Forget the hipster rankings, I am going to go skate at our new skate park!
I'll do my best. There has been a noticeable increase in helmet usage in the morning hours, which is when my boys and I skate, but I have observed a lot of users (~75%) not wearing helmets in the later afternoon hours. That 75% has not been influenced by the handcuffing incident. It's just hard to teach new habits to users in their teens and twenties. I went by yesterday afternoon and that number still held true.
I think your friend is on to something. I am definitely willing to try maneuvers that I wouldn't try without my pads.
As a skate park advocate that has been working on getting a skate park for our City, I find the disregard of the posted rules very disappointing. The City spent well over $500,000 for this incredible park to be built and how do a number of skaters thank the City? They give them the collective finger by blowing off the rules and next thing you know skateboarders are in the media looking like a bunch of spoiled ungrateful brats.
On the other hand I am not surprised. As a friend of mine pointed out, gratitude is an elusive character quality that takes years to cultivate. Few of us have it in our younger years. Many skaters have no idea of how much time an effort went into getting this park so showing gratitude is low on the priority list- especially if being grateful means looking “uncool” to your friends or “limits your ability to creatively express yourself.”
It’s also important to keep in mind that the helmet rule is not enforced in any of the local area skate parks so what we have is a younger generation, perhaps two generations of skaters that have grown up not wearing helmets. Even within most California skate parks, which also have similar helmet ordinances, you will find the majority of users without helmets.
I am encouraged to see a number of skaters that are wearing helmets, especially the younger kids and older skaters that have been involved with taking the Tobey skate park project to fruition.
I hope that the City is able to get users to wear their helmets, it's for their own good mind you, but based on what I have seen in most parks, it will be an uphill battle.
In the meantime, Skatelife will continue to slowly change the skate culture’s attitude towards wearing helmets as we work with teaching skateboarding to kids and their families at the park on Saturdays. One day, I hope, the next generation of skateboarders will see wearing a helmet no differently than wearing their seat-belts.
If parents do their jobs and people observe the rules then the police don't have to step in. People give the police that power and authority once they decide to ignore the rules.
The bottom line is that a parent should have read the rules, enforced them on his/her own kid and not left the park since the park rules state that kids under 12 must have a guardian present. Two weeks ago a user sustained a serious head injury at the park and will be off his board for 4 months. He was fortunate it wasn't worse. I am glad the officer made an example of the kid, albeit extreme, because splitting your head open on the concrete is a very serious deal.
Our City just gave us a $500K gift in this park, users can show some gratitude by obeying some pretty simple rules.
Correction: "not the governments" should read " not just the governments." They have a part but it's a bit overweighted right now.
I like your positive outlook Mary. Our economy will improve once American's realize that it's in their capacity and obligation to rebuild it not the governments.
Should be exciting to see how that plays out. For a glimpse of what that may look like check out this site:http://community-wealth.org/
Definitely worth a look.
@ Burly Early. A question for you: What types of recreational facilities should a City Parks and Recreation departments build for its citizens ?
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