Boise’s Skating Community: A Tight-Knit Group In A Small Town


Photo Credit: Kaiya Kearns

Here is Parker Hopkins at SkateFort 2019, doing what he loves!

Kaiya Kearns, Reporter

Skateboards. A piece of wood with some wheels on it. You would never think an invention like this could bring so much joy and a total change of lifestyle to someone. Skating originated in California in the late 40s, early 50s. This gave the surfers something to do when the waves were flat. Since then, skating has become super popular not just with teenagers, but anyone who has the determination. Not only is it a sport, but a cultural impact. Skating has had a tight and long-lasting impact on music, visual arts, dance, fashion, and street culture.

Jake Whitfield, a twenty-nine-year-old sponsored skater for Feat Skateboards, started skating when he was 13 years old because of a friend. “My friend was really good and I instantly became fascinated with the sport.” Whitfield also stated how much skating has grown in Boise and around the world, “I think skating has grown immensely. It helps that there are great parks and more development within the parks. It also has become more acceptable due to it being in the Olympics.” Jake is “super grateful” because of all of the lessons skating has taught him and where it has taken him in life. “Skating has taught me so much about resilience and just not giving up. I have learned about failure and how to accept it especially due to injuries. I have also played many sports and skating is definitely the hardest, but so rewarding in the end. It also is a really good feeling knowing I can do something that not a lot of people can do, which still pushes me to this day.”

Whitney Crystal, a twenty-nine-year-old skateboarder, started skating when she was nine. “I grew up next to a skatepark and one time I went there, someone had left a Girl skateboard behind and I took it. I always thought that was a coincidence for some reason. I really got into it in middle school and met some skate friends.”

She also shares about what it’s like being in a male-dominated sport and why that is. “I think it could be the same for any sport. Traditionally in society men are meant to do more. They always seem to push the limit, plus there is a difference between men’s and women’s skating. But, I grew up skating with dudes, so it really did help push me harder and made me tougher. Though I would like to get to a point to not feel incompetent because of my gender. I really push for that. Women and the trans community want to make it a point that anyone can skate.”

Whitney talks about what skating has taught her, “To be a strong person, to literally fight for something you want so much because the feeling of accomplishing something you want is worth it. I’ve also learned to never give up on something, just because it is hard, which has helped me apply that to many aspects of my life.”