Senior profile: The jungle boys

It was love at first sight when Avery Miller, August Wick, Daniel Paese and Dan Greene first caught a glimpse of a skateboard. Whether watching a cousin skate, playing with Tech Deck mini skateboards or surfing the web for cool-looking boards, skating quickly became their oxygen.

Dan Greene, August Wick, Avery Miller, Daniel Paese, seniors, and Ben Reinwart, junior, pose with their ramp. "She's part of the crew, too," August said.

“I’ve been [skating] so long, it’s just what I do,” Avery said. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t.”

The skaters bring their cameras with them whenever they skate to make videos for their YouTube channel TriSkate. Their total 20,108 views on YouTube capture their tricks around the Webster Groves skatepark and in downtown St. Louis. They said most of the time when they are skating, they are up to some kind of shenanigan, like once when Daniel needed surgery because he tore an artery after landing on a pole. The skaters called themselves the “Jungle Boys” after releasing a video with that title, and their endeavors have become well-known around KHS, now with a name to their fame.

“It has a nice ring to it,” Avery said. “But we don’t really call ourselves anything. Call us what you want.”

Although Youtube subscribers and views are appreciated, the boys said they care more about capturing memories; skating and videography are more than just hobbies to them. They said skating is a huge stress reliever and is always there when they need it. Especially when it provides a way to make new relationships and connections.

Avery Miller, senior, flies over ramps while skating.

“I like the culture and the people,” Daniel said. “Not like the mall Zumiez kids, but the people you meet. We’ve started skating with some older guys that are really good. Skateboarders are pretty outgoing toward each other. Whenever you see a skater, you always have something to talk about.”

Even August, the mystery of the group according to the others, has been greatly impacted by skateboarding. Stella Wick, sophomore and August’s sister, said their relationship got stronger once he picked up skating. She said she felt proud watching him go through board after board, spending hours mastering tricks and building tight-knit friendships with the rest of the Jungle Boys. Eventually, his experiences inspired Stella to try skating, but she said she could never live up to what he can do.

“I would see him and his friends not wearing helmets or anything and falling on the ground,” Stella said. “He just went for it.”

A few weeks ago, the boys said they were skating outside of Avery’s house when they noticed some kids down the street intently watching them. A few days later, Avery realized they had bought skateboards. This gave the Jungle Boys even more of a sense of purpose to skate knowing they began someone else’s skating story.

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