How is skateboarding a sport?

Sports : Skateboard is an attitude towards life and survival

Set off in a group and still keep to yourself: Everyone should do what they enjoy. BY FRIEDHARD TEUFFEL BERLIN. Somewhat different, but somehow everyday: The home of this sport is the street. The actor is a young everyone, wrapped in clothes, the Beyond your sport, you are popular with your peers. You are not only a skateboarder for a few hours a day. Skateboarding is an attitude towards life and a feeling of survival. One of the most important slogans of the scene is: "Skate or die!" One word is not enough to describe this locomotion on a board with four wheels. Obstacles have to be jumped over, railings slipped down and surfaces rolled over. Skating means taking a risk to master the city with its stairs, tunnels and passages. "Als Skater takes you perceive your environment in a completely different way. You are constantly on the lookout for attractive places, "says Andreas Hesse from the 1st Berlin Skateboard Association. The nature of skaters is the street. They only go to skate halls for special training or a competition. There are ramps , Railings and above all the halfpipe. The club recently organized a competition in the "Skate In", the German Skateboard Championship. Two forms of competition have prevailed: "Streetstyle" and "Halfpipe". In both disciplines the skater has to perform as many different tricks as possible in a given time, in "Streetstyle" on ramps, railings and flat ground, in "Halfpipe" with a helmet and joint guards in the tube. One of the participants has traveled a long way. The 23-year-old Vincent Gootzen comes from Maastricht. Nevertheless, he is allowed to take part in the German championships. The art student did not even have to pay anything for the weekend in Berlin. Travel and accommodation will also be reimbursed by a sponsor Like his equipment, which makes him one of the lucky few who do not have to invest a lot of money in their sport. A good skateboard now costs up to 400 marks. Then there is the clothing. Gootzen is one of the most outstanding skaters in Europe. Nevertheless, he is an amateur. The scene is slowly leaving its "underground" status, "but only in America are there real professionals who earn several thousand dollars a month," he says Mainly because the scene is still quite young. Gootzen probably means in two ways. At the championship he is one of the oldest at the age of 23. "You can still skateboard at 50," says Gootzen. But through them close ties to youthful textiles and hip-hop music, most of them "jump" before the age of 25. Skateboarding is male. Although there were many female spectators at the German Skateboarding Championship, the search for female skaters was in vain. "Skateboarding is a tough sport. Sometimes ligament injuries and broken bones occur. That may put many off. But the number of female skaters has increased ", reports Andreas Hesse. What distinguishes skateboarding from other sports is individuality. Set off in a group and still stay to yourself." Skateboarding is not a team sport. Everyone should do what they enjoy, "says Gootzen. Clubs have neither tradition nor future. The Berlin Skateboard Club is not only the first, but also the only skateboard club in the capital and one of the very few in the republic. "We don't need a trainer. We have ourselves what we do with the skateboard either thought up yourself or copied from magazines and videos, "says Gootzen. The function of the Berlin Skateboard Club (phone 616 19 59), which has existed for twenty years, is to provide information and organize competitions. In addition, the 70 paying members receive discounted entry to the skate halls. Hesse also considers his club to be indispensable because it The only serious skateboard lobby in the city is: "We are a mouthpiece for the skaters. As an association, we can better enforce our demands against the Berlin Senate." But lobbying is Sisiphus work. Far too seldom does the Senate use the club as a free advice center. "Some of the results are systems that are designed in such a way that no skater can use them without ruining their ball bearings in the shortest possible time," says Hesse. Skateboarders have to share the facilities with another group: inline skaters. Inline skates have long overtaken the board in popularity. Inline riding is a leisure culture with the fitness element as a life insurance: it is supposedly easier on the joints than jogging and more performance-enhancing than cycling. The skateboard does not have such advantages. Instead, it has a good relationship with the textile and music industry. "The skateboard is a trendsetter and a fashion designer," says Andreas Hesse. In any case, he is not afraid that the rolling boards will one day disappear from the street: "Rather there are no more wood. "

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