Skateboarding, an act of modern “cowboyism” that allows boys to be men.

 

Before he began driving, my son’s primary mode of getting around was by skateboard.

 

As a parent, skateboarding represents a nerve-ridden anarchistic activity culture that you sometimes wish your children wouldn’t participate in. Granted, my son tended to not push the envelope of good sense (so he told us) and I think he generally stuck to sidewalks and level ground.  And I feel pretty confident in saying he didn’t ride on freeways. I’m sure of this because it appears to be a thing and the California Highway Patrol is warning against it.

 

Skateboarding on freeways…what could possibly go wrong?  In all fairness, freeways in Los Angeles move slower than most streets, so any danger probably lives only in our dark imaginations.

 

Crowded Southern California freeway are starting to look like skate parks thanks to a growing trend on Instagram called #FreewayChallange, according to the California Highway Patrol.

 

 

I realized, after witnessing skateboard culture in the United States with an open mind, that skateboarding represents one of the truly accessible lifestyles available to young boys which provides them an expression of dare-devilry and a uniquely masculine bravado that reminds me of modern-day “cowboyism,” a way for young men, beaten down and neutered by today’s feminized worry culture, to live out that rambunctious and independent no-fucks-to-give testosterone-laced bravado: a chance for young men to actually be…men.

 

Society, in 2016, surely does not to encourage young men to explore their masculinity, and if anything, tries its hardest, through nannyism and helicopter-mommism, to repress the macho spirit.

 

So it occurred to me that skateboarding, as wildly worrying as it can be to a parent, represents a rare opportunity for our boys to assert an aspect of their blooming maturity that does not involve walls, limits, screens and sitting.

 

Girls are encouraged to be strong, to be active, to be bold, to be like men. Boys, conversely, are encouraged to be meek, safe, sensible and environmentally reticent.

 

Skateboarding is dangerous, depending on how far it’s taken, but this is the spirit of self-discovery that is an element of virility and manhood.  Skateboarding isn’t about “common sense” or playing it safe, for a reason.