Zachary’s “Skateboarding in Ukraine”

After three weeks without one, I got a skateboard. I was very, very happy. My dad and I bought the skateboard at the Boomerang skateboarding shop. The next days, I did not skateboard. But the next Friday, after school I went with my mom to go skateboarding in the park right around the corner, past the skateboarding shop behind our apartment.

The streets here are too busy for skateboarding. There are traffic jams all the time. Even if the streets weren’t busy, they’re paved in cobblestones, which means they are very, very bumpy.

When I go skateboarding in the park, I usually go in front of the statue of a Ivan Franko, a big man holding his arms together; his jacket is on his shoulders.

There’s a bird’s nest on his head (you can’t really see it in this picture from Wikipedia Commons.) In front of the statue, there is a good skating place. It’s paved with triangular rocks that are smooth. There are three steps down to the street level where there is another flat plaza. This is also the best place to inline skate and BMX, too. [Older boys bike, and little girls skate–very well, says mom.]

I showed my mom how to do an “Ollie,” [a skateboard trick that involves jumping up with both feet and popping the back wheels off the ground, says mom] and now I am still doing an Ollie, but I am getting used to riding my skateboard and doing an Ollie at the same time. I can do a “Pop-shove-it” [another trick].

The first guy I met is 18, he has been skateboarding for two years. He speaks very little English, but he taught me how to do a “Pop-shove-it” and he is learning how to do a “Kick-Flip.” I also met a kid who is 14. He can do a “Pop-shove-it,” a “Kick-Flip,” a very high Ollie. He can do an “Impossible,” and he can also do a “Nose-Grind” and a “50-50.” There were other skateboarders I have seen who have not met yet. Most of them look like they’re in their 20s.

I bought stickers to go on my board and look forward to getting better and better.

I miss my Playstation 2, but I have bought some games for it.

At school, I especially like Art and Italian and English. I am learning to play Ukrainian “football” or soccer. I miss all my friends, especially Charlie, McKever and Alli.



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2 responses to “Zachary’s “Skateboarding in Ukraine”

  1. Louise Stuart

    I loved your blog, Zachary, and your picture! I hope you wear shin and elbow pads when you’re learning all those tricks! It sounds like a great way to meet people (and maybe teach them a little English?). I’m so proud of the effort you are making to settle in with Mom and Adam. Enjoy all your experiences! Love to everyone! Babalou

  2. Marie C. Hébert


    Great post! You certainly gave us a really good idea of what it’s like to skateboard in the Ukraine. Glad that you have a good spot to skate right around the corner because like you said, cobblestone streets would not be the best. Duh! Have fun learning new tricks/jumps and thanks again for letting us know how things are done in your new corner of the world.

    (Your Mom’s friend from Ottawa)

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