Skateboarding provides freedom, solace for Riverton teen
RIVERTON, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - There’s a popular park in Riverton where lots of kids go to practice their skate and bike tricks. But the skate park has a special meaning for one teen in particular.
Patrick Smith is a 17-year-old who loves to skateboard at the city park in Riverton. He says he got a mini-board as a gift when he was three-years-old. And then a few years later...
“And then one day, I seen my uncle... He actually used to skateboard. At my grandpa’s there was a ditch, and there was a drought at the time. So there was this concrete part. It was shaped like a ramp, and then a flat space. I seen him skateboarding it, and I was walking down the thing looking at ruts. And to this day it’s still burnt into my mind. And when I seen him going down the ramp and stuff, I was like, ‘yeah, this is what I want to do!’”
“You were hooked,” I asked. “Yep,” Patrick replied.
In 2019, Patrick’s dad was killed. It’s a case that his mom says is still unsolved. For Patrick, skateboarding at the park became a form of therapy.
“That’s like a chemical release in your mind from being active. So you get that a lot, especially when working on a trick, for like, all day. And then you get that one attempt out of 500 attempts or something, and you roll away. That definitely helps you a lot too. And once you get that little feeling... Here’s what happened to me. You get that little feeling off learning one trick? Then you start learning a trick after that, a trick after that. Until you know you get a whole bag of tricks.”
As much as Patrick likes to skateboard here at the skate park, he says skateboarding may... or may not be... his future career path.
“I would like music for sure. I love music. So, I want to do something music. Be a artist for sure. I kind of view myself as an artist. Skateboarding too. But, if anything, I do want to go to... When I graduate... I want to go to college. And try to be a criminal defense lawyer.”
And his mom Melissa Redman couldn’t be prouder of the soon-to-be-senior. “I’m proud of the man he’s becoming. This year, he actually get to go up to our Sun Dance and help. Like, actually go up there and put in work. So that made me proud too.”
Patrick also says he hopes to be an inspiration to younger kids in the area.
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