Red Bull USA celebrated International Go Skateboarding Day (GSD) by following skateboard fanatics in Los Angeles as they kick-pushed their way through “Emerica’s Wild In The Streets L.A. Benefitting Boards for Bros” at the Hollenbeck Skate Plaza, and through the Venice Beach Skatepark, where the crew from Dwindle Distribution was raising funds for Boarding for Breast Cancer.
GSD was started in 2003 by Don Brown, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sole Technology and IASC Chairman of the Board. We sat down with Don to find out how GSD started.
GSD was started as a way to empower the youth worldwide and help increase awareness of skateboarding to the mainstream. But what most don’t know is that you actually had the idea of GSD long before 2003, right?
Yeah, back in 1997, I faxed a bunch of the local skate and surf companies located near etnies in Costa Mesa and told them there was going to be a mass skate from etnies to the Newport Beach pier and back starting at 5 o’clock.
"An important part of GSD, though, is to look at how we can all give back to our local skateboarding community." -Don Brown
The idea was to get everyone out of their chairs to go skate and have fun. Somehow about 25 people turned up and we charged the streets to the pier and back! It was super fun to get everyone together -- some of us were competitors in business, but on the board we were all a tight family.”
This year Go Skateboarding Day will really be an international event; Romania, Costa Rica, Afghanistan, Israel, South Africa, Poland, China, and Guatemala are just a handful of countries that celebrated this year. What crosses your mind when you look at how GSD has grown to really be a worldwide event?
I get really excited about how far this simple idea from nine years ago has created so much positive energy for the global skateboard community! The precious thing about skateboarding is that it's one gigantic family around the world, and to see everyone getting together having fun and sharing their experiences is amazing.
I'll still never forget the numerous times when kids have told me after an Emerica "Wild in the Streets" event that this has been the best day of their life -- how often do you hear people say that?
How did you celebrate GSD this year? Were there any costumes involved?
I charged the streets of Los Angeles with the Emerica team and few thousand other skaters. I didn’t wear a costume this year but thought of wearing handcuffs to make it easy for the police when they arrest me!
How do you see GSD growing or changing in the future, especially internationally?
Last year I saw more international events than ever. South America really blew up with GSD events, and I was stoked to see so many events in Asia! GSD will get bigger and better each year, that's what is so exciting!
An important part of GSD, though, is to look at how we can all give back to our local skateboarding community, create awareness to get a new skateparks, raise money for a local skate-based charity, teach someone how to skate, and/or give a skateboard as a gift! But most importantly GO SKATE AND HAVE FUN!
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