9 Types of Karens in The Skateboarding World (And How To Deal with Them)

Get your skateboard rolling! Uncover 9 types of Karens disrupting the skateboarding scene and learn to dodge them like a pro.

Ever found yourself rolling down the streets, just trying to nail that sick trick when BAM! Out of nowhere, you’re faced with the ultimate terror—a ‘Karen’? Like any other sport, skateboarding also comes with its fair share of ‘enthusiastic critics,’ often labeled as ‘Karens.’ Named after the viral memes, these individuals are typically characterized by their irrationality, overbearing attitude, and a strong sense of entitlement. Curious about the most notorious ‘Karens’ of the skate world and how to deal with them without losing your cool or your grind? Keep reading to find out!

What are the different types of ‘Karens’ skaters deal with?

From the unsolicited “safety experts” to the ones who think the park is their personal playground, let’s break down the nine types of skateboarding ‘Karens’ and share some tips on how to keep the peace, maintain our cool, and above all, keep skating with passion.

Image of a skater cruising down the street. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater cruising down the street. Source: unsplash

1. The typical Karen

Ah yes, the classic, the original, the one that started it all—the typical Karen. Her trademarks? An undying hatred for retail workers, a lack of common sense, and that unmistakable ‘Karen Cut’ that looks suspiciously like a bleached 2012 Justin Bieber haircut remastered. But that’s not all.

This breed of Karen also features an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Making their kids’ soccer practice and freaking out in her minivan when things don’t go their way is their bread and butter. For skaters, she’s a nightmare. She’ll call the cops if she sees anyone under 16 not wearing a helmet, and she’ll go crazy on children less than half her age. Stay clear, and you’ll be golden!

2. The teenage Karen

Next up, we have the teenage Karen, quite an interesting breed. They don’t really hate skaters like the typical Karens; in fact, they think it’s a cool vibe. Yet don’t let their diffuser-style condescension fool you. There’s something much more sketchy about their vibe.

Maybe it’s due to the liberal arts degree, the frequent mental breakdowns, or maybe it’s because they are busy canceling people on Twitter. They are so obsessed with zodiac signs that you might wonder if they have a personal connection with the galaxy. Your best shot with them? Just keep rolling, and don’t fall for their fake shredder-appreciator charm!

3. The Susan

Another character we have in our hood is Susan, the long-lost twin of Karen. Now Susan tries to be the cool mom, thinks everything she sees on Fox News is real, and does yoga in the park in her neon leggings. Susan is not exactly your skateboard-culture enthusiast. But she definitely does not despise skaters as much as the others do. You’ll typically meet her at the park, where she drags her kids for a ‘swell time.’ Now, brother, that’s your cue to pick up your board and shred right outta that park!

4. The Sharon

The Sharon is yet another type in the Karen-Kin. She generally sports dyed hair and has a job, usually as an over-powerful elementary school teacher who loves to mentally torture her students. Sharon is no fan of skaters, either. But look out, because she always has her tricks up her sleeve. Getting out of sticky situations with Sharons requires a smart cookie. Be that smart cookie!

Image of a woman pointing at something while talking to a cop. Source: unsplash
9 types of karens in the skateboarding world (and how to deal with them) | image of a woman pointing at something while talking to a cop unsplash | skateboard salad

Remember guys, these are mere tools for self-defense in the face of the suburban predators. Skateboarding is all about passion and riding the wave until the last sunset. So, head out there, grip that deck, and just shred those streets! Don’t let the Karens hold you down!

5. The ‘karen on wheels’

Moving on, it’s time to introduce Karen on Wheels. Yes, you heard it right! This one decided to bring the fight to our territory. They often skate in knee-high socks and mom jeans, claiming they understand “our angst.”

But trust us, these are just wolves in sheep’s clothing. On the exterior, they act like one of us, but their Karen lineage is evident in their invasive questions about why we don’t skate “in the designated areas.” Our advice? Keep your ollies high and your patience higher!

6. The ‘virtual Karen

Welcome to the digital age, where even Karens have evolved into cyber versions. Introducing virtual Karen, posting endlessly on our favorite online skate forums, criticizing our hobby, and prying into our conversations. They also hold the record for the fastest speed dial to community moderators and are renowned for starting flares over the smallest difference of opinion. Just keep scrolling if you run into one!

7. The ‘environmental Karen

This one’s tricky, the Environmental Karen, often seen lurking around the park after sundown. While they claim to be “super eco-friendly,” they never hesitate to pick on skaters, blaming them for every scratch on the public benches and every piece of litter found within a 3-mile radius.

The best defense? Point them towards the real culprits – lazy humans and not us enthusiastic skaters!

8. The ‘noise police Karen

Beware of the Noise Police Karen, particularly active during the “quiet hours.” They are quick to label our sick skateboard flipping noise as a neighborhood nuisance.

Our survival strategy? Skate during the day or invest in quieter wheels. Don’t let their noise complaints ruin your awesome adrenaline rush!

9. The ‘know-it-all Karen

We saved the worst for last. The Know-it-all Karen believes she knows more about skating than you do, even though her only experience is watching a few YouTube videos. Keep calm, take a deep breath, and skate on, dude!

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

9 types of karens in the skateboarding world (and how to deal with them) | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

How do you deal with Karens or boomers while skateboarding? 

Navigating interactions with “Karens” or “Boomers” (or anyone who may be confrontational or misunderstanding) while skateboarding is all about maintaining respect, understanding, and patience. Here are some tips to help you handle these situations:

  • Stay Calm and Respectful: It’s easy to get defensive, but responding aggressively will only escalate the situation. Listen to their concerns, even if you don’t agree, and respond politely.
  • Educate with Patience: Sometimes, older individuals or those unfamiliar with skate culture might not understand skateboarding etiquette or the value of the sport. Sharing some insights or explaining can sometimes bridge the gap.
  • Choose Your Battles: Not every comment or confrontation deserves a response. Sometimes, it’s better just to move on, especially if you sense the other person isn’t open to a genuine conversation.
  • Wear Safety Gear: This can prevent many initial comments about “not being safe.” Even if you’re highly skilled, seeing a skater wearing a helmet and pads can put many people at ease.
  • Follow Local Rules: Make sure you know local laws or park rules about skateboarding. If someone confronts you and you’re following the rules, you can confidently and politely tell them.
  • Find Designated Areas: Whenever possible, skate in areas designated for skateboarding. This not only ensures safety but also minimizes confrontations.
  • Be Empathetic: Sometimes, people’s reactions come from a place of concern, past negative experiences, or simply not understanding skate culture. Trying to see things from their perspective can make interactions smoother.
  • Avoid Blocking Public Spaces: If you’re street skating, be mindful not to block pathways, driveways, or entrances. This reduces the chances of confrontations.
  • Group Support: If you’re often skating in a particular area where confrontations occur, consider contacting other local skaters. There’s strength in numbers; together, you can find solutions or even work towards creating a dedicated skate space.

Dos and don’ts when encountering a ‘Karen’ while skateboarding

Be alert, skaters! When skating past a potential Karen hotspot, remember the following dos and don’ts to keep your next skate session as smooth as possible.

Do stay calm and composed, if confrontedDon’t initiate an argument or confrontation
Do communicate your rights as a skaterDon’t be rude or offensive
Do continue skateboarding if it’s not prohibitedDon’t intentionally annoy or provoke them
Just like skateboarding, handling a ‘Karen’ requires some skill and tactics. Here are some extra tips to dodge their “Karen-nage.”

When I encountered my first ‘Karen’

Here’s the thing – when I first started skating, I thought that mastering an ollie and tackling those insane flips would be my biggest challenges. Boy, was I wrong! The first ‘Karen’ I encountered was scarier than any vert ramp I’ve ever dropped in on!

“And for all you skaters out there, remember – every ‘Karen’ you meet is just another obstacle to shred past!”

I was just another kid with a new skateboard, trying to pop an ollie in the school park, when I met her, The Typical Karen! Oh, she was furious about everything – from me not wearing a helmet (even though I had my elbow and knee pads on) to ruining the ‘aesthetic’ of the park.

I tried reasoning with her, but that was like trying to do a kickflip for the first time without practice! So, I simply chose to ignore her and focus on my passion! After all, skateboarding is all about breaking barriers. And for all you skaters out there, remember – every ‘Karen’ you meet is just another obstacle to shred past!

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have some burning questions about Karen detection while skateboarding? Well, come on down, we’re here to quench your curiosity:

How can I avoid a confrontation with a Karen?

The best strategy is to stay calm and composed. Remind them politely about your rights within the regulations. Be respectful even when faced with irrational complaints. If things get heated, it’s better to pack up and find a new spot for your daily shred!

Do all Karens hate skaters?

Not necessarily, like the Susan type might show a softer corner for skaters, thanks to her past link-ups with skater dudes. But generally, yes. Most Karens, like the typical and noise-police ones, certainly have some beef with skaters. Check out more about this in our article about Things Non-Skaters Don’t Understand.

What are the common signs of a Karen?

A strong sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, excessive complaints about the noise or lack of safety gear, and a tendency to criticize or berate skaters in public are some iconic Karen moves. Also, look out for their unique haircut!

Final thoughts

From the humble Typical Karen to the sneaky Sharon, we’ve been through quite a journey identifying the various types of ‘Karens’ that a skater might encounter. Keeping a lookout for these notorious creatures in the skating world could add another layer to your skateboarding escapades.

So, what type of Karen did you encounter during your last skate? And how did you deal with them?
And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on surviving the Karen fiasco. Thanks for reading, and remember, skaters, keep rolling!

Key takeaways

This article covered the different types of ‘Karens’ that skaters might encounter and ways to identify and deal with them. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The ‘Typical Karen’ is your classic Karen, representing the base model for this species.
  • The ‘Teenage Karen’ has no justifiable reasons for hating the world, but they still do!
  • The ‘Susan’ type is a bit more sympathetic towards skaters, thanks to her past connections.
  • The ‘Sharon’ type is typically a school teacher type with dyed hair and a mean streak.
  • Being aware of these types can aid you in your encounters.
  • Always stay composed, and communicate your skateboarding rights respectfully.
  • Continue to focus on your skateboarding passion despite the ‘Karens’!

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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