“Skateboarding eyes brighter future with USOPC support on mental issues” by Rory Carroll via Reuters

“Skateboarding eyes brighter future with USOPC support on mental issues” by Rory Carroll via Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The skateboarding community, rocked by several prominent deaths related to mental health issues, is hoping the benefits that go with the sport’s inclusion in this year’s Tokyo Olympics will help its athletes tackle the underlying problems.Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk rides his during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Vista, California, U.S., May 8, 2020. Picture taken May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake Briton Ben Raemers died by suicide in 2019, skateboarding pioneer Jeff Grosso passed away after a drug overdose in 2020, and 22-year-old Henry Gartland took his own life last month, highlighting the urgent need to address issues like depression and addiction. “Skateboarding is a very tight-knit community,” said USA Skateboarding CEO Josh Friedberg. “Everyone has these links to each other and that makes losses like these tougher to deal with because there’s so many personal connections. “The good news is that it’s causing people to think more deeply about mental health in skateboarding – trying to figure out new ways to support the people that they love and care about.” Friedberg said one key development is that the athletes now have access to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) mental health services for the first time. “We’ve been really lucky to have the support of the USOPC in this situation,” he said. “They have been proactive in providing mental health resource for our team and staff.” Tony Hawk, one of the world’s most famous skateboarders, said that while there has been progress in combating the stigma associated with mental health, more work needs to be done. “I’d like to say...
“LET’S TALK WITH CHRIS NIERATKO ABOUT SKATE SHOP DAY, THE EVOLUTION OF SKATE SHOPS, GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, THE OLYMPICS AND MORE” by Jordy via Good Day To Skateboards

“LET’S TALK WITH CHRIS NIERATKO ABOUT SKATE SHOP DAY, THE EVOLUTION OF SKATE SHOPS, GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, THE OLYMPICS AND MORE” by Jordy via Good Day To Skateboards

Chris Nieratko has been a big voice in skateboarding for more than twenty-five years. More recently, him and his friends started Skate Shop Day, which will be held on February 19th this year, for its second edition. We had the chance to talk with him to learn more about it, to discuss the evolution of skate shops, the importance of giving back to the community and more. Grab a drink, some snacks, and enjoy this very interesting interview. How did you come up with the idea of creating the Skate Shop Day in 2020? When did you first think about it? Truth be told, it’s not my idea entirely. My friend Scotty Coats, who works in the music industry, is a lifelong skater, and he was on the ground floor of Record Store Day which has been hugely successful. It’s pretty remarkable because they now have it twice a year, earlier in the year and then I think it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. Scotty was telling me that these mom-and-pop record stores have a special day, they get exclusive and limited product. And in that day, they generate three to five months’ worth of rent, in one single day. I was blown away by that alone and he’s like, “We should do this for skate shops”. I absolutely fell in love with the idea and so that was last February, we thought of it on a Friday, and the following Thursday we launched a website and Instagram, thanks to artist Sasha Barr for lending us his, “Support your local skateshop” artwork. That first skate shop day I basically went through my cell...
“BEHIND THE BLACK LIST: A Growing Guide of Black-owned Brands, Retailers, and Organizations in Skateboarding Complied” by Patrick Kigongo via Artless Industria

“BEHIND THE BLACK LIST: A Growing Guide of Black-owned Brands, Retailers, and Organizations in Skateboarding Complied” by Patrick Kigongo via Artless Industria

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF P. KIGONGO A few days ago Patrick Kigongo set out to compile what he calls a “non-comprehensive list of Black-owned skate industry brands.” The Black List quickly expanded to include media and organizations. I wanted the Artless Industria® readership to not only have a link to this resource but learn why Kigongo put it all together. Below is his response about the genesis of The Black List. LINK TO THE BLACK LIST PATRICK KIGONGO: Punk rock remains a foundational source of inspiration for me. Punk’s “DIY” ethos has given me the confidence to start bands, teach myself how to edit video, and even change careers. More importantly, punk taught me to facilitate the change I wanted to see in the world.The anti-police brutality protests that erupted across the United States in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has led to a spike in the demand to support all things Black. Millions of Americans are now sharing lists of Black restaurants and bookstores in cities across the nation. Being a Black skater, I wanted to chip in. When I realized that there wasn’t a list of Black-owned skate companies, shops, or organizations, I decided to create one.When I started working on “The Black List” on the night of June 3rd, I could only come up with a handful of obvious names (e.g. Hardies, Hopps, Maxallure). Thankfully, I got a lot of help from crowd-sourcing on Twitter and Instagram. Over the last couple of days, I’ve received a flood of DMs and texts with the names of brands from all over the United States...
“The Black Surfing Association is Empowering Black Youth in Rockaway -PADDLING OUT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE AND EQUALITY WITH NEW YORK’S LOU HARRIS” by Owen James Burke via Surfer Magazine (from the final issue)

