Board During COVID?


Rachel Singleton

Skateboarding grows in popularity among students amid COVID-19 quarantine.

With the wind in her face, freshman Abigail Holle cruises down the road on her skateboard. Over quarantine, skateboarding has become a favorite pastime for many students. “I started skating again when school shut down because I had more time and needed something fun to do,” said Holle.
Holle has been skating since she was 12 years old. She is now 15 years old and has learned many new skills on her own. “My favorite tricks to do are ollies and 180s,” said Holle.
Skateboarders often compare their technique to “surfing on land” because of the shape, technique and history of riding. Sophomore Aubrey Shifflet has been skateboarding for almost two years, and he learned his tricks from his brother. “I know the history of how skating came to be; how it feels like a way to express yourself through physical movements and creativity,” said Shifflet.
Some people quit skating after a few weeks because of injuries associated with learning new tricks. At the Warrenton skatepark, Freshman Kurt Reighard was practicing riding off a box when he fell off and hit his head on the concrete. “I laid on the ground for a good couple of minutes. It scared me, but I didn’t want to quit. Even though it’s hard, you just got to keep trying, and you’ll get it,” said Reighard.
There are a few different types of boards designed for specific styles of tricks. There are longboards which have a longer deck and bigger wheels and are usually used for cruising. These boards are more expensive, costing up to $500.
There are also popsicle boards which have a short deck with light, smaller wheels and used for common tricks like ollies or shuvits. Ollies and shuvits both use a technique of shifting your weight to one end of the board and popping it in the air and either spinning it or riding it up. Most popsicle boards cost anywhere from $30 to over $100.
For students, skating is a way to escape their emotions. Reighard said, “It helps me relieve stress… Skateboarding has made me happier, and every time I land a new trick, it makes me feel accomplished. I feel free, like I’ve been let out of a cage that I’ve been stuck in for a couple hours.”