Skaters on Deck
Published onNov. 6, 2019
Skater speaks on the rise in skating popularity at AHS.
By MarcAnthony Ramos
Senior Richy Villanueva lives on his skateboard. You will never see him without it. He skates to and from school daily, and after school you’ll likely see him skating around the neighborhood just to pass some time.
“It’s just easier. Easier to get around, easier to get places quicker. It’s small enough to fit in my locker. It’s just more economical,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva is just one of a number of skaters on campus. Everyday before school, after school and even during lunchtime you can catch groups of skaters either somewhere on campus or across the street at the skatepark at Mervin Morris Park.
Junior Kaos Lowe also skates and has also noticed a rise in skating at AHS. He thinks it’s because people want to be a part of the skating community.
“I think there’s been an increase in skaters because a lot of people like to copy waves. Someone sees a collective group doing it, people might want to join in,” Lowe said.
Johnathan Davis is a local skater and employee at Orbit Skates, a local skate shop in San Leandro. A skater for over two decades, he also noticed that skateboarding’s popularity comes in waves.
“A lot of friends were skateboarding around that time, it was the year where we were transitioning from elementary to middle school. It was kind of the fashionable thing to do. The skateboard slowly went from a fashion accessory to a lifestyle,” Davis said.
English teacher Nathan Embretson has been skating over 25 years. Even though he doesn’t skate as much as he used to, he still see’s being a skater as a part of his identity.
“Skating kinda defined my high school and college years. I’d skate to class, skate with friends, skate on the streets,” Embretson said. “I used to be crazy, jumping off stairs and ledges and stuff, but now I just like to go to the park and flow around the park.”
Embretson thinks that skating never really dies, the popularity just comes and goes in waves, with each new style that is being introduced. Embretson believes that the thing that gets people into skating tends to be the community.
“The friendship aspect... that really close camraderie with people who were also into skateboarding, I became super close friends with them, I’m still friends with them today," Embretson said. Looking to the future, Embretson hopes for skating to become a part of AHS’ identity. He would like to see student skaters at AHS do more to build the culture here. “If there’s one thing I want for modern skateboarding, it is a return to more DIY ethic and having fun, so if that means starting a club, I think that would be an awesome thing to have here at Arroyo.” •