Green Skate 2016
Green Skate’s mission is a simple one. “Celebrate and encourage the low impact of longboarding on our environment as an eco-efficient form of travel and recreation”
As simple as it may seem it is a mission that is becoming more and more critical as the world around us becomes more and more out of sync with the natural order. Plastic bottles clog our oceans, while gas and oil burn inside the combustion engines of modern vehicles. Spewing out emissions that only lead to ill health for all of this planet’s inhabitants. These coffins with 4 wheels carry people slowly dying from their own forms of unconscious suicide. Helped along by media encouraging the whole cycle. It is what everyone is doing, that makes it ok. They come up with every reason as to not step out and explore using their own two feet and eyes. Much like a person hitting the snooze button over and over again, rolling over in the perceived comfort, until it is too late.
Longboarding and skateboarding is perhaps the most perfect expression of being in touch with our urban environment. Moving through the city on top of a board is like surfing forgotten frozen waves. Natural curves and banks, rolling hills and parkways each with it’s own distinct feel and features wait in silence for those that are willing to step out of their comfort zone. Some lined with majestic trees overlooking forgotten parts of the city. Some reward with views that cannot be attained from inside the comfort of our metal and plastic nature killing coffins. All contain in it the reason we need to start paying attention, if not to what is going on in the environment, then to our own body.
There are challenges in moving through a city on a board. All of them can be overcome with an infinite number of styles and techniques. Each one carrying the seed to our overall freedom. Each one with it’s own requirements to strength, stamina, creativity that only take a little bit of work, a little bit of dedication. No, not dedication to the skate industry and commercial enterprises there in, but dedication to ourselves. A commitment to ourselves that we will not go quietly the way of the rest of the world. A commitment to get out explore with our own two eyes, pushing with our own two feet, thinking with our own brains, and feeling what is right with our own hearts and souls.
All this really hit me this year as we skated through the city. Watching people on the side of the road as we rolled past. Eyes open, mouths agape in various forms of confusion. These poor lost folks. A world awaits them as they sit and slowly kill it.
For the past 3 years we have hosted Kansas City’s Green Skate. Our goal for each year is to get a few more people than the previous year and have a whole lot more fun. We achieved our goal this year with 20 people pushing their way along our 8 mile loop.
We added more fun by commissioning our local artist from McKinley Illustration to come up with a cool logo for our shirts. He did such a wonderful job we had to get stickers made as well.
The route stretches out from Burning Spider Stoke Company, down a hill, and onto Southwest Boulevard. This road is ideal for showing off the line of environmentally conscious riders in our green shirts. The bike lane stretches out along the entire length of the road until we turn off, but not before going along rows of restaurants with people sitting outside. Stopping at each intersection and gathering peoples up we set off again each time with a line of people wearing green shirts, having a good time, giving out high fives, and sending out positive vibes.
As the route moves it’s way through the city we stopped by Penn Valley Skatepark for a little bit of a bowl session. Every year it is super nice to see how far along everyone has progressed from the previous year.
We don’t stay here very long. Just enough to get in a few lines, and let people rest up before continuing on the route back to the shop.
My hope is that each year more and more people come to the cause. One day we will be a part of a sea of green shirts from all the years of progress. Maybe even one day it will out number the cars that bustle buy. So much green filling the streets that it can no longer be ignored. It will be like green fire burning with the stoke of the awakened, pulsing with the heart beat of a city that is a better place to live and breath.