Danny Adams: Scootering opened the world for me

Diagnosed with autism, SkatePro team rider Danny Adams was struggling to socialize with the other kids. He was very withdrawn and didn’t like to leave his home but this all changed when he took his scooter to the local skatepark.

The story about Danny’s passion for scooters began by coincidence. Back in 2011, a friend of his mom bought a foldable scooter for her kids, but the scooter was too big, so she decided to give it to Danny. This gift would prove to change his life forever.

As a kid and young teenager, Danny had a hard time growing up. Due to what later would be diagnosed as autism. The young teen from Chester (UK) wasn't very good at making friends and stayed at home most of the time when he wasn't in school.

“I didn't talk with people my age and wasn't good at the social aspect of things, so I didn't have many friends outside of school. I wasn't keen on leaving the house either”, says Danny

But this all changed when he took the courage to go to his local skatepark after having ridden the curbs outside his house for a while.

“I found out that I would be able to talk to anybody there because we had the same interest and this really helped me with my social skills along the line. This experience actually meant that I started to take the scooter with me and go to other skate parks when we went to see family and friends around the country”, says Danny.

A warm welcome

In 2015, Danny went to his first big scooter event outside Chester. He admits that he was very nervous about the whole thing and if there was going to be anyone there. But when he showed up, he was in for quite a surprise.

“My first big event was London Street Jam and I never been in a more accepting environment in my life. I showed up at Euston train station at 11 o'clock, and there were 500 other scooter kids, and everybody was just talking, having a laugh and riding spots - it was amazing.”

According to Danny, the scooter community is very close compared to other actions sports, because of all the hate and stigma that the scooter riders have gotten from other sports.

“At the end of high school, I was one of the only kids that were riding a scooter. So you have all the BMX’ers and skateboarders taking the nick out of you calling you things. I think this bounce people within the community together. All the outside people don't take scootering seriously, but we who rides do - very much. Everyone formed close friendships because of it”, says Danny.

Traveling with the team

Skipping forward to 2017, where Danny reached a milestone in his life when he went to Barcelona Street Jam together with the rest of the SkatePro team. Something that would seem impossible just a few years earlier.

“Scootering opened up the world to me. Looking back on who I was before I would never have expected any of this to happen. I mean to be a part of a team (SkatePro) and being able to travel to Barcelona and ride all those spots that I’ve seen in the videos it’s unbelievable. I also got there on my own, a thing I never thought I was able to do”, says Danny and adds:

“When I was younger I couldn't even take the bus a mile down the road - public transportation was a big challenge for me. Now I managed to travel all over the UK to ride. I also went abroad to both Germany (The Core in Hamburg) and Barcelona (Street jam) to ride. I’m really scared to fly, and if it weren't for scootering, I would never have had a reason to try to do those things”.

The ups and downs

For Danny, it’s not only about overcoming the challenges that his diagnose gives him, but he also tries to use some of the symptoms from autism in a positive way when he’s riding scooters; one of them is heightened awareness.

“I tend to get locked on the trick I’m doing. I’ll get into a place, where there’s just one train of thought. If I'm hitting a rail, I put all of my effort and mental focus on all the small details. Maybe I need to hit it from a different angle, or I need to hit it a little bit faster, or maybe I need to bend my knees a bit, and that's all flowing through my head, while I’m doing the trick”, says Danny.

He hopes that his experiences with scootering can inspire others who are going through the same as him:

“I hope that by sharing my story, I can help others with autism to take the first step into coming out of their shell. I never thought I’ll be where I am now. I use to be withdrawn person, and now I’m riding all over UK and Europe and I am a part of an amazing community where we stick together” says Danny.

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