What's it like being a skater in LA? We talk to two teenage skateboarding fans.

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Monica and Carl are teenagers from Los Angeles in the United States. They both love skateboarding and spend a lot of their free time on their boards. Read this interview with them and find out more about their passion for skateboarding.

Who invented skateboarding?

Monica: Nobody knows who the first skateboarder was or who made the first boards, but we know that skateboarding started in California in the 1950s. There were lots of surfers who wanted something to do when it wasn’t windy and the ocean was calm, so they invented the skateboard and it was called “land surfing” in the beginning.

Carl: The first skateboards were pieces of wood with rollerskate wheels that people made at home. When skateboarding became popular, they started making skateboards in factories.

Where can you go skateboarding?

Carl: You can go skateboarding in public places like parks, pavements and city squares. Some skateboarders like “freestyle” skateboarding, which is going fast along pavements or bicycle lanes. Other skateboarders like doing jumps and tricks on benches, stairs or railings. It’s great fun, but you have to watch out for other people too.

Monica: There are also lots of skate parks where you can skate on ramps. Lots of cities have skate parks now. The good thing about them is that you can practise jumps without disturbing anyone, and of course, you meet other skaters at a skate park too.

When did you start skateboarding?

Monica: I started skateboarding when I was thirteen. When I was younger, I used to go rollerskating a lot with my friends. Then one of my friends got a skateboard and she let me try it. I fell off several times but I loved it from day one. A couple of weeks later, I got my first skateboard. I haven’t given up rollerskating, I still go sometimes.

Carl: I live in the city and there’s a skate park near my house. I used to go to the park and watch the skateboarders, then my dad gave me a skateboard for my eleventh birthday in July and I spent the summer skateboarding. I loved the sense of freedom and speed. I used to ride my bike a lot, but I never go on it now.

Monica, is skateboarding an unusual sport for girls?

Monica: It’s more popular with boys than girls, but there are lots of girl skateboarders too. It’s a sport for everyone. There are lots of people in their thirties and forties who started skateboarding as teenagers and are still doing it today.

Is skateboarding dangerous?

Carl: We all fall off our boards a lot and sometimes you can hurt yourself, but most injuries are small things like cuts and bruises. Obviously, it’s a good idea to wear protective clothing like a helmet and it’s important to protect your hands and wrists too. Wrists are the part of the body that you’re most likely to injure when skateboarding as you put out your hands to protect yourself when you fall. I always wear wristguards when I skate.

Are there skateboarding competitions?

Monica: Yes, there are. They usually take place in skate parks and judges give skaters points for their jumps and tricks. In the United States and Europe, some skaters are professional and make a living taking part in skating competitions.

Carl: There was a campaign to get skateboarding included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro but unfortunately it wasn’t successful. But who knows? Skateboarding might be in the 2020 games!

Tell me about “Go Skateboarding Day”.

Monica: “Go Skateboarding Day” started in 2004 when skateboarders in the United States decided it would be good to have a day that celebrates skateboarding. It takes place on the 21st of June every year. You can check it out online. It’s a day when there are events for skateboarders like competitions, parties, barbecues or people just go out and skate with their friends.

What about fashion? Is there a skater look?

Carl: Fashions change, but at the moment, the fashion is for skaters to wear tight jeans or black trousers and a hooded top, T-shirt or check shirt. Baseball caps and woollen hats called beanies are popular too.

Monica: A lot of skateboarders, both boys and girls, have long hair too. But really skaters can wear what they want. For me, love of the sport is more important than someone’s clothes.

What’s a long board?

Monica: A long board is another type of skateboard, but it’s longer and it’s got bigger wheels. Standard skateboards are usually about 70 to 80 centimetres long, but long boards are 90 to 120 centimetres long. Long boards aren’t so good for jumps and tricks, but they are good for going fast along pavements.

Carl: Here’s an interesting fact about long boards. In 2006, a skateboarder went across Australia from Perth to Brisbane on a long board. That’s 5,850 kilometres!

Total votes: 902
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Discussion

Are you any good at skateboarding? Is it popular where you live?

Comments

Sebastian_Kurtano's picture
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Sebastian_Kurtano 13 October, 2016 - 21:19

In my counry this sport is not popular. Young people in Ukrainian want to be like a Messi or Ronaldo. Maybe after 10-20 this will be popular as well as in USA.

