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Adventures at the Hampton Skatepark
writing by Ben Smart

Living in a small town, I've noticed many things. One of those things is that everyone seems to know everyone else, even if only by sight. That's why it is great to take a break from your town, and to go somewhere else, and act like someone else.

My Dad lives in Hampton, which is great. Especially since the only friends I have down there are skaters that I see every-so-often at the skatepark. But when they're not there, I'm just some random guy doing his thing. And usually, the park's filled with the most clueless kids when there are no other skaters around.

I remember one evening, about a year ago. It was early summer, and it was Friday. I just got down to the house, and I was itching to go skate. I skate down the crack-filled sidewalks to the place. I cut over a hill, I gaze on the park, and it's a nightmare down there...

The place is packed with 40 kids, all between the ages 8 and 11, riding those newfangled Razor scooters.

If I wasn't so dedicated, I would've turned around and skated somewhere else. Or maybe it was just a lack of knowledge of skatespots in Hampton. Anyway, I skated there, trying to weave in and out of the confused kids on those reckless, injury-provoking death carts. Every kid seemed to be asking, "Flow? What do you mean by that?" as they stood in the middle of the flybox on the fasted line in the park.

To make a short story long, I was having as much fun as I could in the park. I didn't talk to the kids. Everytime I missed a trick or fell, I'd yell something in Spanish. Push...push...push...pop....spin....miss...."Ahhh! No me gusta este monopatin estupido!!!"

All was well until I tried doing ollies into the lower transition of the quarterpipe. I learned them frontside, and was doing them pretty consistently. So, what was next? I tried hititng them backside. Big mistake. On my first try, a scooter kid cut in front of me, distracting my mind. I tried anyway at a cruising speed, and hung something up on the edge of the quarter. Bam! I was chucked off my board. The side of my leading calf was thrown at the opposite edge of the concrete simultaneously as my knee jarred the flat. I think I might have bruised my wrist, too.

My leg locked up. I layed there for a moment, and tried to get up. I used my skateboard as a crutch. A group of kids gathered around me.

"Are you all right?" they asked. Suddenly, the Spanish skateboarder guy wasn't so Spanish anymore.

"Yeah, I think I'll be ok. My backpack is over there, can you get it for me?"

A kid got it for me. I thanked him, sitting down on the deck of an unused transition. I drank some water. A soccer-mom asked if I was OK, and I said I would be fine in a few minutes. I managed to limber up my leg slowly, and I was ready for the ordeal home. I used the trusty skateboard as a cane, helping me hobble the mile or so back home. It took me the rest of the weekend to recover to the point I could push around. To be honest, I haven't tried those backside ollies since.

Link: Photos from Hampton Skatepark