June, 21: Go Skateboarding Day

June 21, 2020 | Skateboarding
Go Skateboarding Day: skaters from around the world celebrate their official holiday every year on June 21 | Photo: Red Bull

Go Skateboarding Day is the official skateboarding holiday held every year on June 21.

The celebration aims to get people skating wherever there's a rideable surface - a skatepark, the streets, a road, or even a pool.

Go Skateboarding Day was established by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) in 2004.

The organization challenged skateboarders to make their sport their top priority, at least on that day, and to put their smartphones, video games, and computers aside for 24 hours.

In its first year, several skateboard sessions, demos, and barbeques were held in Southern California.

Today, there are many activities being held all over the world, including competitions, workshops, fundraisers, protests, and gear demos.

Skaters gather at their local spots to enjoy sidewalk surfing, share trick tips, and learn with professional athletes.

It's a special day when skating enthusiasts reclaim their culture and celebrate the rebelliousness, freedom, and creativity inherent to the sport.

It is also a moment for riders to promote the benefits of skateboarding and publicly highlight its influence on the positive empowerment of youth.

Go Skateboarding Day: load your backpack and go skating from dawn to dusk | Photo: Red Bull

All-City Skate Jam 2002

The original call to get skateboarders on the streets to show their love for the sport is slightly older, though.

In 2004, Bryan Chin and Kerel "Srikala" Roach ran the first All-City Skate Jam, in New York City, as a response to the impact 9/11 had on the skateboarding scene.

"Security was so tight after 9/11 that Downtown New York was basically a ghost town. Everything was very cliquish," Chin once explained.

"I think people avoided skating with other people. They would actually say things like, "I'm going to skate this spot - you can't come," because they didn't want too many people increasing the bust factor."

So Chin picked a date, made an informative flyer with the spots where the event was going to take place, and shared it off and online.

The route was relatively simple.

From Battery Park, around 250 skaters rode to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Security tried to kick them out, but they failed because there were too many kids.

When police arrived, the group headed to Seaport, and then to the Banks, Black Hubba, and Tompkins.

The flyer said that they were supposed to go to midtown from Tompkins, but the authorities showed up and wanted to know who organized the event.

They interrogated everybody, but everyone remained silent.

The inaugural All-City Skate Jam was put to an end, but the movement would only grow bigger in the upcoming years.

In 2004, the event was renamed Go Skateboarding Day.

Today, New York still is one of the most important epicenters of the Go Skateboarding Day celebrations, with thousands gathering in the streets from dawn to dusk.

All-City Skate Jam 2002: the year New York celebrated the first official skateboarding holiday

Go Skateboarding Day: Things To Do on June 21

Although critics consider it to be just another concept to push skate company sales, there's more to it than consumption.

Go Skate Day is a tool to get more kids into the sport and to promote outdoor living and physical exercise.

All you need to do is load your backpack with essential skateboard tools and a bottle of water, grab your favorite deck, and jump on the skateboard.

1. Head to your favorite skate spot or skatepark and have fun;

2. Tune-up your skateboard at your local skate shop;

3. Grab a camera or smartphone and film your friends' tricks;

4. Push down the streets and cruise around town;

5. Run a local "Best Trick of the Day" contest;

6. Donate - recycle an old deck, rideable wheels and trucks and make a kid happy;

7. Set up a fundraiser to help end child poverty in your community;

8. Teach someone - young or old - how to skateboard;

9. Build a DIY ramp, kicker, rail or funbox;

10. Participate in a peaceful demonstration against climate change, gender inequality, racism, war, and LGBT rights;

At the end of the day, tag your experience with the hashtag #goskateboardingday.

Remember to skate safely and responsibly and follow all traffic laws.