Diggin’ the Concrete Rodeo
Grand County, CO Colorado
Ben Morgan, 14, of Fraser, tells me his philosophy on skateboarding and it reminds me of advice that has taken many adult years to learn.
Minutes before dropping into the bowl at the skate board park at Hideaway Park in Winter Park, he says, “skateboarding is really mental, when you believe you can do it, you can. You clear your mind and you just believe you can do it. You try a trick a hundred times and eventually you land it. You find all the ways that don’t work, then you find a way that does.”
Great advice from a 14 year old.
I meet Ben at Hideaway Park to watch him skateboard and learn about the sport. On this weekday afternoon, there are 10 kids and a few adults including Bill, 42, who is out riding in the park while on his lunch break from work. There are signs stating open hours: 8 a.m. to sunset and what is prohibited in the park: smoking, alcohol, drugs, and profanity.
I want to know everything about this skateboarding phenomena since I never got into it.
Ben tells me the first year he got into skateboarding he didn’t know much. He never skateboarded until he came to the park with his scooter and everyone told him to get a skateboard, and he did.
He bought his first board at Zoomies in Silverthorne and hasn’t been on his scooter since; or maybe because he busted it in the park. Plus, he picked up skateboarding quickly.
Ben says he comes here to have fun without judgment and to try new tricks. He always wears his pads when he wants to try new tricks. I watch him enter the bowl and it must feel something akin to dropping into the pipe on a snowboard, or similar to the thrill of being on a roller coaster. It almost makes me want to try it when I see his grin as he pops back out.
“If someone is in the bowl, you don’t drop in unless they say it’s OK. Typically there is one person at a time,” Ben says.
“When dropping into the bowl a surge of adrenalin rushes through me and it’s what drives me. The adrenaline keeps me warm even if it’s cold out.”
I ask why he skateboards when there are many other activities to do in the valley. “It’s something to do in the summer when there is no snow on the ground and it’s fun to see progression every day. Plus, it’s awesome to land your trick.”
Just as the rain begins to fall and it’s no longer safe to be in the skate park, Ben says, “It’s a great way to goof around with your buddies, and it’s really about the fun.”
This weekend is the Concrete Rodeo and Ben hopes to get one of the 50 competitor spots. There are eight age groups and all abilities can participate.
“The Concrete Rodeo Tour organizers believe strongly in the freedom of expression in skateboarding. We have no desire to create some outline that alters your ability to skate as you feel. We do need to create an environment that allows each of you to express this freedom in your own unique way,” says the Concrete Rodeo website.
The Tour has been through Idaho, Washington, Oregon and now, Winter Park, Colorado. Hope you get in, Ben.
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