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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Students find their place in skating

Santore said she has always loved rollerskating parties and that was what got her into rollerskating. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

The methodic ‘click clack’ of wheels on the pavement is an unmistakable sound; you know in just a few seconds, a skateboarder is about to whiz by you on their way through campus. Skaters seem to be everywhere you turn on Hawk Hill, whether they’re doing tricks on Barb Beach or gliding down a hill on their roller skates. 

The St. Joe’s skating scene is tight-knit, but actively looking to expand. Quentin Hawkins ’24, Christian McCarry ’24 and Logan Kentner ’25 recently started “Skate Joe’s,” a group hoping to bring together St. Joe’s skaters. The group currently has about 15 active members. 

“[Skateboarding] became a really big part of meeting people on campus and doing things around the city as a group of people who all have a common interest,” Hawkins said. “So this year, we wanted to make things a little more formal and get the people that do like to skateboard and that want to learn how to skateboard, and bring them all together to just have fun.” 

To some, skating may seem like just a mode of transportation. But for students like McCarry, it’s more than that. 

“When you skateboard it just opens your mind to more creativeness,” McCarry said. “You’ll honestly just see the world differently if you really fall in love with skateboarding.” 

One challenge for skaters on campus is finding a good place to do it. McCarry said while other colleges are better for skaters (notably Temple University for having their own skate park), St. Joe’s is serviceable. According to Zach Durkin ’24, there are a lot of potholes. 

“You have to be creative to find good skate spots at St. Joe’s,” McCarry said. “There’s not too much on campus, but we have Philly.” 

On campus, McCarry likes to skate around Barb Beach due to its ledges and elevation changes. Amy Santore ’24 enjoys the path encircling Sweeney Field, and Durkin likes both Lapsley and North Latches Lane. 

“[North Latches Lane] is great for just cruising down,” Durkin said. “It’s not steep at all, but it goes downhill so you can just cruise all the way to the end.” 

Durkin said his brother got him into skating a few years ago.

For these skaters, skating is not just an activity, but an outlet for expression. Kentner sees his skateboard as a way to show different parts of his life, having stickers from his work 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 as a way of expressing his sexuality.

 “There’s a lot of queer skaters, and it’s a pretty cool scene to express yourself,” McCarry said.

Many, including Durkin, think of skating as a way to have temporary relief from the stress of being a student. Santore uses roller skating as an escape from reality. 

“Everything just fades away,” Santore said. “It’s just so relaxing. You literally forget about everything.” 

Hawkins and McCarry said skating on campus led them to making meaningful friendships, and for Hawkins, skating has really helped him find his community. 

“You start talking to people about skating and asking for help with a trick you’re trying to get. You see that they want to help you as much as you want their help,” Hawkins said. “It’s just such a good community that I think we could really build something great out of.”

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