Skate Invasion: Top 6.5 Ways Skating Garages Will Change Your Life
In the highly competitive world of top Listicles and articles about the “do’s” and “don’ts” of life, many seem to find themselves “butt-hurt” on the internet, smashing keyboards, and trying to figure out “what is the best?”, or “how does this get ranked?”. Obsessed with making everything some sort of rule or competition; we measure, compare, list, analyze, poke and prod each other, leaving commenters screaming “Your not right, I am!” usually followed by a discussion of grammar, “It’s “you’re” not “your”, you fucken idiot. Your opinion is now invalid.” Does everything in life need to be such a competition and commentary?
I’m not a very competitive person by nature, and that’s one of the reasons I got into longboarding to begin with. For once, it didn’t have to be competitive, it wasn’t a competition and I’ve always enjoyed that idea. Competitive sports made me feel really anxious throughout my childhood, despite the fact that I loved running around, being generally active, and physical. My whole life, people have been yelling at me to “maximize my potential” and “man up”. I didn’t then, and I don’t now, play by “those rules”.
Twelve years ago, my friends Benjamin Jordan and Janelle Leclair, started Old School Night Shred (OSNS) here in Toronto as weekly way for skaters to cruise around the city’s parking garages. It changed my life! I physically fell in love with skateboarding and it was the gateway drug I needed to improve my life for the better. Since then, more and more cities have started a weekly night shred because skating garages, parkades, car holes, or whatever you call them is fun!!
Since it’s the thing to do, I’ve decided to write one of these lists things of my own because if you can’t beat ’em, I guess you should join ’em? So here we go, these are my top 6.5 reasons why skating garages will change your life:
1. Garaging (or Parkading) is a better way to learn how to downhill Skateboard.
Patrick Switzer said it himself, “this is what brought me into longboarding, this what made longboarding big for me.” I remember back in the day, when Pat use to show up on a slalom board and would use all the new people as pylons. He’d always skate up behind me and tell me how I could improve my stance. Took me years to listen to him but eventually it all sunk in. Garaging is a real cool environment for multi level skilled individuals to learn from each other.
2. You don’t even need arms and legs.
At 2:57 of this video is our friend Rafael Ruiz from 2007. Instead of using a wheelchair, Raf had skate board. We’d put soft wheels on his ride and Ben would pull him from garage to garage with an extension cord around waist. He also couldn’t stop so ben would also jump off his board and tackle him to safety. Some people can change you life in moment and he was one of those dudes. We all have our own challenges in life and I never even noticed Rafs disability because all I could see was the smile on his face. You don’t need arms and legs to skate garages. All you need is postive attitude and some good friends.
3. It will bring out your inner child.
It’s easy to grow up, start your daily “adulting” filling your days with stress and super serious decision making. Garaging is a good place to flush that all down the toilet and poop out the fun! Above is team Pizza’s annual Mario Kart death match! No one has ever died from this event… yet. If an event like this does not bring out your inner child, nothing will!
4. Gender ain’t no thang.
Garages are truly one of the most gender neutral environments you could possibly skate in and it’s been like that for years! Gender ain’t no thang and why should it be? It’s 2016.
5. It will make you smile.
Having bad week? No one understands you? Hate everyone? EVERYONE HATES YOU!?!? No one cares about any of that stuff at a garages session. Improved your mental health today! Learn how to be social and make some new friends. Let skating in a giant pack put a smile on your face.
6. Create an unstoppable weekly community
Make friends and family for life! So many different walks of life, skill levels, types of boards have shredded together at old school night shred and garages around the world. Those who skate together can love together. We are a bizarre family of unlikely individuals that have one thing in common, Skate Boards.
Houston, LA, Miami, Vancouver and Toronto have strong garage scenes I know about. What about you’re home town? Tell me where you skate garages in the comments below and lets make a list for all!
6.5. Nuts to your rules, don’t tell me how to live my life!
I hope this list got your attention in a positive manner. I can’t tell you how to live your life but I hope these stories inspire you to go out skate. The next time you’re sitting computer, smashing your keys, telling people how they’re doing it wrong on facebook. STOP for a second, put your thoughts on hold, pick up your skateboard and join (or start) a weekly garage session. You might forget what was so wrong with the world and put a big smile on your face. ‘Till next time keep skate invading the planet!