I skated for probably two months when I was 13, and it was a really cool and lucrative thing for a girl to do, especially at my school, plus, I was one of only three girls doing this at the time and place. I didn't learn much and was really just getting my bearings, as my balance was (and still is) the pits, but I very much enjoyed the boys trying to teach me ollies and kickflips, and watching the better male skaters ride around, shirtless of course. All was good until my dad finally gave in to buying me a new board at this surf/skate shop at the mall (remember, we're talking late eighties DC suburbs and this shop existed for about six months). I picked one out and was riding really nicely down the corridor of the mall (I left my dad as collateral for the shopguy letting me take the board out of the shop), miraculously swerving around the teenyboppers and the grandmas, but I'm not very steady on my feet, and I got scared and decided to stop, only the board decided otherwise, and, well, I broke my wrist and haven't been on a board since. My interest in the sport proved to be quite superficial.
My appreciation for skaters peaked again when the documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys", (directed by original Z-Boy Stacy Peralta. Also wrote the new "Lords of Dogtown" movie) came out in 2001. I knew that eventually, skating went national, but I had no idea that while the Z-boys were riding out in California in the seventies, there were the Zoo Yorkers of New York City (link to NY Magazine article: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/sports/features/11956/index.html). I guess the NYC skating legacy was completely obliterated by the hip-hop movement, back then, a very worthy opponent, and while Cali's Z-boys went on to get pro contracts and whatnot, by the early 80's, Zoo York was already disbanding. So now all that remains of the sub-culture are a few tags and a bunch of punks in Union Square practicing basic ollies, failing miserably, and not doing much else.
As much as I love/hate NYC and want to kill Mayor Bloomberg on a daily basis, I have to say that I am often presented with new reasons to be proud of this city, and every day for about 20 minutes, I love it as if it were my own.
Now I am setting my sights on surfing. I'm practicing jumping onto the board from paddle position on a cardboard surfboard in my living room, but once my target starts to move underneath me, that'll be another thing. I've always been a water baby, and the ocean provides a much cushier place to wipeout than pavement or plywood.