Somerset Times

My Personal Project – Thomas Dawson




Somerset Times Edition

Week 5, Term Three, 2019

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My name is Thomas Dawson, I’m a Year 10 student and for my Personal Project I have produced a high-quality reel of difficult skateboarding footage to showcase my skill in skateboarding. When I was 11 years old, I discovered a skateboarding video game called Touchgrind Skate on the app store.

I really enjoyed playing this game, so I decided to give the real thing a go. I quickly realised how hard this action sport was though I persevered and months later I was able to properly land an ollie. From then on, I was hooked, from 180s, to kickflips to 360 flips, I was amazed how many tricks were possible on this piece of wood. I started going to the skatepark almost everyday and skateboarding became my biggest passion.

Professional skateboarders usually showcase their skill through skateboarding videos called street parts. In street parts, skateboarders utilise obstacles that aren’t designed for skateboarding and do impressive tricks on them. These obstacles can include stairs, rails and ledges. These videos generally last for three to five minutes and are edited to music. Before doing my Personal Project, I hadn’t taken the time to film much street footage therefore I was very excited for the task.

Unfortunately, I underestimated the challenges that lied ahead of me. I wanted to display my best skateboarding therefore I pushed myself to land the best tricks I could. These tricks could sometimes take hours to land making it very difficult to gather this footage. Due to them taking so long, landing these tricks were extremely rewarding. I kept filming footage over the Summer holidays and term 1 and was only able to collect 9 clips I was happy with. This meant I couldn’t achieve my original goal of creating a street part as I needed around 30.

This was disappointing as I was looking forward to creating a street part though I adapted to this challenge and changed my goal to producing a high-quality reel of impressive skateboarding footage. Therefore, my final product became a 47 second video of my best skateboarding footage.

Even though I had to change my goal, I’m still very proud of my final product. The reel of footage I produced resulted in a company called Luckfoot skateboards, sending me a free skateboard deck and an indoor skatepark called Skate All Day employing me as a skateboarding coach. Trying these hard tricks greatly improved my skill level and confidence in skateboarding. I have also learnt a lot about perseverance and that if you want something, you need to not stop until you get it.

This experience is something I won’t forget and as my skill level increases, I intend to fulfil my original goal and film a full street part in the future.

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