By Nikki Fournell
While most high school athletes are concerned with taking their athletic abilities to the collegiate level, freshman Mason Silva is already prepared to continue on to the professional level and make a career out of his skateboarding.
Silva has been skateboarding since he was seven years old and is sponsored by several different companies, including Element Skateboards, Thundertrucks, Autobahn Wheels, Omit Apparel and Etnies.
“I have been skating with Mason for over five years now, and have seen him progress into the mind-blowing skater he is today,” fellow skater and Costa junior Jared Cleland said.
Silva participates in independent physical education in order to balance his academic life, social life and skating career. This arrangement also allows him to focus on skating.
“I decided to pick up skateboarding because my brother was doing it,” Silva said. “I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Mastering difficult tricks such as the 360 flip, hardflip and varial heelflip takes commitment and incessant practice.
“I skate about three hours a day every senior day after school,” Silva said. “It can get a little demanding.”
Skating at Silva’s level also comes with an abundance of risks.
“Once, I injured myself because my board popped up and chipped my tooth,” Silva said. “I’ve sprained my ankle a couple of times, too.”
Silva has entered almost 20 contests during his street-skating career. During these contests, the skater gets two one-minute runs and must perform as many tricks as possible in a limited amount of time. Sometimes, Silva travels as far as Arizona for competitions. He frequently visits Westchester Skate Park to practice.
“I feel like skating has made me more independent as a person, because I do a lot of things on my own or with friends and without parents,” Silva said.
With support from his parents, Silva has been able to accomplish many things most teenage boys might never have the opportunity to experience.
“I know Mason is passionate about skating, and I am constantly amazed when I get to see footage of him, because I don’t always know what he’s doing when he’s gone all day long,” Silva’s mother, Diane Silva, said.
This skilled athlete has major plans for his career in skateboarding.
“Hopefully one day I’ll become a pro,” Silva said. “It’s something I love doing, so, why not?”
Silva has also appeared in a skateboarding video titled “Disorganized Fun,” directed by Costa sophomore Andrew Freeman. The video depicts several skaters performing a variety of tricks.
“Mason worked very hard for his video part,” Freeman said. “All of his devotion to skateboarding and urge to make it good was a success. I really appreciated his input about the film. He’s a great skater.”