Campus skateboard fever

A growing community on wheels

Skateboarding has always had a bit of a reputation for rebellion, but Trinity’s campus skateboarding culture arguably does not represent that. While some students use skateboarding to get around campus quicker, others use it as a way to bond with friends and as an extra excuse to get outside.

Frank De Luna, sophomore engineering science major, gave skateboarding a shot after coming to Trinity last year when he saw some friends doing it.

“I kind of got hooked on it,” he said. “It was really cool actually getting the feeling of staying on the board and balancing and riding it for a while. It feels kind of like you’re flying.”

Skateboarding can be both a solo activity and a social one. While skating to class or around campus is typically done alone, some students go downtown or to nearby parks as a group.

Andie Hadley, first-year biology major, and Eyan Absar, first-year neuroscience major, learned to skateboard together about a month and a half ago when they saw some friends messing around with a skateboard and having a lot of fun with it, similar to De Luna. They said that skating at Woodlawn Lake Park is fun but that campus is perfect for skateboarding as well because of how speedy it is.

Hadley, Absar and De Luna all said that they have met people on campus through skateboarding. De Luna said that whenever he sees someone he doesn’t know skateboarding on campus, he’ll always wave. Common interests tend to bond people together, and skateboarding is no exception.

“I feel like I don’t really have that many social activities, but skateboarding is something to do with your friends that’s not just […] sitting around and it’s a bit more active,” Hadley said.

People are drawn to skateboarding for many reasons. De Luna said that skateboarding is a new hobby that he never thought he would get into and that he likes the aesthetic of it. Absar said that she likes that it’s customizable and that it’s a shared experience with other people. Hadley said that, for her, part of the appeal is having a board and having it be your board.

“It sounds cliche and cheesy, but you put stickers on it and you see it get busted up […] and it’s your skateboard,” she said.

In many ways, Trinity’s campus skateboarding culture breaks from the skater stereotype that many are familiar with, particularly the stereotype that only men skateboard. Skateboarding has traditionally been a male-dominated sport, but more and more women have been picking it up. Hadley said that she’s had someone stop her while she’s carrying her skateboard and say that they’ve been seeing a lot more girls skateboarding on campus.

“Yeah, guys skateboard but also girls skateboard,” Absar said.

Absar, De Luna and Hadley all said that it did not take them long to get the hang of skateboarding. Hadley said that when she first started, she would just borrow her friend’s skateboard, but then it was so fun and easy to get around campus, so she ordered hers that same week.

“Once you get on, you just never want to get off,” Absar said.