Members of the local skateboard team live and breathe skateboarding. By day they work at the Ruins Boardshop on Lakelse; by night they ride the streets and parks of Terrace.
Adam Derow, Ruins Boardshop store manager and Ruins Skate Team manager says the team is a group of good friends who use this as an opportunity to hang out and have fun.
It’s not too competitive or serious, and it’s a chance to be creative – not just with tricks, but with film. The team documents the majority of their sessions, and has an impressive portfolio to show for it.
Chase Hamilton, who manages Ruins alongside Derow, is the team’s photographer and videographer. He said he tries to produce at least one 30-minute video of the team each year.
“They skate to get clips to make videos,” said co-worker Taylor Wilson.
The guys see each other almost every day, but how often they skate depends on the weather, saying when the weather is poor they ride inside or snowboard instead. The team takes day trips to skate parks in Hazelton, Kitimat, and Prince Rupert.
Aside from Hamilton and Derow, official team members include Nolan Bilash, Kyle Inkster, Cameron Hemming, Joel Wood, and Cody Schooling – but the team invites anyone to skateboard with them.
“We’re trying to encourage new people to come out,” said Hamilton.
The team says that they are for the most part well received in Terrace, and have had parents comment on how the team makes an effort to make their children feel welcomed at the skate park.
On the skate-ability of Terrace, the team has mixed reviews. Although there aren’t a lot of designated skate areas, they say there has been a tremendous effort in recent years to create more spaces to skate. And, unlike some cities, there aren’t bylaws preventing skateboarding in town.
“I’d say Terrace is skate friendly,” said Hamilton – before cautioning that the skate scene in Terrace can become a bit “stagnant.”
The group has had run-ins with people less supportive of the sport, citing an incident where people were trying to get them to leave Spirit Square.
But naysayers aside, the skateboarders are committed and don’t plan on giving it up any time soon, saying they will be skateboarding even into their old age.
“I’m going to skateboard as long as possible,” Derow said.
The best part of skateboarding is that there is no admission fee and you can “skate everything,” he said.
But even without admission fees, skateboarding can be a costly venture. With the amount of skateboarding the team does, they each burn through multiple skateboard decks, shoes, wheels and bearings per month. According to Derow, it costs much more to skateboard than it does to snowboard.
“You go through material,” he said.
Luckily, all team members are sponsored by Ruins, and some members have additional sponsorships – meaning they’re given products and gear from companies like Converse.
This Friday, June 21 is international Go Skateboarding Day. The Ruins crew will be hanging out at skate spots around town hosting events and handing out prizes like stickers, t-shirts, new wheels, and shoes.
They’ll also be a group ride down the main drag here in town at some point during the day.