By Dan Ketchum
If there’s one day of the year that’s all about skating and – if you’re anything like us – smoking weed, then it should definitely be the longest day of the year. Turns out that’s exactly where Go Skate Day falls, and while the founders don’t “officially” endorse getting high and skating your day away, Tough Mama definitely endorses getting high and skating your day away. Learn yourself up on some context, and then we’ll let the Go Skate Day recs flow.
So What Is Go Skate Day?
Go Skate Day, or Go Skateboarding Day if you really enjoy syllables, is a creation of the International Association of Skateboard Companies (or IASC), an, uh, association of skateboard companies that exists to promote skating and educate people about skate culture. You may have heard of IASC members like Alien Workshop, DC Shoe Company, Element, Vans, and Zoo York. The event has been around since 2004 and is celebrated by skaters, newbies, skate gear manufacturers, skate shops, skate parks, and more.
According to an oral history by Boardcoast, IASD member Don Brown created Go Skateboarding Day and intentionally chose the longest day of the year to celebrate it. When is Go Skate Day? June 21st every year, when some locales see up to 14 hours and 54 minutes of daylight.
Weed and Skate Culture – It Just Works
Whether you smoke bowls or skate bowls, it seems like there’s always been a natural crossover between weed culture and skate culture. But why is that?
Without us writing a novel (let’s be honest, it’d be a self-published ebook), let’s just say that both movements – from the beats and hippies of the early ‘60s to the hip-hop-inspired skaters of the ‘80s and ‘90s – have existed and thrived in the counterculture. And it’s been there from the beginning, as vert skating pioneer and original Z-Boy Tony Alva is quoted as saying, “A lot of people consider marijuana a drug and I disagree with that. There is a huge segment of the skateboarding population that use marijuana as an herb to better their lives and get in tune with their environment both physically and mentally.”
Well after the Z-Boys, the Tony Hawk-led renaissance of the ‘90s saw even more normalization, with Chad Muska’s shoes debuting the “stash pocket” that still lives on in skate shoes today. We challenge you to walk into any skate shop that doesn’t have at least a few boards, tees, wheels, or accessories that have a weed leaf emblazoned on them. So, yeah, the stoner skater is a cliche, but it’s a cliche with a little positive truth behind it. And with that in mind, it only makes sense to pair Go Skate Day with everyone’s favorite flower.
How to Celebrate Go Skate Day, Tough Mama Style
The traditions of Go Skate Day are honestly pretty loose. Transworld Skateboarding kinda hits it on the nose: “On June 21st, skateboarders around the globe will celebrate the pure exhilaration, creativity, and spirit of one of the most influential activities in the world by blowing off all other obligations to go skateboarding.”
Here are just a few Tough Mama-approved ways you might blow off those obligations:
- Skate at a skate park, or just hang at a skate park. This is the basic package, but no one’s competing for originality points here. Even better, bring your friends.
- Just skate and chill. Sometimes, holidays are about self-care rather than bombast; skating and smoking can both be that. The hip-hop skaters of the ‘80s took their boards to the streets, and you can, too – bring a Tough Mama Mini Mofoz for the ride.
- Host (or attend) a skate jam. The very first Go Skate Day was all about low-key grassroots organizing. So what’s stopping you from taking the lead if your local skate park or skate-friendly venue doesn’t have any plans on the 21st?
- Have a cookout. Even if you don’t skate, or if you’re the a non-skater in a group of skaters, pack the goodies, get the Bluetooth speaker, man the BBQ, and share an Infused Hemp Cone Blunt with the crew (we recommend the hybrid to maintain a balanced high – it’s a slow, even burn for a looooong day). Keep the grilling skate-adjacent to please both crowds.
- Make art. Again, you don’t have to be a skater to celebrate Go Skate Day. A lot of the unofficial holiday centers around promoting skateboarding, so do your part by bringing that old 35mm camera to the skate jam or bringing a few spray cans and touching up that collab mural at the skate park (with permission, obviously). Pair this with a creative strain like Jack Herer or Tangie.
- Volunteer at your local skate park. Like The Skatepark Project points out, skate parks make for healthier communities by offering a free gathering place, promoting athleticism, getting young and old kids outdoors and percolating shared experiences. Be a part of that on the holy day.
- Wrap up with an outdoor screening. Turn a long day into a long night – crush a couple Yolo Shotz with your crew, hook up that projector and throw on something like Gleaming the Cube, Thrashin’, Mid90s, Dogtown and Z-Boys, or just YouTube rips of those gnarly wipeout VHSes they used to sell in the CCS catalog.
Remember, the origins of Go Skate Day are humble, so don’t be afraid to keep it that way. Speaking to Boardcoast, founder Don Brown says, “One day, I just sent a fax out […] Let’s all get together and skate down to the pier, have a few beers, and skate back. We had probably 20 different people together. It was a rad feeling to have everyone together saying, f**k work and going skating.”
So, to recap.
1) Did you say “f**k work”?
2) Did you go skating?
If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, congratulations – you celebrated Go Skate Day exactly how the founding father intended.
Dan Ketchum splits his time between Dallas and LA as a freelance lifestyle, fashion, health, and food writer with more than a decade of experience. In cannabis, been fortunate enough to collaborate with Cannabis & Tech Today, FOCL, Vitagenne, Reign Together, Mistifi, and more.