- I started skating back in the day when Back to Future first came out. Michael J Fox inspired many young guys and girls to start skateboarding. He made it look and seem so cool although looking back on the movie now I’m not sure what it was we thought was so incredibly awesome. It’s rather cheesy looking back on it all now. But this movie opened a whole new realm of life for me.This began the days of skateboarding down to the local Ben Franklin store and buying candy in the monstrous candy aisle. The owners of the nostalgic store saw the increase in skateboarders and saw a potential to open a skate shop. What a great idea!They soon opened up a corner in the back of their store dedicated to skateboards, wheels, trucks, magazines and my favorite..STICKERS!!
The Ben Franklin store put together a “team” and then shortly started doing skate demos out in the parking lot. They printed t shirts and then partnered with a larger store in Lexington Kentucky that soon began bringing in professional skaters.
These pro skate demos were all the rage and soon the sport would flourish into a gigantic local scene. It was nothing for a group of 20-30 skaters to go kicking around town looking for the next hot spot to get on. Back then we weren’t nearly as radical and tricks were quite simple.
Wall rides…the kind with your hands on the ground and your board on your feet was the extent of that trick. Bomb drops were cool but Acid Drops took the biggest set of balls of all. Off of a loading dock was the usual place to test your courage against your skate brethren.
But the large conglomerate of skaters in on place began to stir up trouble with the local authorities. It wasn’t long before we were getting run off of every business in town. We weren’t even welcome in the restaurants where we’d like to congregate and grab a bite to eat to discuss the latest skate crazes.
As we aged and began driving cars it got more and more difficult to justify using a skateboard for transportation. Getting kicked out of every establishment and off of every common ground was not only humiliating and frustrating, it was also very discouraging.
So many of us moved on to bigger and better things. Leaving out skateboards behind to be sold in mom’s next yard sale. In Kentucky our leaders didn’t have the vision of skateparks that other more forward thinking places had. We basically had no where else to go and so skateboarding faded for many.
But it has made a comeback in the area and seen a resurgence in popularity now that we have a few skate parks in town. Hopefully this trend can continue and old guys like me can have a place to rekindle the old skateboarding bug and flame.