He will be a sophomore in high school this fall and regularly goes to the skate park on Monday nights, where he shares the pavement with aggressive skaters of various ages and skill levels. Lately, he has been bringing his younger sisters. “We skate until they turn the lights off,” he said, adding that his fellow skaters push him to try new moves.
At Houghton and other skate parks, skaters also practice alongside BMX riders and skateboarders. “You have to be patient and wait your turn,” he said. “There’s competition and you never know what’s going to happen.”
According to Mr. Julio, interest in aggressive skating declined as skateboarding became more popular in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The sports have an intertwined history, he said, that has not been without tension between skaters and skateboarders.
“I used to get spit on,” Mr. Julio said. “There were fights, for sure.” But lately, he said, skate parks have become more of a “melting pot.” “Through inclusivity, not exclusivity, over the last few years, I think skating has evolved,” Mr. Julio said.
Mr. Crowfield, who met Mr. Julio last year, now skates on a team for Pigeon’s Roller Skate Shop, a store in Long Beach. In April, Mr. Crowfield won second place in a mini-ramp competition for skaters under 18 at the Blading Cup, an event sponsored by Them Skates.
Sometimes when Mr. Crowfield tells friends that he is going skating, he said, they think he means skateboarding. “When I tell them, ‘No, it’s Rollerblading,’” he added, “They’ll be like, Oh!”