History and fine arts major Dominick Piantoni and graphic design major Joe Finney are two sophomore students who have regularly been seen skateboarding on campus.
Piantoni and Finney started a love for skateboarding at the age of 14 in their hometown of Trenton, N.J. Due to the popularity of skateboarding videos at the time, both students were inspired to emulate the professionals by trying the same tricks they performed.
After seeing the complex tricks on the television, “We wanted to just get right out on the street and try them in real life,” Piantoni said.
Major influences for the teenage skateboarders include Tony Hawk and Kerry Getz.
Both Hawk and Getz are two popular professional skateboarders. The shows, movies and video games created by these two men are an inspiration for many young people to want to learn the skills of skateboarding.
The two students agreed that the best way to learn to skateboard is the “see and do” method.
Once they accomplished learning some tricks, Piantoni and Finney began skateboarding as a mode of transportation.
Skateboarding also led to being a great form of exercise for the boys.
Piantoni said, “It’s one of them things when you’re getting exercise but you don’t know it because you’re having so much fun doing it.”
Finney and Piantoni also stated that Philadelphia is a local hot spot for many people to skateboard. In the city there are many parks designated for skateboarders, however, many police officers are on patrol for skateboarding in illegal places.
Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza, also known as Love Park, was one of the world’s foremost skate spots. After renovations at the park in 2002, a skateboarding ban was placed on the area. Breaking the ban consists of a $300 fine.
As some sports can become a big expense for many people, skateboarding is not.
Skateboarding isn’t necessarily considered a sport, however extreme athleticism and balance is required to become an elite skater, in addition, a decent flow of money is needed to keep maintenance of skateboarding.
A skateboard includes wheels, barrings, treks, hardware, a deck and grip tape. Although they may seem like a lot, the average price for all the elements is from $100 to $150.
Piantoni and Finney use a lot of their free time to skateboard as many college students do in order to keep themselves occupied.
“Skating is a mainstream of teenager’s interests. As long as people like Tony Hawk keep putting out movies and video games it’s also going to be big,” Piantoni said.