This blog article was actually inspired by a reader question. Most of the time, we draw on whiteboards and say to ourselves, "What do our readers probably want to know?" And then we write about skateboard maintenance. #Foolproof.
But this time, someone came forward and said, more or less, that a friend of theirs wanted to get a college degree, but also wanted to be a pro skater, and wanted to know if there were any colleges that help you out in those regards. Or, basically, any way to be a scholarly skater.
Because skateboarding has all these connotations of being an underground culture, on some spectrum of subversiveness, colleges aren't exactly advertising professional-skater training courses.
That's not to say that we found nothing, anonymous reader. Rather, here's a list of ways to link your academic side with your side that totally loves night rides and sweet tricks.
1. Join one of Collegiate Skate Tour's many clubs.
With clubs all over the country and an organization that respects your duties as a student AND your passion for skateboarding, you can't go wrong with Collegiate Skate Tour. On their site, they say it best; "Education, in any form, is a catalyst, and attending college is the best complement to the education you receive on your board."
2. Or, start your own skate club in college.
Not attending one of the Collegiate Skate Tour schools? No big deal--start your own skate club. You'll learn a ton about organizing and marketing, and you'll get to know a bunch of other student skaters in a hurry.
3. Apply for the Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship.
Yes, we know--this is on literally every article about skating in college. But it is a scholarship given out to skateboarders, and it's still around. You can snag a $1,000 prize, or a $5,000 one.
4. Get involved with the National Scholastic Skateboarding League.
This skateboarding league is based in Southern California, and if you're in high school (or about to be), this is something you want to be looking at. They prioritize high grades along with skate performance, and give out awards.
5. Read an academic paper about skateboarding.
To get you started, you've got Brandon Gomez's "A Study of Authenticity," Thomas Slee's "Skate For Life: An Analysis of the Skateboarding Subculture," or Ocean Howell's "The Poetics of Security: Skateboarding, Urban Design, and the New Public Space." You could even team up with an accredited professor and perform your own study!
6. Apply for a Tony Hawk Grant to build a skatepark.
This might not seem strictly academic, but you'll learn a ton even through the process of applying for a grant. Plus, if you're passionate about skating, but your city doesn't have much of a skate scene, why not throw yourself into building one?
7. Check out this list of 10 skating pros with college degrees.
Who knows? Get to know one of them, and they might be willing to write you a letter of recommendation for that Tony Hawk grant. Plus, you'll see who can do an ollie and an -ology--that is, psychology, sociology, etc.
Skaters--do you have any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
Photo credit: Baim Hanif
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