Hidden in the nooks and crannies of the school, the skateboarding community is an often overlooked aspect of Cupertino culture. Students can sometimes be spotted around school, on the street and in open lots with their boards, spending time with others have the same interest. Some might see skateboarding as just a way of getting around, but for others, it is a sport that has no rules — a medium of expression. For skateboarders like freshmen Hector Morestin and Omar Sibih, skateboarding is a way to hang out with friends while having fun with a favorite hobby.
Q: How did you get into skateboarding?
Morestin: After I moved from France to the U.S., I met a friend who started skateboarding. I went to the skate park with him once, and he was skateboarding, and I thought that was really cool. My parents found a summer camp, which is how I started learning.
Q: What do you like about it?
Morestin: I like it because I can meet a ton of people at the skate park who share the same passion as me. So I try to practice a little bit every day, and I’m trying to get good enough to get sponsored [by skateboarding companies].
Q: What does skateboarding mean to you?
Morestin: I just see it as something I do in my free time. I make videos with my friends, which is really fun. We film vlog-type videos, where we’ll meet up in the morning and film ourselves skating and talking about stuff.
Q: What’s your favorite trick?
Sibih: The tre flip, which is when the board turns 360 degrees and flips. It can be challenging to get the full rotation though.
Morestin: I like [tre] flips because they were the hardest for me to learn. Now that I’ve learned it, I can do it almost every try, and it’s super fun.
Q: How do you learn skateboarding tricks?
Morestin: I usually just watch a bunch of YouTube tutorials. The tutorials teach you how to do the tricks and talk about [other skateboarders’] preferences. So I take all the different ideas I learn about and combine them to learn tricks.
Q: Who have you learned from the most?
Sibih: I’ve learned a lot from a YouTuber named Aaron Kyro, who’s a sponsored skater from the Bay Area. It’s motivating to see how far he’s come, since he was once young like me and really progressed a lot.
Q: How would you describe the skating community at Tino?
Sibih: Pretty much anyone who has a skateboard — they can come with us. We all just skate together. No matter how bad you are or how good you are, we’ll teach you.
Q: Are there any stereotypes associated with skateboarding?
Sibih: Yeah. People think that all skateboarders smoke, do bad things and get bad grades, which isn’t true. I usually just try to ignore the negative feedback.
Q: What are the best and worst parts about skateboarding?
Morestin: The best part is that once you land [a trick], you get this awesome feeling of accomplishment. Learning tricks is also challenging. A lot of the times, I’ll get frustrated. Doing tricks just doesn’t work out sometimes, but I’ll always keep trying until I get it.
Despite the negative stereotypes that skateboarders often face, the skateboarding culture at Tino has developed into a welcoming community where skaters of different levels can bond over their shared hobby. Skateboarding may not always be recognized as a conventional hobby, but it is definitely one that has brought all kinds of students together.
Thumbnail Image Courtesy of Ncapamaggio