When I was in grade school and refusing to contemplate injury (translation: when I and my friends were as dumb as a box of hair), I was a skateboard rat. In those days, skateboard-specific facilities didn't exist in Baltimore, so the whole world, or at least the whole neighborhood, was my playground. Sidewalks, parking lot ramps, curbs - anything that presented a challenge was worth taking on.
These days, kids are still skateboarding, but since society is more cognizant of the dangers presented by sidewalks and parking lot ramps, and since parents are more likely to sue if kids get hurt because of those dangers, we have skate parks. And like all sports facilities, they compete for kids' attention against formidable opponents like Xbox, the Internet and 24-hour TV.
That's why I was really pleased to see a promotion on our community association website for Go Skateboarding Day. It's held on Tuesday, June 21 (the first day of summer) and sponsored by the Go Skateboarding Day Foundation. The celebration was founded by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC)and has been running since 2003.
According to the Go Skateboarding Day website, the agenda is simple: "Skateboarders everywhere will show their love and support for skateboarding by holding fundraisers, contests, protests and demos. They'll skate across cities, gather in skate parks, stream into their local skate shop and some will even revel in the solitary act of skateboarding alone at their favorite spot...this is just one more reason to blow off your television/computer/videogames and go skateboarding."
In my opinion, that last part is something we should all get behind: getting kids unplugged so they can learn to get wired at the skate park. Those with skate parks in their communities can get into the act by planning a corresponding event, then going to the site's interactive map and registering it. You can also download banners, promo kits and more. Don't have a skate park? Partner with a local skateboard shop and find out if someone can come give a demo for kids in your area.
I'll show up at my community skate park on the evening of June 21 but I won't be hopping into the half-pipe. If you're planning to, though, I'll hold your iPhone while you sign the waiver: two things we definitely didn't have the last time I rode a skateboard.