As a young novice skateboarder in Newfoundland, I remember being out with my friends on a cold June afternoon unaware that it was ‘Go Skateboarding Day’ until a rusted green 90s sedan rolled up next to us, throwing a handful of DVDs with skateboarding clips on them at us before screeching away screaming, “it’s Go Skateboarding Day!”
It’s been about a decade since my first experience with Go Skateboarding Day, which happened yesterday (June 21), but in that time skateboarding has continued to grow and expand around the world. The sport has transcended from its initial reputation as a rebellious nuisance to municipalities, to a bona fide Olympic sport attracting the world’s best athletes. Local skaters took part in Revelstoke with a few different options, starting with a complimentary drink at Dose, a quick photo at Society, followed by an evening of skateboarding at the skatepark. John Pierce from Dose, Karl Jost from Society Snow & Skate, and Nicolas Houle from Bored Graphics all helped organize Revelstoke’s events.
Pierce took a minute to explain the history of the occasion.
Despite the storied history of skateboarding as a sport, the story of Go Skateboarding Day is somewhat underwhelming by comparison.
An international group of skateboarding brands, the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC), officially created the day in 2004. Although the IASC is known to have created Go Skateboarding Day, an English skateboarder from the 1980s named Don Brown is widely considered to be the brains behind the operation.
Brown has said that prior to the day’s founding, he would see all sorts of random international days recognizing curious interests. International days for dogs (Aug. 26), cats (Aug. 8), and even LEGO day (Jan. 28) prompted Brown to suggest a day for skateboarding.
Just a year after its founding, the day was recognized by Los Angeles, with more cities and countries to follow.
The biggest brands quickly jumped onboard and used the day to host barbecues, give away merchandise, and host competitions.
Yesterday’s local events included all the above except a competition.
Instead, the swathe of boarders left from Society, making their way to Eight St., where they rallied and rode down the road together to the skatepark. Once at the skatepark, a grill was fired up while the skaters took to the park.
More than 30 skateboarders, young and old, all rode together. Some riders even made the trek in from Sicamous where there were no events happening because there was no shop to host.