Destination Skateboard: South Lake Tahoe local launches city guides for skaters
January 2, 2017
Skateboarding is not just a hobby for Mike Ribaudo — it's a lifestyle.
The South Lake Tahoe local has been skating for 20 years, and recently debuted four city guides through the lens of a skater. The project, published online through tourism marketing firm SMG Consulting, is called Destination Skateboard.
"The whole world is translated a little differently as a skater," explained Ribaudo. "Some people see a parking lot, but you see possibilities. You look at architecture differently because you can skate it."
"From that, I bring a unique perspective, and I think that's what Destination Skateboard does. I bring a different take on travel. I look for restaurants that aren't run of the mill or bars that are dives. The off-beat businesses," added Ribaudo.
Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego — all places that Ribaudo has either lived or frequented — are the first four cities profiled in Destination Skateboard.
"There are a handful of skate-parks in Reno but the street-skating is better than most would think," writes Ribaudo.
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"The spots are situated mostly in downtown and midtown but there is a plethora of ledges, ditches, manual pads, and quirky transition to get down on — they're like concealed treasures."
As for dinner in Reno? Ribaudo recommends the reasonably-priced Vietnamese fare at Golden Flower, or Nu Yalk Pizza for its stellar 'za and aesthetic, which features Banksy tapestries and graffitied New York subway signs.
"A lot of things trickle down from skateboarders — like style and music — so I want people to see it as a unique perspective and counter culture," said Ribaudo. "And to entice people to travel. I want to get people motivated to go somewhere."
Ribaudo has a degree in non-fiction writing, and is currently working on his master's in public engagement at the University of Nevada, Reno — a degree he describes as "literary writing for the public."
"It's bridging the gap between academia and pop culture," he added. "I've been writing about hip hop and cultural aesthetic and how it can represent culture just as well as literature can."
And for Ribaudo, a huge part of the skater culture is the aesthetic, which is highlighted in Destination Skateboard through unique pictures taken in each city by photographer friends.
As for the skater scene in South Lake Tahoe, Ribaudo says it "waxes and wanes."
"I think now it's getting bigger. There are a couple of local companies Shred Skateboards and Plus Skateboards."
So where to next for Destination Skateboard? Stay tuned for Mammoth, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.
Read all of Ribaudo's city guides by visiting smgonline.net/destination-skateboard.
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