From the minute you step on a skateboard, you’re introduced to pain, fear, and failure. Skateboarding is difficult, frustrating, dangerous, and highly addictive. It takes a certain personality type to pursue it for years beyond all the bumps, scrapes, and bruises-only the one who sticks at it can call himself a real skateboarder. Real skateboarders never quit.
Learning to deal with failure and learning to rise above it is a big part of what builds the strength and character so many skaters possess. Spending time in the streets, constantly surrounded by all aspects of life, both nice and nasty, skaters tend to have the street smarts most nine-to-fivers lack.
In the eyes of many cities and communities, skaters are often considered selfish pests who are only after cheap thrills and personal satisfaction. As we all know, this is a rude generalization, but is the punkest way to stick it back to the man to become one of them?
We interviewed three skaters who’ve decided to rise above the stigma attached to both stereotypes and who gave something back to their communities. Skateboarding has prepared them well for highly stressful and dangerous situations that often require split-second decision-making and perhaps the possibility of saving a life. While remaining dedicated and passionate about skateboarding, these three have managed to dig deep and pursue careers that are all about helping others beside themselves.