Skating with Graham Ward

By Jack Banks

“It’s not like any other sport,” sophomore Graham Ward said.

Ward started skating back in 2017 and never stopped. He skates because of the individualism skateboarding offers.

“It makes me feel free,” Ward said. 

Skateboarding teaches patience and perseverance as well as helping with balance and pain tolerance. The skateboarding community is rather tight knit in the Twin Ports area. Ward’s favorite local skateparks include the Superior skatepark and the Encounter in Duluth.

Students that know of Ward’s skating seem very impressed.

“He looks like he is surfing on his board,” sophomore Jaden Duffy said. Duffy skated with Ward in 2018. 

Ward has won multiple local skateboarding competitions. He participated in “Hectic Apparel Canal Park Skate Jack.” This event took place in 2020 where he took first place in the amateur bracket. He took it to the next level the following summer and participated in the pro bracket and got 3rd place in “Hectic Apparel Cloquet Skate Jam.”

Ward’s skate setup includes a 9.0 inch creature deck, 60mm Spitfire wheels, Independent trucks and Mob griptape. He encourages anyone who wants to start skating to do so.

When Ward is not skating you can catch him fishing at Barker’s Island or on his boat. He has been fishing for as long as he can remember and has a passion for it.

“Fishing is my second favorite hobby behind skating,” Ward said. 

Ward caught a 45-pound lake trout in the summer of 2021, just two pounds below the Wisconsin state record.

You would think Ward would be out of luck in the winter, but he adapted and bought a snowskate, which is a functioning skateboard for the snow. It is like a normal skateboard, but instead of trucks and wheels it has grooves at the bottom.

“I don’t know how people sit in the house all winter, I would go crazy,” Ward said.

Ward is a jack of all trades, anything he does he puts in 100%. Fortunately, Ward’s family fully supports his hobbies.

“I love Graham’s passion, his drive and his heart. I’m so proud of him,” Ward’s mother, Samantha Lepage, said.