Look inside the world of skateboarding at Athens.

Sophomore Eddie Testa popping a kickflip.

Photos by Zane Perryman

Sophomore Eddie Testa popping a kickflip.

Aside from school sports, Athens students find other activities that interest them. A common hobby amongst students is skateboarding. Students around campus have been seen skating a lot more now that the temperature has increased. It’s not uncommon to see kids skating around the parking lot during lunch, or even the halls. 

Sophomore Eddie Testa has been skating seriously since 2020 and has since grown his passion for it as well as his skill. Like many others, he uses skating as a way to focus himself

“I’d be in my basement for like two hours just trying to learn new stuff because I felt like it would just calm me down and whatnot, just take me away,” said Testa.

But skating isn’t just aimed at kids. Many people who get into it stay interested for a long time,Including science teacher Ross Kennel. He started skating at a young age but stopped in his late teenage years due to a major leg injury. 

“I went from riding quarter-pipes and half-pipes every weekend to just being able to longboard,” said Kennel. “I still skate now but it’s nothing to the extent of what it was.” 

One thing that attracts people to skating is the lack of rules. There are many different ways to skate and everyone has their own style. Two people with different approaches to skating would still be found at the same skatepark. This opens the opportunity for skaters to make their own games and expand on them. The skate community is also such an open group of individuals who just have a mutual interest in skating. They continuously are learning new things and creating new games, tricks, etc.

A commonly played game amongst skaters is the game of “SKATE”. In a game of SKATE there are typically two players who compete against each other. One person will perform a trick, and if they land it the other player has to do the same trick. If they fail to do so they get a letter until they spell out SKATE, much like the game HORSE. 

During lunch, these games will sometimes take place. A recent match between Eddie Testa and Junior Cam Tibbett resulted in a win from Testa with two letters by the time Cam had the full word. But soon after, the two skaters started another game. It was closer this time, but Testa won again after landing a switch kickflip. A switch kickflip is especially hard because it requires the skater to pop the trick in the opposite stance they’re used to. Testa has been working on this trick, perfecting it for a while. 

“I feel like it should be noted that I landed the cleanest switch flip, first try, ever known to man,” said Testa after the match. 

Skaters around the school are looking for more games of SKATE to go down. And there’s no shortage of excitement when they take place.