Students find their place in skating
The methodical click-clack of the wheels on the sidewalk is an unmistakable sound; you know in seconds a skateboarder is about to speed through campus. Skaters seem to be everywhere you turn on Hawk Hill, whether they are doing tricks on Barb Beach or rolling down a hill on their roller skates.
The St. Joe’s skating scene is tight-knit, but actively seeking to expand. Quentin Hawkins ’24, Christian McCarry ’24 and Logan Kentner ’25 recently launched “Skate Joe’s”, a group hoping to bring together St. Joe’s skaters. The group currently has around fifteen active members.
“[Skateboarding] has become a very important part of meeting people on campus and doing things in the city as a group of people who all have a common interest, âsaid Hawkins. âSo this year we wanted to make it a little more formal and get the people who love to skate and want to learn to skate, and get them all together for fun.â
To some, skating may seem like just a form of transportation. But for students like McCarry, it’s more than that.
âWhen you skateboard it just opens your mind to more creativity,â McCarry said. âHonestly, you’ll see the world differently if you really fall in love with skateboarding. ”
A challenge for skaters on campus is finding a good place to do it. McCarry said that while other colleges are better for skaters (notably Temple University for having their own skate park), St. Joe’s is usable. According to Zach Durkin ’24, there are a lot of potholes.
âYou have to be creative to find good skating spots in St. Joe’s,â said McCarry. âThere isn’t much on campus, but we have Philly.
On campus, McCarry enjoys skating around Barb Beach due to its ledges and elevation changes. Amy Santore ’24 loves the path around Sweeney Field, and Durkin loves both Lapsley and North Latches Lane.
“[North Latches Lane] is great for just going down, âsaid Durkin. “It’s not steep at all, but it goes down so you can sail all the way.”
For these skaters, skating is not just an activity, but a means of expression. Kentner sees his skateboard as a way to show off different parts of his life, having stickers from his job and his girlfriend. Durkin says his board is an “extension of his personality.”
McCarry has the pride flag stuck to the bottom of his board to express his sexuality.
âThere are a lot of gay skaters out there, and it’s a pretty cool scene to express yourself,â McCarry said.
Many, including Durkin, believe that skating is a way to have temporary relief from the stress of being a student. Santore uses roller skates as an escape from reality.
âEverything is fading,â Santore said. âIt’s so relaxing. You literally forget everything.
Hawkins and McCarry said skating on campus has led them to make meaningful friendships, and for Hawkins, skating has really helped him find his community.
âYou start talking to people about skating and asking for help with something you’re trying to get. You see they want to help you as much as you want their help, âHawkins said. “It’s just such a great community that I think we could really build something big on.”