To achieve our goals of getting New Zealand skateboarding on the map, we need to make sure people are aware of New Zealand skateboarding around the map. And I will admit that this didn't start as an easy task, considering the majority of people we met in the USA didn't even know where New Zealand was. ("Oh, so you are from Australia", is something we heard several times a day).
Obviously we took our skateboards with us, however it wasn't all skating, we were also there to educate ourselves further in the skateboarding industry to ensure we are supporting Kiwi skaters and encouraging the growth of skateboarding in a way that is consistent with Industry standards. It was a busy trip that included conferences with the International Association of Skateboard Committee, learning more about our history at the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, observing how professional competitions are run at the Vans Pool Party and talking to every skater, parent and coach we could find about what direction they think the International Skate Scene is heading.
The whole trip was amazing, and we learnt so much that I envision the rest of the year will be going back through all of the research accumulated and figuring out how we can combine what have learnt, to our plans for Yeah Gnar's future. Other then the educational and research component of our trip, we also got to tick off some bucket list items. We skated the Combi Bowl, watched Vans Pool Party in person, got cuddles from Rodney Mullen and had a beer with Mike McGill. This trip we only took three of the team, however I feel like more of us will be making the next trip for the next conference.
If you haven't had the chance to watch the Pool Party yet, The entire compeition is streaming on You Tube, which you can check out on the link below.