Skate Invasion: The 15th Annual Toronto Board Meeting
In 2003, I was in my first year of photography school and my friend Benjamin Jordan asked me if I could help him with his class project as the lead photographer. He was assigned to build a community/network and he wanted to build a community of longboarders that would span across the country. Benjamin had a dream that week that thousands of longboarders were bombing down the main intersection of Toronto wearing dress shirts and ties. They would push to work leaving their cars at home, networking with each other, trading goods together and caring for one another like family. We stylized the event in high contrast Black in White to catch people’s attention and give them sentimental attachment to the event. We had about 25 people show up in 2003 and we thought we shook the planet.
First hill drop shot with 35mm BW film developed that night with the other photographers in our friends home dark room.
15 years later I’ve come to realize the dream was bigger than all of us. So many people have taken the lead over the years and I’ve done my best over the last 6 years to help host the Toronto Board Meeting with my friend Smooth Chicken. This year we had to go all out with 5 days of free skate events to celebrate 15 years of this wacky dream and amazing community.
Day 1 High Park Old School Night Shred
This day was a media black day. Mind cameras and locals skaters only! Every Wednesday we usually skate garages downtown with the OSNS crew. We took the same group and brought them to urban locals hills in the high park area instead. Do not bate your garages before a big event!! Rule #1 is always stay Ninja kids.
This night we had explosions, we had hill bombs, we had smiles, we had pump tracks and we just had an amazing night of skateboards. Sometimes you need to put the camera down and skate till you drop.
Day 2 Toronto Flatland Rink Part
When you live in a Flat world what do you do? Freestyle/Longboard Dancing is one of the fastest growing scenes in Toronto. What use to be a couple Skate Invaders is now a new face with a skate board every week. Our home girl Cindy Zhou was in town to bring a tear to her eye and a rhythm to her feet.
Mr Toronto Flatland Tough Guy Tougher aka Chris Ng has been the back bone of this movement. We love you Chris!
Sex Icon David Jackson dances his last steps in Toronto as the Board Meeting network has dragged him to Vancouver.
The Flying Smooth Chicken the soft spoken backbone of Toronto Board Meeting Weekend.
Queen of Toronto Flatland Cindy graced us with the Cindy Zhou classics.
Day 3 Old School Night Shred
Old School Night Shred was invented to help carry the stoke of Board Meeting during the week. Every Wednesday we have about 10-30 skaters ripping garages and the last 4 years we’ve decided to make it part of the Toronto Board Meeting weekend. Some people claim this to be even more fun then Board Meeting itself! This year was the most insane garage session that has ever graced our carholes! 100+ skaters stayed together to complete almost the entire Toronto garage circuit. I will remember these vibes for the rest of my life!!!
The people of Old School 2017! What a crowd !!!
Wild in the streets Board Meeting vibes.
Hamilton’s finest Nelson Knight leading the carnage.
Cam Brick never misses a Board Meeting. Leading the Escarpment Surfers in the spiral we try not to bate out.
Montreal stoke machine Zachary James Levy Lecker always comes to skate!! Being cute with his friend Zenna at Big Bird.
Dat boy Jeff Hooper is all soul and love. He might crash you out but you’ll all be laughing.
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN!! GET SILLY BOOOOYS!!
Kebbek Skateboards Sisi Zhou flew in to town and BOOOy are her arms tired. We love you SISI!!
Steven Vera stylen and stoken all night with the landy crew.
DB Longboards Merv Victoria was at his first Board Meeting and was having his mind blown!!
Street crowd before the mall bomb.
MERV IS FREAKEN STOKED WE JUST HIT THE MALL!!!!
THE HAPPY FACES OF CAR HOLES!!! Steve Kong finally listened to me and came to Board Meeting he’s now a Canadian living in someones closet I think.
Moments before the G-spot Skate Invader squad? Escarpment Surfers? I guess we can all be friends till the end of time.
