This Saturday is Go Skateboarding Day, the worldwide “holiday of skateboarding” as proclaimed by the International Association of Skateboard Companies. So what’s Tacoma and Seattle doing about it? A free skate clinic/competition event in Tacoma’s Tollefson Plaza, and a brand-new skateable piece of art in Seattle’s Jefferson Park.
First, Tacoma: Hosted by Alchemy Indoor, a local non-profit aimed at giving youth safe, dry skating places to develop skills (including a planned indoor skate rink), the event includes a free youth skate clinic from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (sign up online), a slope-style competition and open-plaza skate from 2-3 p.m. and competitions from 3-6 p.m., with an afterparty at downtown skate shop Grit City Grindhouse, 311 S. 7th St.
Both Alchemy Indoor and Grit City Grindhouse are the products of Spaceworks, the City of Tacoma partnership that puts creative enterprise and art into vacant commercial spaces downtown. Grit City Grindhouse is an alumnus of the program, with a now-commercial space on South 7th Street, but Alchemy has been getting advice from the program to find a space for their indoor rink.
Meanwhile, in Seattle this Saturday will see the unveiling of a new public sculpture that’s also skateable. The brainchild of pro skater Torey Pudwill and Oregon artist C.J. Rench, and supported by Red Bull and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, the Red Bull Skate Space features skateable metal sculptures that curve around the skate space at Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park, a designated District Skatepark location in the city’s citywide skate plan.
“It’s a wonderful idea,” said Alchemy’s Ben Warner. “I would really like to bring something like that to Tacoma, which has a great skateboarding history – it was the first city ever to remove skatestoppers (metal brackets fixed on structures to deter skateboarders).
The space will be unveiled on Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with Pudwill and fellow pro skaters Ryan Sheckler, Felipe Gustavo, Tom Schaar, Alex Midler, Ryan Decenzo and Joey Brezinski.
Tollefson Plaza: 1700 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
Jefferson Park: 4101 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle