When I'm asked about my profession, I'm usually met with great astonishment after a brief explanation. "What, those things still exist?" and "I used to do that at school too." are phrases that often come up. With looks of disbelief, these people then listen to descriptions of a globally networked scene that is bigger than they remember from their school days. They can't believe that I'm traveling the world on this little skateboard. This was the case again in October. From Blackriver City, I went to LA to meet new and old friends, organize events and make fingerboard history.
I'll spare you the hardships of the journey for now. After a long journey and a day's break, we got straight down to business. Together with 6Skates and Slushcult, we organized the first FingerboardCon. The tickets for this sold out quickly and all the exhibitor spaces were also quickly snapped up. Nevertheless, we didn't know what to expect. The set-up went smoothly and now we had to see how the event would be received. And what can I say? To everyone's relief, the event flew by. The parks were in constant use, visitors and exhibitors were satisfied and the presentations were well attended. The latter sparked many great conversations and discussions and showed me once again what a great scene we have. Watch our recap video of the event here. The evening was correspondingly short after this exhausting day, as we had to continue the next day.
That's when our joint event with Slushcult took place. A big session, raffle and a special game of skate were planned: "Beat a Blackriver team rider and get a pair of Blackriver trucks for free." Accordingly, there were many registrations and our "gladiators" Jeldo and Berta had their hands full in the truest sense of the word. A few axles were given away and the atmosphere matched the sunny weather. A complete success.
The next day would have been free, but we decided to visit the Catfish BBQ event, which was a good decision. Skating, fingerboarding, music and (of course) BBQ. The perfect way to end an event weekend in style.
The coming week was filled with visits to Blackriver's partners. I'll leave out the boring business details for the sake of everyone ? But in a nutshell, here's what happened:
- A store customer is happy about our visit and picks up new spots. You can check them out here: Lighthouse Skateshop.
- Disney Land was a lot and it was awesome.
- The Clippers win thanks to our vociferous support. Apologies to the Wagner brothers at this point.
- A big skateboard company invites us to discuss a possible cooperation. We feel like little fan boys and girls throughout.
- The Vault Pro Scooter guys show us their impressive headquarters, including a film studio, which we immediately use for a joint clip.
Afterwards, we made our way to Nash (Sorry Fingerboards) to organize one last event of our SoCal tour with him and the Awake Skateshop. Nash had organized accommodation for us and turned out to be the best host of the tour. The accommodation had a pool, a garden and a fingerboard park set up especially for us. He had laid out snacks and sweets for us and made everyone a T-shirt as a welcome gift (including names). He even came over with his family to cook for us. Thanks to Nash and the whole Jacquez family!
The event then had that great feeling of the previous events again. There was something to skate (including a large Sorry Spine), fingerboard parks, a contest, a raffle and Nash also cooked for everyone. We met lots of new faces and were delighted to see fingerboarders who had been following us for the whole tour. How nice it was to see again that fingerboarding brings people together worldwide and puts a smile on their faces.
When I arrived back on my couch at home, completely exhausted and struggling with severe jet lag, I thought about those incredulous looks and questions. Yes, fingerboarding still exists. It's bigger than ever, continues to grow and connects people worldwide. It's a hobby that has long since left school and offers a community that I always want to be part of. With or without a job in this field.