It’s days like these when you can really appreciate what skateboarding delivers to us all. That stoked feeling after an amazing session is something most others outside of skating will never understand.
We all know that feeling of fulfillment as you put the key in the door after a shred, leaning on the wall in a sweaty t-shirt and jeans, feeling knackered with hot feet, a throbbing new hipper and a grazed swelbow. That feeling knowing everyone involved in the session had the best time of their lives and pushed their shit to the next level. Whether you are skating a curb, a pool, a ledge or a manny pad, essentially we are all after the same end result: fun.
Every year Go Skateboarding Day celebrates this unique freedom on the longest day of the year. It’s a solstice gathering so strong in numbers now that the #goskateboardingday hash tag stayed trending on Twatter for the entire day. The 10th Anniversary celebration of GSD was in full force across the planet, and although it’s not for some, thousands of 140 character online tales told a global story about one of the best days out ever, and bigger than ever before.
It’s not for everyone though; those who push with glasses half empty criticise the fact that being told to skate on a certain day of the year by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) is a contradiction to the freedom that skateboarding delivers to us all. We can roll anytime, anywhere and remain autonymous outside of the ever tightening grip of an increasingly homogenised society. Free thinkers would comment on the fact that the invasion of corperations within our culture is creating an identikit scene, where fashion has brought a strangelhold on our once independent subcultural art form. Being constantly reminded by brands that we should be skateboarding every day is just a sinister smokescreen for the perpetual sale of products. Reality is, we don’t need to be told to skate on any day, and that’s the very reason we started to push decks in the first place.
Our scene is famous for being populated by unique characters, who bring much colour and charisma to the sessions that we value the most. The most mundane sessions are always electrified by the presence of local heroes. Unparalleled individuals who not only serve to blow us away with their unequalled skill, but also act as poignant roll models, alerting us to the fact that we do not have to conform to the dictats of global brands. That’s not to demean the hard graft of our independent skater owned companies, whose imagination, creativity, and commitment has made our scene what it is today. These core players, populated themselves by creative individuals, operate as a platform to springboard and promote opportunities within our collective. They deserve full acknowlegement for the goodtimes we all shared on Go Skateboarding Day and that’s why you should be out there showing loyalty to those who underpin the foundations of our shared obsession.
There is no reason why this communal celebration cannot be replicated in a week’s time, organised with your own local skater owned shop. The holidays are just starting, the summer is about to kick in, and the open road to discover some new spots, make new friends and learn new tricks in a different area is calling you. Take GSD as a catalyst for more.
I personally missed out this year. Blown ankles don’t bode well for a day of pushing across the city, so I took my bike and hit the road to take it all in. I witnessed hoardes of skaters hitting up street spots, totally stoked on meeting others on route to their chosen destinations. Then I stumbled, by total accident into the path of a veteran called Eric, a local Ladbroke Grove legend, who with skateboard in hand, demonstrates the individualities to which I refer. Eric personifies the fact that skateboarders can be: young; old; fat; thin; punks; skins; anarchists; whatever, and that skateboarding has a greater longevity than any irrelevant trend run by pompous fashionistas exploiting and profiteering from it.