“The Black Surfing Association is Empowering Black Youth in Rockaway -PADDLING OUT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE AND EQUALITY WITH NEW YORK’S LOU HARRIS” by Owen James Burke via Surfer Magazine (from the final issue)

This feature originally appeared in SURFER Volume 61, Number 3. Since that issue’s release, due to the impact of the pandemic on SURFER’s business, the staff has been furloughed indefinitely and all content production has been paused. Hopefully SURFER will one day return, in some form, but in the meantime please enjoy this feature from the final issue. In April of 2014, Lou Harris, a surfer and resident of Rockaway—an oceanfront community in the New York City borough of Queens—read a news article about a 16-year-old boy who’d been arrested after setting fire to a mattress in his apartment in neighboring Coney Island. When the cops asked the kid why he started the fire, they reported that he said it was because he was bored. Harris couldn’t bear the thought of kids in his community growing up with so little engagement—and in a place with waves, no less. To Harris, the answer was obvious—he’d introduce local youth to the thing he loved so much. He’d get them surfing. Harris, who is now 48 years old, was born in Queens and grew up in Dix Hills, Long Island. He moved to the Rockaways in 2006, where he began teaching himself to surf to help come to terms with hanging up his skateboard in his late 30s. Soon enough, Harris crossed paths with Brian “B.J.” James, a dedicated Rockaway Beach surfer and among the few Black wave riders you’d have found in that lineup in the 1990s—despite the neighborhood’s population being roughly 35 percent Black. Author of “The Nautical Negro”, a memoir about his life as a Black waterman, B.J. showed...
“Jeremy Jones Talks About ‘Purple Mountains’ and Finding Political Common Ground on Climate Change” by Will Sileo of The Inertia

“Jeremy Jones Talks About ‘Purple Mountains’ and Finding Political Common Ground on Climate Change” by Will Sileo of The Inertia

According to the film’s description, Purple Mountains is, “One man’s journey to find common ground in the mountains — one voter at a time.” That one man is snowboarding legend Jeremy Jones. Jones is one of the greatest freeriders of all time, helping to pioneer professional big mountain snowboarding (especially human-powered big mountain snowboarding). More recently, he’s also made a name for himself as a climate activist. In 2007 Jeremy founded Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit dedicated to activating the outdoor sports community in the fight against climate change, and in 2010 he swore off using helicopters and snowcats, making a personal commitment to earning his turns. Named for the need to influence key swing states in the upcoming election (and perhaps an ode to the line from the song America the Beautiful), the film follows Jeremy on a journey to understand why the U.S. is so divided on climate change and how we can find common ground through the American love of the outdoors. In doing so he hopes to energize the ‘Outdoor State’ – the 50 million people in the U.S. who identify with the mountains, the rivers, and the sea. The film is a must watch for any American, especially those who fit the ‘Outdoors State’ description. As he was driving home after a surf trip to Santa Barbara, I grilled him about the film: What are your hopes for the movie? What do you want it to inspire in people or bring about as a result? It would be kinda naïve to think some far right climate denier will change their ways, but I’m hoping that someone...
“What Does the Reaction to Tyler Wright’s Stand Say About Surfers? SURF CULTURE, RACIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL MEDIA’S POISON PILL” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

“What Does the Reaction to Tyler Wright’s Stand Say About Surfers? SURF CULTURE, RACIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL MEDIA’S POISON PILL” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Ryan MillerTyler Wright, standing up for Black lives on her way to victory at the Tweed Coast Pro. On Sunday morning during the WSL’s Tweed Coast Pro pandemic-era specialty event, two-time world champion Tyler Wright made the biggest news (see: only news) of the otherwise lackluster surf comp when she kneeled next to her board painted with “Black Lives Matter” for 439 seconds, each second representing one of the First Nations people who have died in police custody in Australia since 1991. It was always going to be impactful, as Wright was the first World Tour surfer to use their platform to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement, but I never would have guessed that it would also be so controversial. After all, Wright may be the first World Tour surfer to take this stand, but she’s far from the first pro athlete. Players in the WNBA, the NBA, the MLB and the NFL have been publicly supporting the movement for months, recently culminating in a historic, multi-league strike in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police. Just last week, a Washington Post poll of Americans showed that 62 percent of participants believed that athletes “should use their platforms to express their views on national issues.” And that poll was taken from a random national sample—coastal surf fans would skew even more progressive than that, right? Apparently not. Or at least that’s not what the reaction by surfers would suggest. At the time of this writing, the comments on the WSL’s post of Wright kneeling total nearly 5,000 – perhaps the most ever for a non-shark-attack-related post on the...