I love the sound of skateboard wheels. That tik tak sound they make as they come into contact with the pavement. It reminds me of growing up in Southern California, and of the skateboarding I did as a youth.
It is interesting to consider how sounds take us back to particular times in our lives. For me, the sound of skateboard wheels remind me of a simpler time. A time when getting up on a bright sunny morning, included having breakfast, watching a skate video, and taking to the streets with my board.
That tik tak sound also reminds me of my first experiences with punk rock, which is an often cited contributor to skate culture. Though I don’t skate anymore, I still regularly listen to punk rock. Fun.
Skateboarding also reminds me of freedom. When out skating, it’s just you and the streets, or ramp, or riverbed. Not much else there. You and the board, and the creativity that lives inside you. Creating new tricks, trying new things, pushing yourself further.
The sound of wheels also remind me of roller skating. Especially, roller skating at the local roller rink. Totally 80’s. I remember being dropped off at the roller rink as a pre-teen, hanging out with friends, and going around and around again. For hours.
Now, we are talking about the early 80’s and the music playing in those roller rinks was that early MTV mix between disco and new wave, with a splash of dance pop. Wow. I loved that music then. I listened to so much of it at that time, that today I don’t fancy it as much.
The roller rink was the place where kids would let loose, and just be. Away from all of the school drama and parental pressure. Just be kids. I also loved the creativity that came inside of the roller rink. Creating different ways to roller skate, like skateboarding, trying new tricks, and new things.
Roller rinks, however, are mostly a thing of the past. When we moved to where we now live, we passed a roller rink on the outskirts of town, and it was a sad sight. Dilapidated building, rotting, and falling down. No music playing in that building any more.
Skateboarding on the other hand, is still rather present all over the country. On my daily walk, I pass a skate park, where, up until about a week ago, kids and youth were not allowed to skate, due to COVID-19. Now it has reopened, and if you walk by on a weekend afternoon, you can hear that familiar tik tak sound of the wheels hitting the pavement. I love that sound.