Monday, September 12, 2011

Aftermath - 2011 Toronto Board Meeting

Tons of stoke at the 2011 Toronto Board Meeting
L to R: P-Swiss, Joker, Smooth Chicken, Jacob Furlong
photo: Ponyta
That was fairly sensational.

A gorgeous day; no serious injuries; accommodating law enforcement; simply an epic gathering of skateboarders out for a gentle rumble through the sunny streets of Toronto. Who could ask for more?

The fantastic turnout took me by surprise. Approximately 900 skaters showed up. We counted! (a process that we’ll need to optimize, I suppose)

I was struck by how many familiar faces I knew. It gladdens my heart. Skateboarding is a bond that has lasted through the years, even as life rolls on.

Some coverage of the event...

Video from Concrete Wave Magazine:

The Toronto Star’s take: Army of Skateboarders takes over Downtown Streets

My favorite quote:
“We aren’t in a position to arrest hundreds of people.”  -- Staff Sgt. Andy Norrie, TPS
Kidding aside, thanks to 53 and 52 Division bike patrol for their escort, assistance, patience and understanding. Serve and protect!

(a minor quibble: the reporter incorrectly identifies Smooth Chicken as having ‘created’ the Board Meeting -- Mike has been a primary organizer since 2005, was one of the originals, and is a founder of OLF, and is generally undeniably an awesome fellow -- but it was the inimitable Jacob Furlong (aka Ben Jordan) who organized the first Board Meeting event in 2003.

I ran into Ben before the Meet and teased him about kicking the whole thing off. He shrugged and said, characteristically, “This is waaaay beyond me. I caused a little ripple and it somehow turned into a huge wave.” I thanked him nonetheless.)

Check out Longboardism’s sweet recap of the day.

A decent approximation of how many there were of us:

Skate[Slate] put up a summary [since deleted -N.] and some nice photos from Patrick Switzer... (thanks for the link btw!)

Thanks go to the organizers (happy birthday Joker), who did a superb job throughout of fuelling the stoke, and corralling what can best be described as a chaotic mob. Pulling this sort of thing off without any major crap going down is a tremendous accomplishment -- they should be commended.

Cristina (pictured right)
at a past Board Meeting --
We miss you!!
Thanks also go to the sponsors who provided tons of swag for the raffle. (Plank guy got seriously robbed for the sketchy deck prize though; just my opinion)

Last note: the moment of silence at City Hall for some of the skaters who are no longer with us was touching, and beautiful. We miss you Hilton. We miss you Cristina! We haven’t forgotten.

I’ll update this post in a few days with links to more videos and photos -- a ton of footage is getting processed...


A bystander’s perspective (“This is what you do when you go to university honey.”):

Update: More collected footage and photos here.