Essay, Research Paper: Essay On Sports


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People today stereotype skaters and surfers as lazy, no good potheads. I would
have to dissagree with that statement. Police harrass skaters for skating in
parking lots and on the streets of their towns. It is like the police think that
they are going to do more than skate. It is the same with surfers, people think
they do not hold jobs, their lazy, and all that they do is smoke pot. Those
things are (for the most part) not true. In my paper I will give three examples
of people that do not live this stereotype; however, they have actually become
pillars of the community. In addition to their community stature they also have
become idols to thousands of children across the world. Surfing is an ancient
sport first practiced by Hawaiian kings. Early surfers rode 14 to 18 foot wooden
boards that weighed over 150 pounds (Tomalin1). Duke Kahanamoka introduced
surfing to the United States in 1912 (Weir3). If you asked someone who is the
father of surfing, they would probably say, "Duke who?" But mention
Kelly Slater and they will not stop talking. Robert Kelly Slater was born
February 11, 1912 in Cocoa Beach Florida (Tomlin1). He went to high school and
actually graduated. The reason I say this is because most people like Kelly
(surfers knowing they are going to go professional) never graduate high school.
Kelly grew up in Florida all his life. He was a local hero in central Florida,
because everyone knew he was destined to make it as a professional surfer (Tee
Interview). From 1992 thru 1994 Kelly placed first in the Maui Pro, second in
the Maui Masters, and third place in the Rip Curl Pro, the Chiemesee Pipe
Masters, and the Gotcha Lacanau Pro (Solano1). In 1995 he, from surfing alone,
made 57,750 dollars (Solano1). Kelly won four world titles by 1996, one in 1992,
1994, 1995, and again in 1996 (Solano1). In 1996 Kelly was a busy boy, he won
his fourth world title as well as 50% of his WCT Tournaments; moreover Kelly
collected over 300, 895 dollars in prize money alone. In 1997 he won 446,295
dollars in eleven events(Solano2). Kelly has brought so much popularity to the
sport that it may even be a sport at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games. Surfing is
not the only thing this master of the "green room" is involved with.
He was featured on "Baywatch" from 1992-1993 as Jimmy Slade (Tomlin4).
He has also been in numerous surfing videos. Kelly has been in surfer
Magazineís : Island Voyage(1995), Pacific Rim (1995), Velocity (1995),
Voluptous (1996), and On Edge (1996) (Salano5). Kelly also has his own band
called "The Surfers". "The Surfers" consist of Kelly Slater,
Rob Machado, and Peter King (Sullivan118). Kelly is also an owner of a longboard/skateboard
company "Sector 9" based in Florida. At the "Longboard
House" in Indialantic Beach, Florida they sell on average four "Sector
9ís" daily (Tee Interview). Which comes out to over 480 dollars a day.
The reason Florida has the biggest "Sector 9" sales, is because it is
very flat there, and flat ground is the best surface for Longboards (Tee). They
are made for crusing up and down the boardwalks and side streets on your way to
the beach. Kelly also owns a surfboard shaping company. It specializes in
shaping "fish". Fish are no bigger than five and a half feet. Ron
Jonís (a well known surf shop) carries Kellyís boards more than any other
brand, and Ron Jonís happens to be the worldís largest surf shop chains. So
you see how popular his boards are. Kelly has to be the most successful
surfer-businessmen out there today. In-line skating is big and bigger than it
has ever been. Among the 6 to 17 year old crowd, only soccer and basketball are
more popular athletic activities (OíConner 1). "In the skating world
Iím extremely famous and it feels cool," says 23 year old Arlo Eisenberg
(OíConner1). Arlo has been called the Michael Jordan of agressive in-line
skating. If every sport has to have itís idols, then put Arlo Eisenberg at the
top of the in-line skaters list. This Dallas native has been in a countless
number of in-line skating videos and featured on in-line skating magazine
covers. Arlo started skating at the age of fourteen and never once looked back.
