Simply put, skateboarding is not easy. If it were, every single person that ever picked up a board would become a pro. If you’ve ever watched the X Games, guys like Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, and Pierre-Luc Gagnon may have you sitting at home thinking you can pull these tricks off but once you grab your board and head to the skatepark, you quickly find out you can’t…and it’s not even close.
It takes years of hard work and dedication – along with a lot of bumps, bruises, and blood – to become a pro. Once you do, the learning and training doesn’t stop because you can always be better. Not only that, but the guys we just mentioned (and many more) are always inventing new tricks and setting the bar higher.
Coco Atama is a skateboarder who strives to be the best but he has more than just park obstacles in his way. Coco is blind. When he was 10 months old, he was diagnosed with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, a rare degenerative eye disease. He was given a skateboard on his seventh birthday and it changed his life.
Coco is now 22 but recalls being in school and having the kids make fun of him: “Other kids were fascinated with me [in school], but not in a good way. Even though I could see a little bit, I didn’t have any peripheral vision, so they kids would constantly take my stuff and watch and laugh as I scrambled around to find it.”