What It's Like to Skateboard With Cystic Fibrosis

Skater Beau Rich shares his experience with the invisible disability.

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Beau Rich has been skateboarding since he was 11 years old. His whole life he has been afflicted with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that primarily impacts the lungs and often manifests as difficulty breathing and excessive coughing. Skateboarding and other cardio activity, as he explains, have been a beneficial outlet for his physical health as the sport can alleviate certain symptoms.

Rich, who is currently the social media manager for The Berrics, discussed how the invisible disability affects his everyday life and his skating ability. Cystic fibrosis is a degenerative illness, meaning his condition has worsened as he’s gotten older. He has continued to skate, even while he has to take extra precautions in protecting his health and has occasionally struggled to keep up with his peers. He describes his body once completely breaking down in a competition due to dehydration. “CF might make skateboarding so much harder, but skateboarding makes having CF a lot easier,” he explained in a recent video interview with The Berrics.

Now in particular with the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, Rich says has to be especially careful in wearing a mask and social distancing. Many of the symptoms that he exhibits naturally, such as heavy coughing, are perceived as being a sign of the virus.

We recently spoke with four skaters on how the coronavirus quarantine has impacted the skateboarding world. Read our interviews with Ryan Sheckler, Lizzie Armanto, Kelly Hart and Paul Schmitt here to learn about how they’re coping with affects of the virus on the sport.

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