Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson is satisfying reading.
I haven’t come to understand skateboarding though, which was one of my goals in reading it.
I do understand surfing (I’m a bodyboarder), I do understand wheels (I used to be an artistic roller skater, and quads have a lot of wheels, you know), but the two combined are a mystery to me. My problem is not even the street, I enjoy street roller skating, even completed a couple of mini marathons (and if you’ve tried quads on the asphalt you know it’s definitely not a sissy thing). I’m just not able to connect to the skateboarding subculture, let’s face it. Never was.
A kid, a teenager, died a couple of months ago doing parkour in the next town. Of course no one here in northern Italy knows what parkour is, exept those doing it and those studying it for some academic purpose. The local news interviewed some of his friends, there was this girl, they asked her what was this kid doing, at night on the roof of the school, she said “he was doing p-a-r-k-o-u-r”, she spelled it, for us. Silence.
I may know what parkour is, but it’s like with skateboarding, I don’t get the fascination.
At least I hope I will be able to connect with Whip It, the film directed by Drew Barrymore on roller derbies (with Ellen Page).