Throughout the country at exhibitions, competitions, apperances - wherever he is
around a skating crowd- he gets the full star treatment. Name chanting,
autograph hounding, worshipful gazes, the whole bit. It is if it were like
"The Cult of Arlo" (Bryant1). He is at his best when he is on the
street course. Out on the street Arlo is in his element. Reveling in the
improbable pastime of grinding down the metal rails. Or he is taking to the air,
flying over stone steps and concrete ledges. Anything to challenge the urban
terrain. On the ramp or on the street, all of this is called "agressive"
skating and Arlo is considered a pioneer. Agressive in-line skating evolved out
of skateboarding. "It has nothing to do with street hockey, speed skating,
or even grandma skating around the lake in pruple Spandex" Arlo said (Mcknight
3). In the parlance of the sport, agressive skating is "extreme". Arlo,
when he was nine, wanted to be an artist. His mother said "I can not
remember a time when he was not creating." His parents divorced when he was
three, but remained united on the need to raise their children with love and
nurturing. Together, they made sure that Arloís art was carefully tended to,
sending him to Greiner Middle School and to Arts Magnet High School (McKnight
3). When he attedned the University of Texas, his passion for art diminished.
"Slowly skating consumed all this passion and energy." He says,
"Because to me, skating is a form of art. It is not athletics, itís a way
of expressing myself. The rewards are immeiadiate- either you win, or you
donít" (McKnight4).When Arlo found himself sleeping in his skates he knew
that this was what he wanted to do. Arlo began his carrer on the NISS tour. The
NISS is a tour for amature skaters who are trying to make it into the
professional field. When he got on the NISS tour, he won the titles two years in
a row. After the NISS he went on to the ASA tour, which is the pro-circuit. Arlo
won the ASA championship in 1995, 1996, and 1998 (Damage Goods). He has come in
second only four times in his career (Damage Goods). He has skated in exibitions
in Japan and Europe for the experience, he made no money, just did it for the
love of skating. He pays for himself to travel to all these places. Arlo owns
his own company called "Senate". Senate is the most popular in-line
skating company in the United States. They sell everything from T-Shirts to
wheels. Senate has made Arlo enough money to allow him to open his own skate
park in Plano, Texas. The name of the park is "Eisenbergs", obviously.
Eisenbergs is home to many an exibition, competition, ASA tournament, and is
even open to the public. It is an indoor facility, so if it rains, you can go to
Eisenbergs. Arlo Eisenberg has become much more than just any old skater. He is
the best, and one of the most dedicated skaterís in the world, not to mention
a very successful businessman. Finally, Tony Hawk is the clean-cut kid who
turned professional at the age of fourteen, bought his first house at seventeen,
and today is a very successful entrepreneur. (Hawk interview) Gravity-defying
Hawk was 10 years old when his older brother gave him his first skateboard. He
quit plauing little league a year later and has been on wheels ever since. Hawk
topped the National Skating Association series overall standings 13 years in a
row (Hawk interview). He has won the X-Games three out of the four years he
skated on it. If this industry has an establishment, he is itís leading
citizen, a modest, fan-friendly, clean-cut, regular guy who transforms into a
gravity-defying gambler.Hawk, the dominant figure in extreme skatboarding in the
past two decades, hasmade a career out of being a creative risk taker. Yet, his
most surprising breakthrough has not come out on the half pipe, but in the
marketing world. In an age when endorsments go to basketball, football, and
baseball players, Hawk has become a crossover phenomenon. In th past five years,
the 30 year old San Diego native has appeared in ad campaigns for AT&T,
Leviís, Campbellís Soup, The Gap, and both Pepsi and Coca-Cola. (Hawk
interview) Hawk is quick to say that the most mainstream ads have him as a
generic skatboarder. Hawk says skate-based companies are his top priority, but
heís open to any endorsmentsÖ "within limits". "There was a
tour in Malaysia sponsered by Benson & Hedges (a cigarette company) that was
very lucrative," he says. "I just would never do that." (Hawk
interview) So, we see that not all surfers ans skaters are bad. These three men
show that you can make a living out of something you love . they also show kids
that they do not need to do drugs and drink alchol tohave fun. They also show
that hard work will get you far in life.
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