OPINION: Our photograph yesterday (repeated below) of skateboarder Cyrus "Sodi" Steedman was eye-catching.
How might he come out of that without someone needing to ring an ambulance?
But none was required, and we can confirm no paving stones were harmed in the execution of Sodi's move.
Oh, and Sodi wasn't hurt either.
It's something about being young.
Let's be clear. These youths shouldn't be skating in front of the Landing Service Building, and their saving grace is they are not obnoxious or rude about it. Apparently they move on quietly when asked.
And they have a reason why they are not using the purpose-built skatepark at the Bay. It's full of little kids, they say, and "you feel terrible if you hit a little kid, and then their parents get mad".
So then, not only is the skatepark being used, it's being well used. Take a bow all those who raised the funds for it 10 years ago.
These skateboarders are challenging the stereotype of young people locked indoors on sunny days playing computer games.
They're engaged in wholesome, healthy exercise. If you don't count the concrete faceplants.
And it's like a legitimate sport to them. Some of them are sponsored. Some of them are really clever.
And without realising it they are also honing other skills, skills that might help in jobs later. Sodi's group makes videos of their skateboarding antics, uploading them to YouTube. They have 44 so far, attracting 29,000 views. That's impressive.
It requires photographic and editing skills, along with teamwork, delegation and respect for each other.
Actually, the skatepark users also show respect for the facility they have. A trial of the three-bin rubbish recycling system at Caroline Bay this year showed the best results came from the skatepark.
One skill left then, and that's to learn how to share the skatepark.
C'mon guys, that shouldn't be that hard.
- The Timaru Herald