National Go Skateboarding Day is celebrated on 21 June
Fresno Skateboard Salvage partners with several California prisons to help disadvantaged children enjoy the many benefits of skateboarding on National Go Skateboarding Day and beyond.
For the past three years, Fresno Skateboard founder Salvage Rodney Rodriguez has worked with Avenal State Prison, California State Prison – Corcoran, and Valley State Prison to allow jailed artists to paint skateboard decks. Completed decks are auctioned and help fund the program.
Rodriguez personally delivers salvaged art supplies and boards to institutions on an ongoing basis. The incarcerated artists then design the skateboards to reflect superheroes, sports icons, and pop culture. The cards take artists around six months to complete.
More than 800 skateboards and helmets were provided to the children of the community. Many of these donations were made possible by the works of art provided by the incarcerated population.
A skater himself, Rodriguez visits the parks in search of youngsters who may need equipment upgrades and provides them with new boards and safety equipment, which they may not otherwise be able to afford.
Giving kids quality gear is a way to share a sport that has had a huge impact on their life, physically and mentally.
Positive impacts of skateboarding
Skateboarding is more than just a great workout. According to a recent study by the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, skateboarding improves mental health, gives skaters a sense of community, and encourages diversity and resilience.
“These incarcerated artists are helping to give a positive outlet to young skaters. They are giving them the gift of skateboarding, “Rodriguez said.” I have received such positive feedback from the jailed artists, those who buy the completed boards and of course the kids.
In honor of this year’s Go Skateboarding Day, Fresno Skateboard Salvage will provide equipment and short lessons to 25 young Native Americans at Fresno City College. Next, they will have the opportunity to skate with the Apache Skateboard Team. Some of the donated plates were purchased using funds made from plates painted by incarcerated people.
The next round of skateboarding will be auctioned in a few months through the Fresno Skateboard Salvage Facebook page.
There will be 45 plates available, hand painted by artists from Valley State Prison.
Learn more about Fresno Skateboard Salvage on their website:
By Alia Cruz, public information officer
Follow us on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.