Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In support of skateboard parks and skateboarding

PUBLISHED in the MALIBU TIMES, September 28,2016-09-28
Pro Skate Park

I am very happy to learn that Malibu is considering constructing a skateboard park in the Trancas area and that another will be built at the Bluffs ("Skate park considered for new city land at Trancas," September 15).

Skateboarding is one the best things that has ever happened to young people.  I have spent a great deal of time over the last three years in dozens of skateparks in Southern California, accompanying my grandson and his friends. 

In addition to the obvious fitness benefits,  skate-boarders develop enormous self-discipline, as they patiently practice their moves hundreds of times before succeeding.

The atmosphere is typically friendly, and the spirit is cooperative, with skateboarders coaching and helping each other, and valuable friendships are made. Skateparks are safe places where young people can have the social interaction needed at their age.

An instructive model of a successful and secure skatepark is the Cove, on Olympic and 14th Street in Santa Monica.  It is gated and a supervisor is on duty at all times. Membership is a modest $80 a year and a daily pass is $3 for ages 6-17.

Research shows that skateboarding is a safe sport, provided skaters wear protective gear; a study published in the Journal of Trauma in 2002 reported fewer serious injuries per participant from skateboarding than from football, basketball and bicycling.

Stephen Krashen

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