Do the preparation exercise first and then read the article. If you find it too easy, try the next level. After reading, do the exercises to check your understanding.
Monica and Carl are teenagers from Los Angeles in the United States. They both love skateboarding. Read this interview with them and find out more about their favourite sport.
Who invented skateboarding?
Monica: Skateboarding began in California in the 1950s, but we don’t know who the first person to go on a skateboard was.
Carl: In the beginning, skateboarding was popular with surfers. They wanted to practise surfing on land when the ocean was calm or the weather was bad.
Where can you go skateboarding?
Monica: There are skate parks in lots of towns and cities. They are special places for skateboarding. You can practise jumps at skate parks and meet other skateboarders.
Carl: You can skateboard in the street too, but you have to look out for the traffic, people, bicycles and dogs.
When did you start skateboarding?
Monica: When I was a child, I liked going roller-skating with my friends. When I was thirteen, one of my friends got a skateboard and I tried it. I fell several times but I loved it. Two weeks later, I got my first skateboard. I haven’t stopped roller-skating. I like both sports now.
Carl: I live in the city and there’s a skate park near my house. When I was eleven, my dad gave me a skateboard for my birthday and I spent the summer skateboarding at the skate park. I love the freedom and speed. When I was a child, I rode my bike every day, but I never ride it now.
Is skateboarding dangerous?
Carl: All skateboarders fall off their boards but fortunately most injuries are minor. It’s a good idea to wear a helmet to protect your head.
Are there skateboarding competitions?
Monica: Yes, there are. They usually take place in skate parks. Skateboarders do jumps or tricks. The skateboarders who do the most difficult jumps or tricks win.
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? Maybe, skateboarding will be in the 2020 games!
Tell me about “Go Skateboarding Day”.
Monica: “Go Skateboarding Day” is on the 21st of June every year. In the United States, Europe and Australia, there are competitions, parties and barbecues for skateboarders.
What about fashion? Is there a skater look?
Carl: At the moment, the fashion is for skateboarders to wear tight jeans or black trousers and a T-shirt or check shirt. Baseball caps and hats are popular too.
Monica: A lot of skateboarders have long hair too. But fashion doesn’t matter. For me, enjoying the sport is more important than clothes.
What’s a long board?
Monica: A long board is skateboard that’s longer and has got bigger wheels. Skateboards are usually 70 to 80 centimetres long, but long boards are 90 to 120 centimetres long. It’s difficult to do jumps on a long board, but you can go fast.
Carl: Listen to this! In 2006, a skateboarder went across Australia on a long board. That’s 5,850 kilometres!
Do you like skateboarding?