Humans are social creatures. And while it can be nice to do things alone now and then--play an instrument, read a book, watch a movie--nothing's better than doing something you love with a whole bunch of people who love the same thing.
If you're a skater, looking to start a community of skateboarders in your local area, here's how you can do it.
1. Meet other skaters
There are a bunch of ways you can do this.
Look for existing MeetUp groups, or start your own. On MeetUp, you can be as broad or as specific as you want--so if you're looking to start an all-ages night skating group, or a skating group for girls in college, you're bound to click on MeetUp.
Go to your local skatepark and see if there's anyone you vibe with. That guy who just pulled a sweet trick--think he'd be interested in hanging out more?
Check out local Facebook groups and see if you're a good fit.
Head to a skateshop at a slow time (2 or 3pm on a weekday, usually) and chat with the people that work there. Where do they skate? Who's their crew?
2. Communicate what you're looking for
Do you want a crew that goes night-skating on Saturdays? Say (in person or online), "Hey, I'm starting a weekly night ride--who's in? Saturdays work for me, but I'm flexible."
Are you looking to improve your tricks and get feedback? "Could really use some help nailing new tricks. Anyone down for a couple after-school practice sessions? I'll be there Tuesday/Thursday."
Do you want to start a dedicated team? "I'm looking for 6-7 skaters who want to be part of a dedicated team. Weekly practices 4-6pm on Fridays. Name/logo suggestions welcome! Message me for details."
Or maybe you want to skate literally all the time, and you're cool with people joining you whenever? "I've got a ton of new skate spots I want to check out! I'll post here whenever I'm heading out--if you want to join, comment and show up, no questions asked."
The main points here are to be honest and specific. Don't say you're cool with people showing up whenever if you really want to start your night ride by 9. Don't say you're "down for whatever" if you're hoping to practice your grinds.
Flexibility is important--but the more you get real with yourself about what you're looking for, the better chances you'll have of attracting skaters who want the same things.
And when you're specific, you make it easy for those right people to join by doing the hard mental work of picking a day/time/location in advance.
3. Do the heavy lifting
It's your community. You're starting it. That means you're taking on the route-planning, the Facebook- or MeetUp- or forum-posting, and any other logistics that come your way.
Nobody's going to do it for you; at least not at the beginning.
As your community grows and gets closer, someone might step up to plan next week's route--but at first, it's all you. Embrace it!
4. Keep going
Don't post once and get discouraged because nobody came (or one person came). Get someone to take photos of your ride that look fun and awesome. Post them up when you're planning future events.
It's entirely possible that a bunch of people were thinking about going, but their schedules didn't quite line up that week. But if you give up early on, you'll never find out.
Skaters--what are the best communities you've found?
Photo credit: Lucie Delavay
Get in the loop!
Drop into secret discounts, giveaways, and more awesomeness!