Rite To Ride, a nonprofit organization launched and run by Devin Publicover, is wrapping up the first summer skate program with an afternoon event this Saturday.
Frenzy 2 will include street style, ollie, and a balloon grab competition, and will have music, a barbecue, face painting, as well as prizes for participants. This will be the second public skate competition Rite to Ride has hosted since its inception early this year. The first competition at the end of July went really well, Mr. Publicover reports. There were about 15 kids and five adults that competed, and maybe 40 or 50 bystanders. He’s hoping for similar or more entrants at this one.
The second Frenzy Skate Competition wraps up the summer Rite to Ride Skate program, which has run Mondays and Wednesdays this summer from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The students clean the park, sweep up pebbles, stretch, ride, work on a monthly magazine and even learn about the skateboard itself, such as how to take it apart, fix it and put it safely back together. The program, which ran for children aged 5-11, had anywhere from 13 up to a record 22 kids participate weekly and, in total, he taught about 35 different kids throughout the summer program.
“I’ve seen them go from barely standing on a skateboard to being confident and getting excited,” he says, noting one parent even told him it has never been so easy to get their kid up in the morning as it has been on the Rite to Ride days.
Skate parks, and skateboarding in general, have had a bad rap, Mr. Publicover says. He is trying to help shift the attitude by skaters and towards skaters, by encouraging a positive environment – no swearing, smoking, bad attitudes and so on allowed by his riders, and encouraging other skaters to adopt similar behaviours. With the upcoming summer Olympics (Tokyo 2020) including skateboarding for the first time, he sees a shift in the public attitude around the sport too, with more respect given to athletes as well as skateboarders taking more pride in the sport. He wants to teach his riders to show respect to others, to train, to eat right, and to have fun.
“We’re leaders. we’re going to act differently than what the world thinks a skateboarder is,” he says.
Mr. Publicover says the first full season for Rite to Ride, which focuses on snowboarding and skateboarding, has been hard at times, but overall a successful pilot season.
“It went better than I even could have imagined,” he says. “I haven’t even had time to reflect; it’s been such a wonderful whirlwind of awesomeness.”
Frenzy 2 Skate Competition is this Saturday, August 31 starting at 1 p.m. Registration is $5, open to anyone (helmets are required).
“It’s a great way to end the summer, good way to cap it all off, display their skills, and to show how inclusive an environment a skate park can be,” Mr. Publicover says.
For more information on Rite to Ride, visit www.ritetoride.com.