There's a perception that skateboarders are unmotivated people. When skaters aren't out carelessly destroying public property by "grinding" and such, they're manning the fryer at a shitty service industry job (if they have a job) or playing Xbox on some nasty old couch, probably one that belongs to a dude named Boner (or more precisely, Boner's mother).
There's some truth to the stereotype. Skateboarding is an urban sport. For the most part, it happens outside, which takes advantage of The Man's infrastructure in ways He never intended. Some skaters work shitty food service jobs. Many more enjoy a Super Smash Bros. tournament from time to time. But unmotivated? Don't bet on it.
You just have to glance in the direction of the Silver Skate Shop (aka Silver Board Shop, 2205 Silver SE, 265-4912) to see how dedicated skating culture can be. Owner and skater Nicole Montes opened the place right out of college, in December of 2003. Ever since, Montes has consistently organized great events—like Go Skateboarding Day and the Game of SKATE—to keep local skate culture unified and feisty.
There are those of us who can't skate, of course. But Montes, a devotee of the Church of Fun, has seen to it that everyone gets a chance to play, skater or not. That's what the Silver Skate Jam is for, and it's happening this Saturday, Aug. 18.
The Jam, now in its third year, is an all-day block party in the heart of the UNM ghetto. Silver Avenue is closed to traffic between Harvard and Yale, then filled up with tents, skate ramps and a stage (all done with skater labor, mind you). Then for 12 solid hours there's freestyle skating, competitions and live music from local acts.
The music is as diverse as the people who'll wander into the show. Performers include Black Maria (who christened the first Skate Jam in 2005), A Man About a Horse, Zoo Crew, Sweet Miscreants and Arkitect, SaintSinnerSuns, Justin Hood with The Kranks, Lumps One, Guyana Roulette, DJ Sudi and DJ Zion, Saturday Night Riot, and DJ Episode.
Every minute of the Skate Jam—11 a.m. to 11 p.m.—is free. If this thing isn't a lesson in motivation, I don't know what is.