for making your own good choices – start now!”
– you can access more of Steve Cave’s articles at http://skateboard.about.com/
Note to Youth and Parents: You could contact Steve via his website and ask him how to get a Skate Club going in our area! There is strength and discipline in organizing a club – starting now could make you ready for when the park is built!
– submitted by June G. Paul, Portage Family Skate Park Secretary
You can also read the article Steve Cave did for the #portagesk8park – http://skateboard.about.com/b/2013/11/26/multi-generational-skatepark-project-in-wisconsin.htm