Why I’m donating 100 skateboards to a West Vancouver fundraiser

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Every year or so I preface a post for people who are new to our blog by telling the story of how way-back-when, before I started V.I.A., I used to work in the skateboard industry in California. I talk about how in the late 90’s I started the first online skateboarding magazine (in my apartment in Kitsilano) which got bought up by a large dot com and moved me to LA where I worked for different companies as a creative director, graphic designer, photographer and online manager, then about how coming back to Vancouver (which I LOVE SO MUCH) inspired this positivity machine I run now. It’s been quite a few years since I worked in the skate industry but I still have ties to it and every once in a while I’ll take on a fun project in it.

Beyond my ties and projects I have a relatively massive pile of brand new skateboard decks that I accumulated over the ten-or-so years that I was deeply involved. When you’re designing graphics for skateboards it almost goes without saying that you’d hold onto those ones, but somewhere along the line I went crazy and started to collect boards that I just saw as collectible. To be perfectly honest this collection long ago became a burden on my conscience as well as the space in my home and office, so when I heard that some people were looking to raise money so that Ambleside Skatepark could get a much-needed redo after 20 years, I was psyched; I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get these boards into the hands of other collectors who would likely hang them on their walls and be proud of them (as opposed to them collecting dust in dark corners of my space), and to raise money for a park that my kid would likely skate one day. Also, I don’t remember paying for many of these boards in the collection as the industry is known as one that is generous to its workers, and its fans, and I would feel bad profiting off of its generosity towards me.

So I started filtering. I went through the piles and piles and piles and I dug out more than 100 (all in brand new collectible condition, some stock as old as 15 years), and put them aside for the Ambleside Skatepark Project to auction off to raise funds. Below are all of the boards I handed over to them last week and which they’re starting to put onto ebay. It looks like they’ll raise more than $10,000 from this donation that was made by me and everyone who ever helped me in the skateboard industry (mostly Rick Howard, Megan Baltimore and Andy Jenkins), and I’m feeling pretty good about that.

These 100 boards will go towards fundraising for the new Ambleside Skatepark
These 100 boards will go towards fundraising for the new Ambleside Skatepark

HERE is a link to the Ebay store where the boards are being auctioned. I don’t imagine that many of you reading this are hardcore skateboarding fans who want to buy collectible skateboards for hundreds of dollars each, but I wanted to share the story to hopefully encourage you to donate directly to the cause. Chip in a few bucks and help kids over on the North Shore and in West Van get the park they deserve. The original one was built 20 years ago and has since become difficult to skate.

From THIS article from the Georgia Straight, one of the fundraiser’s organizers, Eric Savics, explains that “The elements that we see and feel here in the Pacific Northwest have done a number on the park in terms of erosion and wear and tear,” explained the 26-year-old West Vancouver resident. “It’s pretty chunky and it’s pretty hard to get moving.”.

Check out the effort at AmblesideSkatepark.com and consider helping out in any way you can.

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