Even the teenage Hopi Indians felt the effects of the government lockdown over the last couple of years. There was no in-person school and they were not supposed to congregate with their friends. They skateboarded on basketball courts and in parking lots, through highway intersections and down roads that twist from the mesas that rise above the high desert. They set up tricks with old railroad ties and lumber, sometimes using their own skateboards to move the materials in place. During lockdowns, curfews and mask mandates on the Hopi reservation, the solo skateboarding was a comfort. The teens decided they wanted their own skateboard park. So a group of Hopi teenagers made it happen, setting out on a project they initially thought would take months and displaying the Hopi cultural value of “sumi’nangwa” – “Coming together for the greater good.”
The creators of the Hopi skate spot were all teenagers when they started work in late 2020 to make it clear skateboarding would be good for everyone. Several adult mentors joined the teens efforts to sell the project to the tribal elders that control the money and the property. The boarders went door to door with petitions and made videos of what the park would mean to them. Their PR campaign videos: “Go at your own pace.” “Create your own style.” “No one is too good to fall,” they say in their online “Wipe Out Wednesday” video site. In one of their videos, someone picks up a skateboard for the first time, learns new tricks and is celebrated even when he doesn’t land them. With their diligent efforts, they got approval from the Village of Tewa for land to build the skate spot — no small feat on tribal land where development requires approval from clans, permit holders or the larger community. The pictures below show the fruit of their effort. The Village of Tewa now is overseeing the park and eventually will have security guards to patrol the area. Village leaders are hoping to add lights and a basketball court alongside the softball fields for the youth, said Deidra Honyumptewa, chair of the village’s board of directors. “It’s a huge testament to us leaders, or older people, that these kids can get things done and they see a need for it,” she said.
The truth about Skateboards
I lost my skateboard when I fell off and couldn’t find it
Then it hit me.
What are the most common skaters’ last words?
“Hey, dude. Watch this!”
People always tell me to wear a helmet while skateboarding…
I can’t even remember the last time I hit my head.
What is the hardest thing in skateboarding?
August 24th Birthdays
1965 – Marlee Matlin, 1928 – Penny Edwards, 1970 – Sandra Whyte, 1962 – Mary Ellen Weber
1974 – Dave Chappell, 1960 – Cal Ripken, Jr., 1955 – Mike Huckabee, 1989 – Rupert Grint