I’m 12 years old and live in White Bear Lake near Minneapolis. My parents won’t let me go into the city to skate yet. They say I’m too young. I went to the skate shop near me with my mom, and they were playing a video with you on it. You looked pretty young, so I thought you’d be a good person to ask for advice. How can I convince my mom to let me skate where I want? What was the sketchiest thing you ran into while skating downtown? Has skating in the city taught you anything you can’t learn in the ’burbs? I need some ammo for my argument. Also, do you have any tips for wallrides? Mine don’t work.
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Thanks for the compliment on looking young—I’m actually 27. When I was your age, I was taking the train to New York City and my mom didn’t approve of it either. But she let me go because we had a crew. We had some older skaters she could trust with us and they would take me skating through the city. You said you were hanging out at the skateshop, so get a crew together, talk to the other skaters and then ask your mom. It’s always good to have some guys to watch your back and show you what’s up. She might understand then.
I’ve been through a fair share of crazy incidents, but you’ve got to expect that in any city. You learn a lot of street smarts growing up skating through any city in the world. It’s an exciting experience. Some tips: Don’t let people know how much money you have. Always make sure you travel with friends. Stay alert. Talk to your mom. Hopefully this helps. As for some wallride tips, check out any Quim Cardona footage and just keep skating. –Fred Gall
P.S. Please, Mom.