Skate to the Sky

Masons take flight in skater community


seniors Mason Alm and Mason Grossman catch big air in neighboring skatepark.

Katie Mahle, Lead Writer

“Dedicated riders stand out, not because they possess advanced skills or were born gifted. It is because they throw themselves in head first.” skater Jeff Zielinski said. 

Everyone has something they can’t live without. For seniors Mason Alm and Mason Grossman, they find importance and meaning through skateboarding.

Grossman and Alm crossed paths for the first time at Solon Robinson elementary school.

“Mason Grossman and I met in first grade, long before we started skating together. We have the same name, so my first-grade mind immediately knew we would be best friends.” Alm said. 

As their friendship grew, so did they, finding new interests along the way. When they were 12 the boy’s would find their friends going to the Crown Point skatepark, and naturally wanted to join in on the new fad.

My favorite trick to do is actually the trick I broke my leg on. It’s called a frontside ollie. I love it so much because it’s a constant battle to get the perfect one.

— senior Mason Alm

“I asked my dad If he would get me a scooter, and he just looked at me like I was crazy, and he said, ” no, I’ll get you a skateboard though” Single greatest parenting move ever.” Alm said.

That was when the two finally got their first real board, and it all spiraled from there, skating around six hours a day, maybe even more, the Mason’s finally realized how skating was going to be a big part of their lives.


“I knew how much I loved it so I knew I could take it far. I could’ve never expected how it was going to change my life though.” Grossman said.

Jeff Zielinski was one of the first real skaters the Mason’s saw in person, seeing him was the real start of their skate journey, gaining a mentor and a great friend.

“Skating was rarely forced for the Mason’s and for this reason skating remained an ever evolving experiment they would feed with every moment of time they could dedicate.” Zielinski said.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the Masons started to really get involved. They would go to watch other skaters compete, watching their runs in awe and taking mental notes on the next trick they were determined to learn. 

senior Mason Grossman demonstrates learned skateboarding skills.

These two boys went from skating in local competitions to skating in competitions like Florida’s ‘’Grind for Life” or Woodward’s Hot Wheels Jr. Series. Creating lifelong memories, doing their best, and sometimes even winning.

“If you ever go to a skate contest, guys will be skating against each other for thousands of dollars, and yet each and every one of them are cheering for each other and want to see each other land their run.” Alm siad “It’s like a second family, you know that no matter what they have your back and I could not ask for a more amazing group of people,” Grossman said.

Their first competition was at the Schererville skatepark, originally they went to watch the other skaters compete but decided to enter the rookie circuit. In the competition Alm got second and Grossman got third. 

As they started to get more serious about skating they would save up for a camp out in Centre County Pennsylvania called Woodward. A camp where skaters around the United States come together for a few days out of the year to skate, learn new things, and create new friendships.

“One of my favorite memories is going to camp Woodward with Mason (Alm) for the first time.” Grossman said.

As they came from the bottom-up with skating they have taken those skills they’ve learned and applied them to real life situations. Currently both Mason Grossman and Mason Alm are in flight school, preparing to be pilots in their near future. 

“Skating has enabled me to break down my fears and improve as a person. I just started flying airplanes,” Alm said. “and I just soloed for the first time the other day. As you can imagine, that is a very scary thing, but I was able to use those same skills to break that fear.” Alm said.

My favorite trick of all time is a backside air

— senior Mason Grossman

The one thing skating couldn’t prepare them for was injury, both Alm and Grossman endured an injury involving their leg. Grossman tore his ACL on his left leg leading to him recently needing surgery.

“When I got the news my ACL was torn I was heartbroken.” said Grossman.

Alm broke both his tibia and fibula in his right ankle, Alm has since recovered and is slowly getting back into the groove of skateboarding, training himself to do his favorite tricks again.

“Mentally being injured was tremendously more painful than physically,” said Alm, “I would try and imagine myself doing the trick I broke my leg on, and I couldn’t, it would always end with me breaking my leg again.” continued Alm.

senior Mason Alm breaks tibia and fibula.

Luckily he broke through two weeks ago by performing the same trick he injured himself on and has since found a new favorite trick to land.

These boys have found not just a hobby but a second family in one of the most misjudged communities.

“People think it’s just a bunch of burnouts who smoke all day, and want nothing but bad news. In reality it is actually an incredibly loving and accepting community with little to no negativity.” said Grossman.

Grossman and Alm have been dedicated since the beginning, and throughout the 6 years they’ve been skating they have gained knowledge, friendships, and life lessons that will always stick with them. And just like Zielinski they’re teaching kids of all ages around the county like Griffith, Crown Point, and Valparaiso. Grossman and Alm are slowly changing the outlook on skating two Mason’s at a time.

“ When we build big houses, we use small bricks. This means, building something large and bigger than yourself, you can only do so by working within your current limitations. Bricks fit in your hand, you can move them and you can place them and overtime your work will take shape and become recognizable with thoughtful persistence.” Zielinski.