Unlike most skateboarders, Bill Cote was not a young man when he fell in love with the thrill of pavement passing swiftly beneath urethane wheels.
After watching a skate video and being impressed by the “courage” and athleticism of the skaters a few years ago, Cote said, he went to a local skate shop and asked to buy a board.
The shop employee asked him how old his son was, Cote said. “I said, 'No, man, it's for me!'”
These days, Cote gets out to skate several times a week, mostly on a long board, built for speed rather than tricks. A lawyer with a new practice on Park Street by day, Cote talks about skateboarding with a sort of jubilant reverence. But describing its pull to non-skaters is no easier for him than for the typical teenage skate rat.
“You can't understand the difficulty, the focus,” Cote said, unless you're a skateboarder.
“It's that whole thing about extending your limits,” he said. “Wherever there's concrete or tar, there's an opportunity to learn about yourself.”
His passion is “little understood” by many of his lawyer friends, Cote said. But he cites parallels between sidewalk surfing and practicing law.
“Skating is, of course, fraught with risks," Cote said. "And there are some cases in which you've got to take risks” to best serve clients.