Sidewalk surfing

Sidewalk surfing

Mar 01, 2007
By staff

On the edge: Dr. Brad Krohn has been skateboarding for more than 20 years. Here he's performing a backside rollout maneuver at the West Linn, Ore., Public Skate Park located a block from his practice.
Most of my clients would never suspect that I'm an active skateboarder. I'm certainly not a stereotypical skater who speaks in "dude." Nobody skateboarded in 1983 when I first picked it up. Back then it was "uncool," unlike today. But the fluid nature of the sport grabbed me from the get-go.

For me, skateboarding was an after-school pastime that evolved into a personal form of self-expression and creativity. It's a great stress reliever after a long day of appointments. Skateboarding requires all of my concentration, but at the same time it's relaxing. A bit like meditating.

I've matured from an aggressive performer to a mentor of younger skaters. I also promote funding for public skate parks. And my hobby has held my group of aging friends together, whether we're skating on backyard ramps, long-boarding around campus, or spending a Saturday at one of Oregon's world-class concrete skate parks.

I typically skate once or twice a week at a skate park—there's one a block from my practice. The Portland area is very skate-friendly. It's even legal transportation on the city sidewalks. Oregon recently toppled California as the skateboarding mecca and skaters from all over the world come to the state. I've met today's new pros and the aging pros I knew as a kid. Skating with them has been a highlight for me. Of course, they all want veterinary advice!

My love for the sport has come with a price. I have a lot of aches and pains now that I'm in my late 30s. Years of casual falls have contributed to significant arthritis. I have to stretch before and after I ride in order to maintain my flexibility. It's worth it, though. I don't have any regrets.

—Brad Krohn, DVM,
Cascade Summit Animal Hospital; West Linn, Ore.