Go Skate Day 2013. Photo: Adam Fratto
To most people around the world, June 21 is just another day on the calendar: A day they woke up sick in bed, the last day of their old job or first day of a new one. It could be a birthday party that your girlfriend is making you attend or even one of your siblings’ wedding day that you can’t wait to go to. But to myself and over 15 million other people around the globe, June 21 is a day we all hold very close to our hearts. It is a day that lets us stop and forget about whatever it is that we are doing in our day: playing video games, studying for a big test, yard work or anything else we aren’t too excited about, and do the one thing we will love doing for the rest of our lives––skateboard. June 21 to us, is national Go Skateboarding Day. Every skateboarder has this day to call their own and go out and celebrate this amazing sport that gives us the exhilarating feeling of freedom. We as skateboarders have always been a form of outcasts in the eye of the public, and we know that. We go places we aren’t suppose to go and do things we aren’t suppose to do, any other day of the year we would be looked down upon, but not on this day. This is our day.
This holiday began on June 21, 2003 as a form of excuse for skateboarders to make skating their top priority, as if it wasn’t already to some. It got its start from a couple small sessions and BBQs with friends in the birthplace and unofficial capital of skateboarding, California. Founded by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC), Go Skateboarding Day has rapidly become more and more popular as we arrive on its 10th anniversary. Skateboard retailers, manufacturers, organizations and skateparks across the world show their support by holding fundraisers, contests, demos and even protests in their local communities. Young kids to adults in their 30s and 40s gather together to skate across the city or at a skatepark, all enjoying the passion. This year, there were so many events all around the world that no matter where you were, something was be poppin’. The United States, Canada, South America, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, Australia, Egypt, France, Norway, Germany, Saudia Rabia, Austria, India, Indonesia and many more are all countries that show their support for this great day, and all of them do it in their own ways, which is the beauty of our sport. Not one way is the right way. You could be competing in a local contest trying to get sponsored, gathering up a bunch of friends and going to your favorite spot or rummaging through the garage to find your old board to take on a cruise around the neighborhood. You can do it however you want, just as long as you are skating.
Everyone who steps on a board this day unites the skateboard community around the world. Man, woman, child, black, white, gay or straight, if you are a skateboarder, then we are all one. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t stepped on a board for over ten years or ten minutes, everyone should strive to get back on that piece of wood and roll around to embrace the side of yourself that not everyone gets to see. So whether it is a contest that you hope to do well in or just you and a couple friends skating on your street and grilling some burgers, do what we are all meant to do––go skate. For the first ten June 21s that we have had so far, all the way to the next ten, and the ten after that, this day will forever be all about skateboarding––nothing more and nothing less.