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#FreewayChallenge - A Dangerous New Trend in Skating on Instagram

San Diego Union Tribute
Skating carries risks, it always has. Whether you're on flat, a half-pipe or a ramp, there's always a risk of wiping out and hurting yourself, and for this reason skaters tend to be thrill-seekers. All the necessary safety precautions are usually taken, but some skaters do end up seeking out increasingly dangerous levels of risk. Hell, the Jackass series initially started as a small group of staffers for a skating magazine who teamed up with Johnny Knoxville in order to video him and a few others intentionally injuring themselves.

The thing with Jackass, however, is that no matter how ridiculous the stunts get, it's always tempered with a very clear cut 'Do not try this at home' disclaimer. The social media age has meant that anyone can upload a video of themselves being stupid with no such warning, and in some cases a word like 'challenge' gets bolted to the end and all of a sudden you have a trend, and a very dangerous one at that.

In this case, it was inadvertently kicked off by a professional skater recording himself screwing around. The video sees Nakel Smith skating in the middle of heavy, albeit slow moving traffic on the 110 freeway in LA. His manager has since said that he was in no way encouraging copycat behaviour, but wouldn't you know it, it's happened anyway.

Search for #FreewayChallenge on Instagram and you'll be met with an extensive and disheartening roster of copycat videos. Some grab onto the back of trucks (a stunt known as 'skitching'), others use the barrier as a ramp. Whatever the case though, it's abhorrently stupid and dangerous, not just to the skater in question but to the other people on the road. If the traffic were to pick up speed, and someone needed to swerve to avoid them, I don't have to tell you how that would turn out.

As you might expect, the law didn't take long to get involved, and the California Highway Patrol in particular have been very vocal about the laundry list of prosecutions any skater caught could be facing. It seems like the risk of life would be enough of a deterrent, but if they can throw criminal conviction into the mix as well, so much the better.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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#FreewayChallenge - A Dangerous New Trend in Skating on Instagram Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, May 06, 2016 Rating: 5

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