This article was written and produced by Kasper Tobias
I entered South Pasadena skate park last week and heard a kid pleading to his parents “I don’t want to leave”. This voice came from 3 year old skater Roman.
Roman has been skating for only year, but he has an enthusiasm about skateboarding that surpasses most kids his age, who are more content on just riding on their knees and playing it safe.
However, he will try over and over, falling and scraping his body, including his face sometimes, to achieve his goal of getting his trick. Roman interrupts me (as most kids do) when asking about “bails”.
“I was climbing up the ramp and grabbed a piece of metal that was popping up the ramp. I got a boo boo”, he says, as he shows me his finger.
“I like to go FAST”! He says with a huge grin! “ shortly after.
“My favorite trick is doing a rock to fakie”. He takes off from sitting down with me and screams “Look at me, Kasper!”. He sets down his board atop the 5 foot high bank. He rolls in and tucks his body low to his board and quickly moves across the park and goes up the 5 foot quarter pipe and lands his “rock to fakie” first try.
Several kids clap and one of the kids, about 13 years of age, standing by tells his friend “Did you see that kid? He’s better than you!” and they laugh.
His dad, John (a local Pasadena tattoo artist at Shogun Tattoo) says, “He was a natural when he stepped on the board. His foot placement and balance was just natural”.
Roman wants to come skate South Pasadena Park everyday. His dad says that Roman has even taken to teaching other kids that show up and are beginners.
Geovanna and Nick, parents to a boy named Nathan said “We showed up with our 3 year old to the park one day and Roman was here. He saw that our boy was a beginner and he approached him and he started to show him how to ride.” They have been coming to skate with Roman ever since.
What would you tell kids that are just starting, I ask Roman. He smiles and says “ you fall down and you get back up. Shake it off. Shake it off.”