Scooters have skaters up in arms

It can best be described as a cross between a skateboard and bicycle and it has taken America by storm.

Gleaming aluminum scooters seem to have topped many Christmas wish lists, and the sunny holiday weather has put them on the streets in full force.

It has also put them at odds at the skateboard parks, where "boarders" and "scooters" are clashing in a skinned-knee and bruised-elbow turf battle.

"They always get in the way," said skateboarder Cody Ward, 12. "We get going really fast to do something and they're right there."

Erik Kennedy, 17, roller blades at the park and said most of the scooter riders are very young and don't understand how to take turns with other skaters.

"It's an unsafe thing to bring your little kids to the skatepark," Kennedy said. "They don't look around. They don't know the unwritten rules of the skatepark."

He said it is not only unsafe for the little riders, but it's not safe for the older skaters who have to dodge them.

But on the street, kids say you can't beat them.

Amanda and Cody Cooke each received a scooter, which looks like a skateboard with handlebars, for Christmas.

"They're fun," said Cody, 10. "You can do tricks on them. You can grind, you can jump and you can spin."

His 12-year-old sister was more interested in the convenience.

"It fits into your locker - that's what I like about it," Amanda said. "They're good to carry around and stuff, and you can ride them to school."

Sylvia Mateer, of Colfax, Calif., saw how much her 4-year-old grandson liked her 9-year-old son's scooter so she got her grandson a scooter for his birthday earlier this month.

"I think it's something he'll grow into," Mateer said. "He can carry it and walk with it right now."

Her grandson, Dallon Miller of Dayton, said he practices all of the time and is learning "to jump and do bunny hops."

Mateer's son Josh has already mastered the ability to ride and sees a double benefit to the scooter.

"You can go places faster, but you still get exercise," he said.

But 17-year-old Luke Russell, who laughed at the idea of ever trading in his bike for a scooter, said they will not last.

"Scooters are the new thing," he said. "They're going to be out in a year."

Or they could become the next extreme sport.

Mike McCreary bought his 9-year-old son, Nate, a scooter designed for doing tricks.

"It's heavier with shock absorbers," he said. "He's an extreme kid. He bikes, he skates. I want him to do the things he wants to do."


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