I’ve watched my kids play their Tony Hawk’s Playstation game and I’ve enjoyed watching it. I’ve seen the different moves and turns that one can do with the skateboard such as the kickflip, the ollie, the grind, and the 180- and 360-degree turns. I think they’re awesome. But it’s a different experience watching kids skateboard for real.
Skateboarding can be a pretty dangerous sport. Just two weeks ago, a teenage boy already had an accident at this park. There have been debates on whether the City should impose a law on wearing helmets and protective gear such as knee and elbow pads. Winnipeggers are split on this issue. On the one hand, some think that the City should impose a rule because they think that it’s the City’s responsibility to protect its residents. On the other hand, some think that the City shouldn’t and everybody should mind their own business and it should be up to the parents to make sure that their kids are protected when they do skateboard.
I’m just glad that my kids are not into skateboarding. If they were, I would make them wear helmets and pads. But then again, I think there’s pressure on teenage kids if they see their peers not wearing helmets. They kind of feel like the odd one out. And the younger kids look up to the older kids. They think that whatever the older kids are doing is cool. And pretty soon they will want to imitate the older kids who aren’t wearing helmets. I know this because I always struggle with my youngest son to cover his head in the freezing temperatures in the winter when he sees his older brothers not wearing their toques (hat/bonnet) or hoods.
When we went to check out this skatepark a few days ago, I noticed the smaller kids, who were obviously with their parents, were all wearing helmets. The teenage boys, who were there by themselves, were not. I watched a teenage girl fall from her skateboard and I winced when she did. I was even worried that she would scrape her lovely skinny legs. But she was all right.
Other provinces here in Canada enforce laws on wearing helmets while biking, rollerblading and skateboarding. Manitoba hasn’t yet. I’m sure if my kids were into skateboarding, I would also vote for the legislation of wearing helmets. I think anything that involves flipping and suspending oneself in the air is dangerous.
Click here for more photos of the skatepark.
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