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24 users have voted.
Andj's picture
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Andj 29 November, 2014 - 23:50

Some years ago I bought my cousin's skateboard and try to skate when anyone was looking at me. And I remember that it is really hard. I lose my balance in just a second. So obviusly I'm not going to practica this sport. Soon I'll try skiing. I hope I'll learn something.
In Spain some people and teenagers practice skatebording but no many.

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149 users have voted.
Ilehana's picture
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Ilehana 21 July, 2013 - 20:48

jjaja of course i'm not!!, i've never done something like this before, I would like, but i'm akward with those kind of things, In my country is not popular, in Colombia there are a few ones who practice it, because it's not accepted as culture.

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129 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
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Natalija 24 April, 2013 - 14:51

It's being popular for last five years. I don't like that, but many of people in my country do. I'm not good at skateboarding at all, but I don't regret, I've never being interested in such thing.

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132 users have voted.
AlinaKho's picture
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AlinaKho 3 March, 2013 - 05:19

I tried skateboarding when I was about 12, but I fell off the board:) Since that time I prefer watching to doing it. Who knows maybe it's just not my cup of tea...:)

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155 users have voted.
xxsnowballxx's picture
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xxsnowballxx 25 February, 2013 - 16:31

I'm going to get a board for myself after my exams hopefully since ZELO loves skateboarding ^.^ I'm aware it's pretty hard - I can still remember my attempt to ride my bro's friend's board when I was like eleven... . It was scary as hell •~•

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174 users have voted.
SangVn's picture
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SangVn 23 February, 2013 - 15:08

I have never tried skateboarding, I think it's quite challenging, it's also not popular in my country and I respect skateboarder because I think they're courageous.

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153 users have voted.
Annett's picture
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Annett 27 October, 2012 - 15:01

That's really interesting) My friend who's a skateboarder will be wondered how much I know about this sport - finally I'll tell him about his hobby:) Skateboarding is not an unusual way to do sport in Moscow, and there are some skate parks here, I even heard about the competitions. Some my classmates do skateboarding but not me - that's really difficult and takes a lot of time. But I like listening to my friends when they tell me about their achievements in skateboarding:)

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190 users have voted.
Ekaterina's picture
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Ekaterina 11 October, 2012 - 08:09

I am fond of this article_ )) I got lots of new information about skateboarding)) Especially I like Go Skateboarding Day ..because my best friend has birthday at the same)) But unfortunately there isn't special place for skateboarding.(I live in Russia,Vladivostok)

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157 users have voted.
niky_02nqn's picture
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niky_02nqn 2 September, 2012 - 00:11

Well, skateboarding is quite popular in my city!Many girls and boys do it,,of course not me!I'm afraid of it! I usually fall :/ ahhah, but I think that it's very cool!Every night, you can see guys skateboarding on the main streets and having a little fun, I like to see them :D and sometimes I laugh when they fall! I did it once and it was okey, I didn't fall!!Quite rare, because I always do!hahahah. :))))

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211 users have voted.
misscool's picture
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misscool 13 June, 2012 - 14:59

actually i's not that popular , i am in Tunisia there aren't many skateboarders in my country , when i was young about 5years i tried it a lots and lots of times but now i don't anyway it's a good sport and i think that everybody should try it at least once you will have fun i guarantee it but just like they said do the skateboarding in the right places =)

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184 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 13 June, 2012 - 15:21

Hi misscool! Me too, I tried skateboarding when I was younger but I kept falling off so I gave up. Did you find another sport to do instead? What are the most popular sports among young people in your country? Thanks for reading this article and posting a comment!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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173 users have voted.
Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 2 November, 2012 - 12:10

I personally have never tried skateboarding but I'd love to :) The article is indeed very interesting. In my country many people do skateboarding, it's almost as popular as rollerblading. My friends often go rollerblading but unfortunately I can't join them because I have no equipment :((( Some other popular sports in my country are football, tennis, ice skating. I first tried ice skating last year on December 31st. It was memorable cuz I and my mom were always falling down. It was very fun, though!

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159 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 2 November, 2012 - 13:23

I know what you mean! Ice skating's great fun and when you first start it's a challenge just to stay standing up and keep your balance. I've had quite a few falls too (._.) Did you go skating on an ice rink or outdoors somewhere?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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171 users have voted.
Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 2 November, 2012 - 16:53

Thanks 4 reply! We went ice skating in a big trade center which also provides ice rink, bowling, whatever else... I enjoyed the experience and I wanna go on!

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153 users have voted.