United Skates: South Tahoe joins world for International Go Skateboarding Day | TahoeDailyTribune.com

United Skates: South Tahoe joins world for International Go Skateboarding Day

Dylan Silver

Dylan Silver/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Around the world and right here in South Tahoe, children and adults celebrated International Go Skateboarding Day on Tuesday, pushing along the city’s sidewalks and pumping through its skateparks.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Rob Armenti, as he took a break from a session at Bijou Skatepark. “It gets everybody together. People out here skate every day, but this gives it a little more meaning.”

Brett Garrett, 13, flipped his board around the flat piece of concrete near the Bijou park.

“It’s the best thing in the world,” said Garrett, who’s been skating for a year. “It’s better than my birthday.”

Dan Wilson took time to practice his tricks on Bijou’s small features. He slid the rail and sped straight into the quarter-pipe for a backside air. Coming down, his feet slipped out from under him and he slapped the cement hard.

“It’s going to be a national holiday, just give it 10 years,” Wilson said. “I’ll probably be in a wheelchair by then, but whatever.”

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The roots of International Go Skateboarding Day are somewhat unclear. In 2003, the International Association of Skateboard Companies began producing posters marking the date. It started with a few sessions and barbecues in Southern California, according to its website.

Hot dogs sizzled on the grill down at South Lake Tahoe’s newest business, Skatehouse. Owner Shon Baughman hustled around, moving rails and ramps. He organized an impromptu contest on the indoor park’s middle feature. About two dozen skaters popped into Smith grinds and lipslides on the center rail.

“I just think it’s cool that everybody gets together,” Baughman said. “It just seems like on days like today, our energy is higher.”

The skaters cheered for each other as one trick after another was landed. The judges, sitting high atop a vert wall, marked their sheets for each. Bob Daly, founder of Shoreline of Tahoe, showed up to film the action and do some skating himself.

“I celebrated (Go Skateboarding Day) at 52. Anybody can do it,” Daly said. “And it’s on the solstice. You can skate late.”

Skateboarders as far away as Afghanistan celebrated the sport’s only holiday. In Los Angeles, hundreds of skateboarders rolled through downtown and toward Venice Beach. In New York, skaters competed for thousands of dollars in prizes during several official competitions.

Though Tahoe’s battered sidewalks, rough pavement and small skateparks aren’t ideal, the skaters seemed pretty happy to be pushing around.

“I’m all for it,” said A.J. Hester, who’d ridden his longboard to Bijou Park for some disc golf with his friend Tom Seberet. “If you can avoid the rocks and you know where the cracks are, it’s not too bad.”