Skateboarding is notoriously known for it’s “locals only” attitude. A mindset that originated from the 1970’s Californian surfers, which was then carried on into skateboarding by the legendary *Zephyr skate team (Z-Boys) of Dogtown. Every skatepark had it’s own crew. Every skateshop came with it’s own set of skate rats.
* If you haven’t seen ‘Lords of Dogtown’ (2005)- watch it ASAP. Or even better, grab a copy of both ‘Dogtown: the Legend of the Z-Boys’ by C. E. Stecyk III / Glen E. Friedman and ‘Locals Only’ by Hugh Holland.
But, in 2017, is that all still relevant? Sure- you still have events like Lord of the Swords, which sees a handful of skaters battle it out across Essex, but is the hostility still there?
No, of course it isn’t. It’s 2017, we’ve had to learn the hard way that community and mutual-support is more important to the level-headed, good-hearted individual than some phoney, temporary image. Go Skateboarding Day proves just that.
Every year, on June 21st, crowds of people both near and far, from young to old, get together to celebrate the true purity behind skateboarding. Mark Oblow, one of skateboardings’s most influential “behind the scenes” dudes and my personal idol, wrote on Instagram in honour of Go Skateboarding Day:
“Skateboarding saved my life!! Skateboarding gave me my best friends. Skateboarding made me an artist. Skateboarding made me a photographer. Skateboarding has travelled me all over this planet. Skateboarding gave me power!! Go skateboarding everyday!!”
Curated events kick off all over the world, hosted by some of the biggest names in the scene. This year, London saw a pop-up Training Facility on behalf of Nike SB and Slam City Skates at the Old Truman Brewery (which perfectly coincided with the opening of Slam’s new East London store on Dray Walk).
Crowds gathered outside the skateshop where LA-based pro, Paul Rodriquez, met with the local London youth to grip boards and promote his 10th signature shoe. Although a massive achievement, P-Rod stayed humble- thanking his fans and everyone involved in his success so far, stating that he’s eternally grateful for being able to spend every day doing the thing he loves the most (skateboarding- obviously).
The day followed on to a pop-up skatepark at the Old Truman Brewery’s Backyard Market, with a classic take on the Training Facilities dotted all around LA. Packed to the brim from the moment the event started, the park was a constant maze to operate. Luckily, the TF was erected inside a warehouse, shading all from the burning heat. Although us Londoners love nothing more than to welcome the summer warmth with open arms, it wasn’t really ideal for anything more than basking in the sunshine and enjoying few cold ones and a nice BBQ provided by Nike SB.