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November 5, 2021 21 min

Skateboarding is a mainstay of California street culture, from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond. It’s so popular that L.A. County filled outdoor skateparks with sand earlier in the pandemic so no one could grind on them.

But during the pandemic, skateboard sales surged — and communities long marginalized from the sport are now making their own spaces.

Today we talk to reporter Cerise Castle, who’s covering and participating in this rise, and skateboarders from various parts of America — including Washington, D.C., and the Navajo Nation — tell us why they skate.

More reading:

Skating can be a bridge in L.A. These 3 crews show how bonds form on four wheels

Skateboarding improves mental health, helps build diverse relationships, USC study says

From the archives: Skateboarders in urban areas get respect, and parks

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