A Skateboarder’s Home Away From ‘Home’

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Ed Deaver

Pete Escobar, Staff Writer

…When you come to the skate-park, everybody forgets about race, age, gender whatever. We are all skaters, and we are all in the skating community in Whittier. There is no discrimination or anything like that.”

— Jacob Sahagun

Local skateboarder Jacob Sahagun leaning back on a 5-0 grind at Whittier skate-park.
Pete Escobar/El Paisano
Local skateboarder Jacob Sahagun leaning back on a 5-0 grind at Whittier skate-park.

When people think of home, most think of the place we return to, to take it easy after a long day of school or work, but for the skateboarder, home for some is only half a mile away from their residence. This second home is the local skate-park.

Skateboarders have a hard time when it comes to skating in the streets. They have to deal with police, security, cars, and even concerned pedestrians, so when a skater doesn’t want to have to deal with any of those things, and just wants to be able to skate freely or practice a new trick, they head to the skate-park.

At the skate-park, one can rest assured they won’t be hassled for just trying to take part in their passion; all while in the company of fellow skateboarders, but for many, it goes deeper than that.

Whittier skate-park local Jacob Sahagun describes the park as a place of equality and peace, “[It’s] a community of young people. When you come to the skate-park, everybody forgets about race, age, gender whatever. We are all skaters, and we are all in the skating community in Whittier. There is no discrimination or anything like that.”

For Jacob, Whittier skate-park serves as his home away from home, and with good reason. “Whenever somethings wrong. When you are having girl problems, or problems at home, you come to the skate-park, and you just forget about everything and be comfortable. Home should be that when you have trouble somewhere else, you can go home and be comfortable.”

A birds-eye view of Whittier skate-park on a gloomy Saturday afternoon.
Pete Escobar/El Paisano
A birds-eye view of Whittier skate-park on a gloomy Saturday afternoon.

Whittier skate-park local Diego Martinez elaborates on this idea of a skate-park serving as a home, stating that “it is a friendly environment, and everyone there acts like they are family. It is a place where everyone can go have fun and chill.”

For me, the skate-park serves as a home because it is a place of progression, somewhere that I can practice new tricks and perfect old ones. It is a place where I can keep full focus without being distracted, and everyone there understands since every other skater there is in it for the same thing; skateboarding.

Many people’s reasons may vary as to why their local skate-park might share some features of a second home, but one thing remains clear for a skateboarder; the local skate-park is a place like no other.