ALEJANDRO FIGUEROA: Skateboarding leads to other sports


Junior Alejandro Figueroa demonstrates tricks on a long board.

Many kids start out learning a skill when they are young — they learn an art, a sport, or a language. It only makes sense because it is when they are growing that it is easier for their brain to pick up on these new skills. However, that does not mean that teenagers — who are somewhat beyond this period of rapid development — are doomed to never learn a new trick for the rest of their lives.

Junior Alejandro Figueroa didn’t start the activities he participates in now until he began high school. When Figueroa was a freshman, he learned how to skateboard. Through high school he left it off to the side, but has recently picked it back up. For him, skateboarding was a beginning of new experiences that would lead him to indulge in other sports.

As a sophomore, Figueroa took up surfing. He learned the same way he learns other activities — through observation. Whenever he gets the chance to go, it is in the chilly waters off the coast of San Francisco. Figueroa does not own his own surfing gear but rather rents the equipment when he needs it. “I don’t like surfing around other people because I’ve seen them get too close and bump into each other.” As he began surfboarding, he also dipped into wakeboarding. This he does more often because he has more chances to do it.

He is also on the varsity wrestling team. He only began wrestling this year and even though the season is over, he still does off-season wrestling. The most recent activity Figueroa has taken up is snowboarding. He says that the feeling is similar to skateboarding in the sense of boarding downhill and maneuvering, but because of the drought conditions in California he hasn’t come across many chances to snowboard. “The last time I went was around November, but there wasn’t any snow.”

Even though the best time to pick up on new activities is when a child is in his or her elementary years, people should still keep learning new things. Figueroa says he didn’t learn what he does until now because he simply did not have the interest when he was younger. “Go ahead, do something new,” he said. “Better late than never.”