Go Skate Steamboat gives away 50 boards, hosts event to celebrate 1 year anniversary
On Monday, Go Skate Steamboat will have existed for a year, and already, it’s impossible to measure the good it’s done for the community. Since its accidental inception last summer, Go Skate Steamboat has worked with more than 20 local businesses, cleaned graffiti off the Howelsen Hill skate park ramps, supplied 10 boards to local youth and raised money to purchase 50 new decks for the elementary school physical education classes.
“For us, it’s giving people the opportunity, creating projects and events that leave an undeniable positive impact on this town,” said Go Skate Steamboat founder Trevor Mekelburg. “For me, when I look back at this year, because we didn’t start with a clear vision of what we were going to be, we had to naturally grow into what we are now, which is a hub of all things skateboarding.”
To celebrate its one-year anniversary and national Go Skate Day, there will be a full day of activities Monday. The day will feature competitions, a trash cleanup, a community ride, a skate session, free food, giveaways and a presentation of 50 new decks to local physical education teachers.
Urbane partnered with Go Skate and local artist Eric Samuelson to design and order the best boards they could find.
“That’s been a long-standing project. We were able to fund enough money to replace the decks at the elementary schools,” Mekelburg said.
Samuelson, who also designed the Carl Howelsen skateboarding shirts that raised money for the Tread of Pioneers Museum, said Mekelburg played a large role in creating the composition notebook design of the new boards. They are black and white, and read Yampa Valley Skate School.
“I figured it’d be sweet to do a composition notebook, because going to school, that’s the one thing you have to have every year,” Samuelson said.
It’s as if the skateboards are the next thing on the list of must-haves for back to school.
Replacing the boards was important, since the old boards were beat up from nine years of elementary-age kids battering them and running them into walls while learning the skill. The tips were splintering and thinning, and not only posing a safety risk but making it far more difficult to learn how to use the boards.
“They’re thrashed. There’s not one board that isn’t being held together by duct tape. Not only is it going to be a better feeling, but it’s going to be more safe,” said Mekelburg. “We want our kids to have access to quality stuff.”
The beat up old boards will be distributed to local artists who want to turn them into art pieces. Those pieces will then be part of a show that will serve as a fundraiser to buy more boards in the coming years. Mekelburg thinks the process can become a sustainable project every two to three years.
Samuelseon has been heavily involved with Go Skate from the get go, which was just an anonymous, somewhat impromptu ride down main street for Go Skate Day in 2020. Mekelburg knew a large gathering was out of the question, but he wanted to do something. Next thing he knew, people were so inspired by the community they found on the ride, they kept asking him what he was going to do next. One year later, Go Skate Steamboat is a rapidly growing community nonprofit.
To kick off Go Skate Day, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Powder Tools are hosting a public skate competition at Bear River Skate Park for kids younger than 12. The event begins at 2 p.m. and is expected to last until 3 p.m. Shortly after that concludes, there will be a community ride along the Yampa River Core Trail with the purpose of picking up trash along the well-used path.
The ride will conclude at Howelsen Hill Skate Park, where the evening festivities will take place. From 7 to 9 p.m., there will be a skate session for the older skaters of Steamboat. There will be giveaways and food provided by Backdoor Grill.
“I’m telling families to bring a lawn chair, bring a cooler with your favorite drink,” Mekelburg said. “That’s the best way you can support the skate community on that day.”
The first year of Go Skate has been nothing short of action packed, and Mekelburg has big hopes for what the group can accomplish in the future. He wants to expand on the facilities in Steamboat, since the sport is growing so fast, and skaters are already filling the two parks that exist in Steamboat.
“My main goal is to campaign and work with the city just to make sure our skate facilities are top notch,” Mekelburg said. “We understand getting a new skate park, getting an expansion to the skate park isn’t an overnight thing. We want to serve as a platform to show kids what it looks like to work with the city, what it looks like to campaign, what it looks like to be patient and work hard so that the day we cut the ribbon at the new skate park, we can look back at all the hard work we put in and really celebrate it.”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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