Grab your board and skate in the Vail Valley

Allyson Litt

Justin McCarty |
Justin Q. McCarty |

EDWARDS — Friday was the longest day of the year — a good day to grab the board and head for the skate park.

Every year on June 21, skateboarders around the globe unite for the love of the sport. Friday, the skatepark at Freedom Park in Edwards attracted riders of all ages who came out to show off their skills.

Sponsored officially by the International Association of Skateboard Companies, the day gives boarders the opportunity to get outside with the support of the community.

“Back in the ‘70s, my dad bought himself, my brother and I a skateboard, and I’ve been skating ever since I was three,” said Jason Schetrompf, the skateboard programs coordinator for the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, which runs the Freedom Park skatepark. Schetrompf is also the lead author for Vail’s snowboard teaching handbook.

“The best thing about boarding is pushing yourself and doing things you’d never be able to do on land,” said Declan Miner, 10, who has been skating for four years now.

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Miner has been enrolled in previous summer camps under Schetrompf’s instruction.

Mike Staten, the recreation district’s field house and Freedom Park director, coordinates something for the locals every year and saw National Go Skate Day as the great opportunity to support the sport.

“This year we had a couple different vendors come out, like Eagle Skate Supply, who donated a lot of swag for the event,” said Staten.

Freebies of the day included T-shirts and board decks, as Freedom Park attracted boarders ranging in age from 5 to 50.

The recreation district’s participation in helping fund the skate park with Eagle County and local donors began in 2005 with Pat O’Toole, Rob Bak, and Schetrompf. They worked with Staten from the district’s skateboarding program, and from there the summer skate camp was born.

Now a 12-week program held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, kids ages 6- 13 can keep busy with their skating passion in a camp that’s specifically designed to the park’s layout. Enrollment in the camp is $99 for the 4 days.

“It’s nothing really contest-related; It’s more in the spirit of skateboarding so everyone can shred and have a good time,” said Staten.

Friday, the shredding lasted long into the long daylight hours of the summer solstice.

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