Remembering that you’ve left your gloves at home… then realizing you don’t care. Drinking out of a city water fountain. No more pesky pebbles littering the street. Such nuances are things that all skateboarders who live in Vienna come to appreciate. Being an avid skateboarder myself, these are a few – but certainly not all – of the things that I really cherish about the springtime.
With springtime comes a noticeable change in weather. Clouds part and the sun begins to shine once again. I wake up and don’t feel the need to incessantly check to the weather. Chances are, a sudden blizzard won’t pop up and leave me stranded if it’s the beginning of April. I no longer need to wear gloves and a parka every time I want to go skate above Karlsplatz. And I no longer need to trudge all the way into the 23rd district to the only indoor skatepark in Vienna and feel judged by all the skaters who are better than me. An absolute relief.
Now, why would drinking water out of a fountain be one of the things that makes springtime so special to me? It’s quite a simple answer actually. In the wintertime, the Viennese government shuts off the pipes that run to these public fountains. This means that every single time I want to go skateboarding, I need to bring at least two water bottles with me, to keep hydrated (my life is so hard, I know).
And what about these pebbles? Well, you may have noticed that instead of melting ice by throwing salt all over the streets and sidewalks, the city workers have opted for rocks. Needless to say, rocks don’t dissolve with snow and if there’s one thing that skateboarders hate more than security guards, it’s probable rocks on the ground.
Spring to me is all of these things and so many more. Spring is waking up the day after Daylight Savings and realizing that I have an extra hour of daylight to stay out and skate. Spring is when the Zanoni & Zanoni shops open up again and you can finally enjoy ice cream that is colder than the air outside. Spring is going to the skatepark on a Thursday and not being the only one who thinks it’s warm enough to go.
Spring is many different things to many different people. Skateboarders are going to view springtime very differently than an ice-fisherman. That being said, it’s still a time of rebirth and revitalization, not just among skaters but among people as a whole.
So why not get out there in that sunlight that you’ve missed for so long? There’s so much to do and it’s not even summer yet. The clouds have only just parted and the snow has only just melted. There is so much to do and see and appreciate, whether it be water from fountains or your favorite ice cream shop. You now know what spring means to a skateboarder like myself. Now all you need to do is ask yourself the same question.