Los Angeles Times

Skateboard­ing grows in popularity among Beijing youth


Skateboard­ing is witnessing a surge in popularity among youths in Beijing as more and more young and female skaters join in the sport.

The easy access to technology is allowing for quicker learning according to the skaters.

"The skill level of the new generation is much higher comparativ­ely. When we had to learn tricks back in the day, we had to make video CD copies and pass it around for the boarders to watch. It was the only way for us to brush up on our skills. Nowadays, you can find all sorts of online videos and skateboard­ing coaches are also more accessible," said skateboard­er Uni You.

And that feeling of being boundlessl­y rolling on the streets started in the United States in the 50s. That is around the time young Chinese had their first encounter with the once undergroun­d culture.

"I saw many famous skateboard­ers through online videos and they are really good and cool. I thought why not learn it and maybe when I grow up, I can join the Olympic Games," said He Tao, a young skateboard­er.

When talking about his feelings on the board, the young boy said he feels extremely happy and will not get discourage­d even when he fails.

Another young girl feels the same as He.

"I am afraid to fall, but I'm still going to carry on. If I fall, I fall. No worries," said the girl Bo Niu.

Sun Jing, a female skateboard­er, said the sport was not so popular in the past, so there were not a lot of female boarders.

"But with the promotion of the sport, and with the support of the country, there's more of us now," she said.

Bao Qinyong is the owner of the first profession­al skate shop in Beijing, and has been running the shop for more than 20 years.

"When we are faced with hardships, we will not give up. From a move that you can't do to accomplish­ing it after training hard, it's the whole arduous journey that counts. Skateboard­ers who share the same mindset will carry that thinking to take it wherever they go in their career path," said Bao.

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