DAY 4 The 15th Annual Toronto Board Meeting
How was I suppose to move my legs after all this!! Toronto Board Meeting was here and I woke up to a broken megaphone. FML! My early on top of things morning slowly crashed on me and turned into a “skater time” kind of day. (Thanks Amy for driving us around). If I only knew the Mega phone store was actually a thing everything would have been fine earlier!! BUuuuuut like every year everything just worked out on time and park vibes slowly took me over. When I got there I took a deep breath and once again learned that with enough love and patience everything is fine in the universe.
Steve Kong getting blunted for the 15th Annual Board Meeting!!!!
Shawn P stylen for Ontario all day long. Who’s that boy in the corner?
Steven Vera came to style hard for the camera.
Miz Molly stylen it out and hyping the crowd!!! Molly has been killing it this year for Toronto Girls Longboarding.
This is a real board! I was hoping it would make it to the hill drop. It didn’t make it which also makes me very happy. Stay kooky children!!
When you turn around and realize your Skate Invader family is right in front of you and will always be with you.
Stoney S Babe finding himself standing in peer joy.
TIME FOR THE HILL DROP!!!
It was time for hill drop 2017!! CREW WAS DEEP!!
Board Meeting is for the Dogs!! Kyle bringing his best bud along for the ride.
BRADY BROWN IS LOVING LIFE!!
My little cousin Hunter skated with me for a while!! It’s amazing to have your actual family skate with you. The future is always bright!
OG Board Meeting in the house! Skate Invaders queen Cindy Zhou and Adam Winston Escarpment Surfer ninja smoke master.
Queens park Meet up! We survived another hill drop and everyone is alive and well.
Stoney stole my camera and made me get in a shot for once. That wasn’t part of the deal!!
The sun was starting to dip and the shadows started to play.
Birth of a new generation. Jeff Hooper taking it on himself to bum baby the future on the hill in front of everyone to see.
Amy Sheppard sliding into the sun with a solid crew walking up.
Even the Devils himself comes out to Board Meeting to spread cheer. He’s sick of all you mother fucken people fucking this planet up btw.
The Skate Invasion is all around us.
The final stretch. The sun got even lower filling our souls with warm vibes. Love was in the AIR!!
Love for your partner in crime.
Love for the streets.
Love for your skate family.
Love was literally in the park in giant words spelled out for all to see !!
All good things come to end until they circle around the globe for another go. The future is bright and the love we have created will never be broken.
For more Toronto Board Meeting photos click here.
The after party was too much!! Big thanks Dj Luke Mellon, My Mysterious Friend, Menage, Copper Crown, Admiral Naughts with Dmystic Mc and Dj Chino!! THANKS YOU SECTOR 9 CANADA FOR ALL THE SOCKS!! YOU GUYS ROCKED THE HOUSE!!! Thank you Ontario for making me feel like a freaken rock star. I know I won’t be around much next year but it’s not all about me and the future is crazy bright!! WE HAVE SO MUCH LOVE!!!
Day 5 Slide Fu
Sleep is for the week and we headed to the Poop Chute for the slacker slide jam/ broke off fest Slide Fu! We tried to calm it down a little this year with a put contest hosted by our girl Sisi Zhou and Kebbek Skateboards and had all the fun. Hugs and love where exchanged and memories started filling our brains. Holy shit its been 5 days of love and skate boards!
Hill side chilling the final moments of the weekend. Eric Mroz Photo!!
Shawn P didn’t let a week of breaking himself off stop him from doing some skids. Shawn P doesn’t get run over by cars. He runs them over.
Coffee, veggies and carbs Tim Smith is a machine like no other. Stylen always to his own drum.
Eric Jensen almost entered the put contest. He went back to taking a nap after this skid.
Cam Brick putting up a dream!!
5 days of skating ended in a bang. Heal up Brady Brown mad love fam.
Dreams really do come true. They may not make you rich in “cash money” but the family I’ve made over the last 15 years will have my back for life. Thank you to everyone who ever joined the dream. Life is to short not to love one another, be patient with each other, celebrate being different from one another and we then can all work together! Take it from this old fool the world can be beautiful place. Take at least 6 mins every year to remember we’re all alive and we have to live together if we like it or not!! I’ll leave you kids with this awkward clip of me and Smooth chicken herding all the best cats we know. 15 years of some of the best people the world has ever known. Keep Skate Invading the planet fam with love and understanding.